Football News

Scotland route to the Euro 2024 final: Potential knock-out stage opponents

By CJ Smith

Scotland Route To The Final: Potential Opponents at Euro 2024

Published: 22:10, 19 June 2024 | Updated: 18:04, 24 June 2024

Unfortunately for fans that have travelled in numbers to Euro 2024, a 0-1 defeat to Hungary means Scotland have become the first team to be eliminated from Euro 2024.

Scotland returned to the European Championships for the second edition in a row following a 24-year absence from the tournament. However following a 5-1 defeat to Germany, a 1-1 draw with Switzerland and a dramatic late defeat to Hungary, they’ve now been eliminated from the competition.

Scotland’s potential route to Euro 2024 final

Scotland’s Group A fixtures

1-5 Germany (14 June, 8pm BST) – Scotland were two goals down before losing Ryan Porteous to a red card. Kai Havertz scored the resulting penalty before substitutes Niclas Fullkrug and Emre Can added two more. Centre-back Porteous will miss the match against Switzerland and, if the red card is upgraded to a two-match suspension, potentially the final group game against Hungary, which may well be a battle for third.

1-1 Switzerland (19 June, 8pm BST) –  The Tartan Army recovered well in their second game and earned a hard-fought point against Switzerland. Scott McTominay’s deflected effort put them ahead in Cologne, only for a wonderful strike from Xherdan Shaqiri to cancel that out before half-time.

0-1 Hungary (23 June, 8pm BST) – Scotland’s fate was sealed in this game as after a nervy encounter, Hungary were able to secure a narrow 0-1 win with one of the final kicks off the match through substitute Kevin Csoboth. The Tartan Army were left infuriated after a penalty appeal for a foul on Stuart Armstrong was turned down with the game in the balance at 0-0.

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Steve Clarke tactical insights

Clarke has experimented with a few formations, but 3-4-2-1 seems to be his preferred set-up. Scotland are blessed with some rare depth in the midfield and full-back areas, so this is a system that maximises the quality there, but also allows them to morph into a 5-4-1 when coming under pressure against higher-quality opposition.

Expect to see much of Scotland’s play coming down the left, with Kieran Tierney overlapping Andy Robertson, while McGinn and McTominay will share the responsibility of making late runs into the box. Bologna midfielder Lewis Ferguson will be a massive miss in midfield, so the task of keeping the back door shut and trying to add a little composure in possession will likely fall to Brighton’s Billy Gilmour.

Fan and media perspectives

Scotland’s qualifying campaign was right up there among their best in decades and that early win over Spain has fans dreaming of what damage they could do in Germany this summer. Even a 4-0 friendly defeat to the Netherlands hasn’t dampened their spirits too much, with Scotland matching their illustrious opponents for about 70 minutes before being harshly punished for some missed chances.

The Scottish media won’t pile anywhere near as much pressure on their players as those south of the border, but another group stage exit is likely to, at the very least, cause some reflection and exasperation.

How did Scotland qualify for Euro 2024?

Steve Clarke’s men turned plenty of heads in Qualifying Group A, losing just one of eight matches to finish second, six points ahead of Erling Haaland and Martin Odegaard’s Norway and four points behind Spain, who they beat 2-0 at Hampden early in the campaign.

European Championship Qualification – Group A
Position Team Played Won Drawn Lost GF GA Points
1 Spain 8 7 0 1 25 5 21
2 Scotland 8 5 2 1 17 8 17
3 Norway 8 3 2 3 14 12 11
4 Georgia 8 2 2 4 12 18 8
5 Cyprus 8 0 0 8 3 28 0