If you’re a Scotland fan, you’ll know better than anyone that the men’s team doesn’t have the best record on the international scene. The fact that Scotland made the finals of the Euros this time around is a massive achievement, one that Scots should be proud of and hope to build on in the future.
On the opposite side of the coin, the reality is that Scottish supporters hate the idea of watching their side get beaten comprehensively, regardless of the scenario. Fans will be hoping they have an opportunity to upset the odds, something lots of people believe is feasible.
Players that have been through bad experiences find it hard to shake them off, with England’s “Golden Generation” being a prime example. However, the opposite is true as momentum and confidence can encourage footballers to believe in themselves and improve performances on the pitch. In the Czech Republic, Scotland have an opponent that they shouldn’t be scared of.
Although the Czechs are ranked 40th in the world and Scotland vs Czech Republic odds have them as slight favorites at 7/5, the recent fixtures between the two have been positive for Steve Clarke, with Scotland winning both ties in their most recent Nations League ties. Beating an opponent home and away in competitive games is enough for Clarke’s men to compete with bags of confidence.
— UEFA EURO 2020 (@EURO2020) November 12, 2020
Not only that but, if Scotland can get off to a fast start on matchday one, the Tartan Army will assume they can turnover England and Croatia, too. The recent history against the Czechs sets a precedent that could remain throughout the group stages.
To celebrate UEFA’s anniversary, the competition has been devised so that it takes place around the continent. At first, it appeared as if it would help England more than anyone because Wembley was set to hold several matches. And it still will, which is why the English are 7/2 favorites for the whole tournament.
Thankfully for the Scots, the FA wasn’t the only federation to be rubbing its hands. The SFA also had cause to smile because Hampden Stadium will host two of Scotland’s three group matches, with the other being at Wembley. The new arrangements should provide Scotland with a considerable advantage on home turf.
If they can harness the home advantage properly, there are potentially two to six points on offer that could be vital when the final tally is calculated at the end of the three group games.
Scotland also get to call on one of the most competitive squads in their history. The Scots have had better individual players, including the likes of Denis Law and Kenny Dalgleish, but teams don’t always need a stand-out player.
A good side is equal to the sum of its parts, and Clarke has strength in depth throughout the 25 men he will get to choose for the finals. For instance, Kieran Tierney and Andy Robertson are considered two of the best full-backs in England, with the latter widely respected as the top left-back in Europe.
In midfield, Scott McTominay has been at the heart of Manchester United’s eye-catching season, while John McGinn and Che Adams have had strong Premier League campaigns. Throw in Rangers’ quest to go the season unbeaten and you start to see the bigger picture. One where Scotland’s team can compete on the biggest stages.
At 250/1, the odds are low that Scotland will lift the trophy. However, the team is 5/1 to reach the quarter-finals and evens to qualify from Group D. So, it’s not beyond the realms of probability that the players will show what they are made of this summer.