A 35-year-old former Celtic benchwarmer turned out to be the national hero when his strong arms carried Scotland to their first-ever major finals since 1998. David Marshall must still be relishing that historic night at Marakana when he denied Aleksandar Mitrović from the spot and ensured the Tartan Army’s place in the upcoming Euro 2020 competition defeating Serbia in the play-off final.
Steve Clarke’s tutelage and Andy Robertson’s tenacious leadership traits have brought back memories from those good old days. It’s been more than two decades since Scotland last qualified for a major tournament. However, the grit and determination depicted by Clarke’s men in recent games might see them emulating Wales’ success story from five years back.
Scotland have been drawn in Group D alongside Croatia, England and the Czech Republic. Although it would take a herculean effort to progress beyond the group stages, a good blend of youth and experience might still do wonder when they get the ball rolling on Monday afternoon at Hampden Park.
Scotland In Euro 2020
Scotland’s 26-Man Squad For Euro 2020
Goalkeepers: Craig Gordon (Heart of Midlothian), David Marshall (Derby County), Jon McLaughlin (Rangers)
Defenders: Liam Cooper (Leeds United), Declan Gallagher (Motherwell), Grant Hanley (Norwich City), Jack Hendry (KV Oostende, on loan from Celtic), Scott McKenna (Nottingham Forrest), Stephen O’Donnell (Motherwell), Nathan Patterson (Rangers), Andy Robertson (Liverpool), Greg Taylor (Celtic), Kieran Tierney (Arsenal)
Midfielders: Stuart Armstrong (Southampton), Ryan Christie (Celtic), John Fleck (Sheffield United), Billy Gilmour (Chelsea), John McGinn (Aston Villa), Callum McGregor (Celtic), Scott McTominay (Manchester United), David Turnbull (Celtic)
Forwards: Ché Adams (Southampton), Lyndon Dykes (Queen’s Park Rangers), James Forrest (Celtic), Ryan Fraser (Newcastle United), Kevin Nisbet (Hibernian)
Predicted 3-5-2 Scotland Lineup
Talking Tactics For Scotland in Euro 2020
While the gaffer is still working on his best possible options in certain positions, a back-three would most likely be retained to provide more resilience in the defensive third. Moreover, the wing-backs would shift deeper to form a ‘five-man backline’ if the situation demands, but Scotland are expected to line up as 3-5-2 against the Czech Republic in their opening fixture.
Clarke has handled two high-profile left-backs in the best possible way, with Tierney set to operate as a left centre-half allowing Robertson to occupy the wing-back role. But the confusion remains down the right as Liam Palmer failed to make the cut despite being used extensively during the qualifiers. Teenager Nathan Patterson might get a chance to impress after a strong debut versus Luxembourg, yet the manager would probably choose Stephen O’Donnell as the right fullback for his experience.
Predominantly a midfielder, Manchester United star McTominay has also been viewed as a central defensive option. But he should be deployed in his preferred midfield role as a couple of makeshifts in deep defence (with Tierney featuring on the left already) do not make sense with players available.
Best And Alternate Predicted XI’s: (3-5-2)
Scotland have a promising set of stars in their ranks, but the biggest of them has to be Andy Robertson considering his influence with the armband and achievements for Liverpool. A player who got released by boyhood side Celtic for ‘being too small’, endured relegation with Hull City, went on to become the champion of England as well as Europe showing his sheer dedication and fighting spirit. His story would keep on inspiring the struggling aspirants across the globe.
The GO-TO Player
Che Adams changed his allegiance to Scotland back in March, and the Southampton centre-forward made an immediate impact in the attacking third. He scored his maiden goal against Faroe Island and found the net once more in their 1-0 warm-up win versus Luxembourg.
The 24-year-old must be high on confidence and is all set to spearhead Scotland’s attack alongside Dykes or Nisbet.
The Rising Star
Despite undergoing a dreadful campaign, David Turnbull has been one of the few shining lights for the Hoops. His creative spark in the attacking third earned him a place in this prestigious event.
Having said that, he might have to wait for his chances behind an array of experienced names. But the youngster must be desperate to prove his worth and showcase his mastery if handed an opportunity as a ‘number 10’.
Scotland In Euro 2020: Predictions For The First Game (Vs Czech Republic)
Scotland will have the comfort of playing the Czech Republic at Hampden Park, so they’ll be expected to make the most of it, having already defeated them last year in a Nations League fixture.
However, the likes of England and Croatia would be tougher opponents, and the players, thus, must go for all three points in their opening contest.
Prediction – Scotland 1-1 Czech Republic
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