Despite featuring regularly at World Cups between 1954 and 1998, this will only be the Scots’ third appearance at a European Championships. At their previous two, in Sweden in 1992 and England in 1996, they were knocked out in the group stage.
That four teams who come third advance to the last 16 will give Steve Clarke and his side genuine belief they can make it out of Group D, also containing England, Croatia and Czech Republic. Their opening game, against Czech Republic at their Hampden Park home, could go a long way to deciding their fate.
Last November, it was a penalty shoot-out play-off victory over Serbia in Belgrade that provided probably the pinnacle of Scottish football this century, and Clarke has built a sturdy and tactically flexible team who make life difficult for their opponents.
While they do have some familiar names to Premier League fans – the likes of Andy Robertson, Kieran Tierney and Scott McTominay – Clarke has also leaned heavily on domestic players in form. The former Chelsea right-back and assistant manager isn’t afraid to change shape and selection to counter his opponents’ threats.
Scotland will host the Czechs and Croatia at Hampden Park roared on by around 12,000 supporters, many of whom will be watching their country at an international tournament for the first time.
Spain’s preparations for Euro 2020 have been hit by Covid, with both captain Sergio Busquets and Leeds defender Diego Llorente testing positive in recent days. They will miss the opening fixture against Sweden on Monday.
The remainder of the squad are currently in self-isolation, so a group of players, including our own Kepa Arrizabalaga, have been called up to take part in a parallel training group. They are staying in a separate bubble to Luis Enrique’s initial squad of 24, with the possibility of replacing any Covid-affected players. Enrique was the only boss not to use the full complement of 26 players.
Alongside these complications, there are plenty of question marks hanging over his selection as he has a squad of very impressive depth to choose from. While the current iteration of La Roja are still possession-based, they can be a bit more direct than their predecessors, using the pace of Ferran Torres and Adama Traore.
Spain were beaten by Antonio Conte's Italy in the last 16 five years ago having won the tournament for the first time in 2008, and followed that up with another triumph in 2012. Three Euro wins in four is very much possible.
Euro 2020 update is by courtesy of BetWay. Bet responsibly and not open to persons under 18 years.