football

What do Scotland need to qualify at Euro 2020 and who could they play?



Scotland will definitely qualify for the Euro 2020 knockout stage if they beat Croatia after Monday’s results went their way.

Steve Clarke’s side were handed an even greater incentive to beat the World Cup runners-up at Hampden after groups B and C both ended with the third-placed teams on three points.

A Scotland win against Croatia on Tuesday would move them to four points and ensure they would at least qualify as one of the four best third-placed teams.

The Tartan Army were looking for a clear winner in the game between Austria and Ukraine and Christoph Baumgartner’s strike gave Scotland’s World Cup qualifying rivals a 1-0 win to seal progress and leave Ukraine on three points.

Group B results also went Scotland’s way with Denmark’s first win of the tournament, a 4-1 thrashing of Russia, and Belgium’s 2-0 triumph over Finland leaving both losers on three points.

So…

If Scotland finish as Group D runners-up

This scenario will occur if the Scots defeat Croatia, Czech Republic beat England and Scotland’s goal difference ends up better than the Three Lions. Scotland’s goal difference is currently -2 while England’s is +1.

If Scotland finish in second in Group D, they will play the team that finishes second in Group E at Parken Stadium in Copenhagen at 6pm BST on Monday 28 June.

All four teams in Group E could still finish as runners-up with Spain drawing 1-1 with Poland after Sweden defeated Slovakia.

The Swedes top the group with four points from two games, while Slovakia are second with three. Spain are third with two points and Poland are bottom with a single point.

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If Spain defeat Slovakia while Sweden win against Poland, Scotland will face Luis Enrique’s side in the last-16. However, if Poland defeat Sweden and Slovakia draw with La Roja, the Tartan Army could face any one of them depending on goal difference with Spain crashing out.

If Poland beat Sweden by two or more goals while Spain draw with Slovakia, Scotland will face Slovakia in the last-16. If Slovakia defeat Spain and Sweden draw against Poland, Scotland would take on Sweden in the next round – but if Sweden and Slovakia both win, Steve Clarke’s side will be drawn against Slovakia.

If Scotland finish third in Group D

This scenario will happen if Scotland defeat Croatia and the match between England and the Czech Republic ends in a draw.

The Scots will finish third if they cannot better England’s goal difference. The Czechs own the head-to-head advantage over the Scots so cannot finish below them.

If Scotland end the group stage as one of the four best third-placed finishers, more routes through the knockout stages open up depending on who goes through and which groups end with three qualifiers.

One would see Scotland play Group C winners Netherlands in Budapest at 5pm on Sunday 27 June.

Another option could see Scotland travel to Seville to face the winners of Group B at 8pm on Sunday 27 June. With one game remaining, Belgium need to avoid defeat against tournament debutants Finland to top the group.

The final scenario would pit Scotland against the winners of Group E in Glasgow on Tuesday 29 June at 8pm. Ahead of the final round of games, Sweden are top of Group E but Spain, Poland and Slovakia can all theoretically emerge as winners.

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