Scotland will be appearing at their first major tournament since the 1998 World Cup, and with a decent squad including numerous Premier League stars they will be eager to impress.
With a group of England, Croatia and Czech Republic, and Hampden Park hosting two of their three games, progression beyond the group stage is not beyond reach for Steve Clarke’s men.
Group C: SCOTLAND, England, Croatia, Czech Republic
Manager: Steve Clarke
Odds (PP): 250/1
Recent Tournaments: N/A
FIFA World Ranking: 44th
Kieran Tierney. Despite not being the outstanding left back in the Scotland squad, Arsenal left back Tierney is pivotal to Clarke’s Scotland and the system they play. Tierney plays on the left of a back three, while it may be seen as an attempt to squeeze him and Andy Robertson in the same team Tierney has excelled in the role. His ability to bring the ball forward, combined with his tenacious defending and leadership make him Scotland’s key player this summer.
Steve Clarke’s 26-man squad includes veteran keepers David Marsahall,36, and Craig Gordon, 38. Marshall, who heroic penalty save from Aleksandar Mitrovic sent Scotland to the Euros, is expected to start.
Kieran Tierney, Leeds skipper Liam Cooper, Norwich’s Grant Hanley and Motherwell’s Declan Gallagher are all named in defence.
Andy Robertson and Motherwell’s Steven O’Donnell are named and will likely fill the two wing-back slots. Newcastle’s Ryan Fraser could also feature in the role on either flank.
Scotland are strong in centre midfield, even with Rangers Ryan Jack unavailable through injury. United’s Scott McTominay is named but could feature at centre-back, as he did for most of the qualifying campaign.
Celtic’s Callum McGregor is included and will start in midfield, while his clubmate David Turnbull also makes the squad.
Villa’s John McGinn, Southampton’s Stuart Armstrong and Sheffield’s John Fleck are also named, as is Chelsea’s Billy Gilmour.
In attack Celtic’s impressive Ryan Christie will start behind Southampton striker Che Adams. Christie’s Celtic teammate James Forrest is also named amongst the forwards, as is QPR’s Lyndon Dykes.
One to Watch
Che Adams. Having initially struggled at Southampton following his move from Birmingham, Adams finally began to find his feet- and weights, at the end of last season. He emerged from lockdown for project restart built like a rugby player. This season he stepped up to the mark, leading Southampton’s line in the absence of injury hit Danny Ings. At 24 he is still learning but 9 goals and 5 assists this season was enough to see him into the Scotland set-up and he now looks set to start this summer.
Goalkeepers: Craig Gordon (Heart of Midlothian), David Marshall (Derby County), Jon McLaughlin (Rangers)
Defenders: Nathan Patterson (Rangers), Stephen O’Donnell (Motherwell), Andy Robertson (Liverpool), Kieran Tierney (Arsenal), Greg Taylor (Celtic), Liam Cooper (Leeds United), Grant Hanley (Norwich City, Declan Gallagher (Motherwell), Scott McKenna (Nottingham Forest), Jack Hendry (KV Oostende)
Midfielders: Billy Gilmour (Chelsea), Callum McGregor (Celtic), Scott McTominay (Manchester United), Stuart Armstrong (Southampton), John McGinn (Aston Villa), John Fleck (Sheffield United), David Turnbull (Celtic)
Forwards: James Forrest (Celtic), Ryan Christie (Celtic), Ryan Fraser (Newcastle United), Lyndon Dykes (Queens Park Rangers), Che Adams (Southampton), Kevin Nisbet (Hibernian)