Euro Betting: Scotland vs Czech Republic, 14th June
Group Stage | Group D | Glasgow
The Tartan Army is back!
Scotland return from the international wilderness with their first Euro finals game for 25 years! Facing their recent Nations League competitors, Czech Republic, this will an exciting and familiar game for both sides.
In qualifying, Scotland finished third in a tough group, behind Russia and Belgium. But, after topping their Nations League group under former Manager, Alex McLeish, they qualified for the Euro play-offs where, under manager Steve Clarke’s tutelage, they beat Israel on penalties in the semi-final and then Serbia, again on penalties in the final. The Scots seemed fated and determined to get here.
The Czech’s qualifying campaign was far less dramatic, but impressive nonetheless, finishing second behind England – who they beat at home – in Group A. Their campaign was a stuttering one, with 3 losses, including a 5-0 reverse to England at Wembley, but they still finished four-points clear of third placed Kosovo.
Squads and Line-ups
This is arguably one of Scotland’s strongest squads for a generation. With Scottish stars from some of England’s biggest clubs, like Andy Robertson (Liverpool), Scott McTominay (Man Utd), Kieran Tierney (Arsenal), home fans are hopeful this could be a successful tournament.
Aston Villa’s John McGinn was their leading-goal scorer and performer during qualifying, and a lot will also be expected of young Chelsea starlet, Billy Gilmour, and Southampton forward, Che Adams. On top of that, there’s a strong roster of Celtic players who make up a talented and competitive squad for Steve Clarke to choose from.
From a Czech perspective, they too can boast of a squad of players that ply their trade across the top tables of European club football. In the Premier League, they have West Ham goalkeeper Thomas Soucek, Burnley’s Matej Vydra who always looks dangerous, and a number of relatively unknown -but no less talented – footballers who play for Slavia Prague, Sparta Prague, Spartak Moscow, Legia Warsaw, and several Bundesliga clubs.
The two sides have been regular opponents in recent years, most recently in 2020 when Scotland twice prevailed in the Nations League. A comeback victory in the first tie, and 1-0 victory at Hamden Park for the other. The same venue for their Euro opener.
Prior to this, there was a 1-0 friendly victory for Scotland in 2016, meaning they have won their last three fixtures against the Czechs, and are unbeaten in four.
This will, however, be the teams’ first final tournament meeting at a Euro or World Cup tournament.
While the Scots are making only their third Euro appearance, and their first since 1996, the Czech Republic travel to Hampden Park to kick off their seventh successive Euro campaign, having made their debut at that same 1996 tournament.
Amazingly and memorably, the Czechs finished as Runners-up to Germany on that first appearance, and three of their last six Euro appearances have extended into the knockout rounds. Whereas Scotland have never progressed beyond the initial group stage.
Will the flower of Scotland bloom this summer? Or will Czechs have every moved covered?