After Dutch draw, just how far can Scotland go in Euro 2020?

Excitement is building ahead of Scotland winning - sorry, participating in - their first major tournament since 1998.

Hibs striker Kevin Nisbet celebrates putting Scotland 2-1 ahead over Netherlands in Faro, Portugal. (Photo by Fran Santiago/Getty Images)

It can be easy to get carried away, but the encouraging performance in the 2-2 draw with the Netherlands on Wednesday night, on the back of seven Covid call-offs, has only raised expectation levels going into Euro 2020.

The way the team set about the Dutch, a storied footballing nation, taking the lead twice only to be denied victory by a soft last-minute free-kick, allied to the emergence of several youthful debutants, was hugely positive.

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All without star players such as John McGinn, Scott McTominay and Che Adams. It shows that Steve Clarke's 26-man squad has more strength in depth than it has maybe been given credit for.

Rather than simply being grateful to be there - which we absolutely are after a 23 year absence - the Tartan Army are starting to dream of just how far their heroes can go in the competition.

But this is Scotland, so don't count against Luxembourg bringing us all crashing back to earth this Sunday in the final warm-up match ahead of the opening group fixture against the Czech Republic on June 14.

Foraging beyond the group stages would set the current squad above any that have gone before them. Dalglish, Souness, McCoist - the greats of yesteryear never made it into the latter stages of a finals.

It's easier to do so now - the top two from each of the six sections qualify for the last 16 as well as the four best third-placed countries. More teams will go through than won't.

Also, in Scotland's favour, is that two of their group matches, against the Czechs and Croatia, will be played at Hampden. It won't be full - around 25% of capacity - but having fans cheering us on home soil is another reason to believe that progression is possible.

There is also the small matter of a trip to Wembley in between and the chance to avenge the 2-0 defeat at Euro 96. Beat England on their own patch and become legends, regardless of how far we go.

Be sure to pick up both the Saturday Scotsman and The Scotland on Sunday for two fantastic pull-outs previewing the Euros.

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