From the second David Marshall’s big hand got them there, fans and players of Scotland men’s team have been unable to contain their excitement at being involved in the major tournament for the first time in 23-years.
Alongside Andy Robertson, the European Championship will host some of the world’s biggest names this summer, with the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Kylian Mbappe and Kevin De Bruyne all looking to lead their nations to glory and lift that famous trophy above their heads come July 11.
However, this summer’s tournament promises to be like no other – and not just because it’s the first for a generation of Scots.
For over a year, some of football biggest names have been performing nonstop in front of empty stadiums, with league titles, European campaigns and delayed domestic cup competitions becoming part of the ‘new normal’ football fans have become frustratingly used to.
Ultimately, it all means that Euro 2020 could come down to which sides will have the most left in the tank.
Squads have already been expanded to 26 instead of the usual 23, a nod to the fact teams could be stretched to the limit over the next five weeks.
With that in mind, we decided to look at Steve Clarke’s Scotland squad to see which players could feel the strain more than others over the next few weeks, and which players should still have plenty left in the tank.
All stats are provided by Betsson, who have assessed which team and players may not be on their strongest form for the competition based on how many appearances they’ve made, how many minutes they’ve played, the number of injuries they’ve suffered and as a result, the amount of games they have missed this season.
Which nations are likely to have the most fatigued squad at Euro 2020?
Tournament favourites France have played 1079 matches between them, which is more than any other group participating in the tournament and a huge 20% higher than the average amount of games played amongst teams (858).
In comparison, Finland have appeared in just 561 games, while playing a total amount of 41,893 minutes, making them most likely to be well rested ahead of Euro 2020.
The delayed the 2020/21 Premier League schedule, which was more congested than usual, resulted in 1.8 more games than expected.
Which Scotland players have played the most games this season?
Scotland captain Andy Robertson has played a mammoth 50 games this season, with the Liverpool full back playing more games than any other in Steve Clarke’s squad.
Despite a disappointing campaign for his club, Celtic captain Callum McGregor has been one of the first names of the team sheet and has featured 49 times this campaign, with Manchester United star Scott McTominay is next on the list, featuring in 48 games throughout the coronavirus hit campaign. McGregor’s Celtic team mate Ryan Christie and QPR’s Lyndon Dykes are next, both playing in 46 games across the campaign.
The good news for Scotland fans is qualifying stars John McGinn and David Marshall should all still be fresh, with the duo playing 37 and 33 games respectively.
Which Scotland players have been injured the most?
As previously mentioned, Scott McTominay has featured 48 times this season – unfortunately for Scotland fans, he’s also been on the treatment table four times this season. Is he likely to feel fatigue more than most this summer?
The likes of Kieran Tierney and Stuart Armstrong have also suffered with injury this term, with four injuries sustained throughout a gruelling campaign.
Ryan Fraser’s injury problems have been well documented, and he and fellow Premier League star Liam Cooper have visited the physio room three times this campaign.
John McGinn, Kevin Nisbet, David Marshall, Craig Gordon, Stephen O’Donnell and Lyndon Dykes have remained injury free throughout the season.
Who has played the least amount of minutes and should have the freshest legs?
Rangers duo Jon McLaughlin and Nathan Patterson have both played 14 games games each, as has Scotland wonder kid Billy Gilmour, meaning all three should be free of any fatigue – although Gilmour and Patterson have both missed minutes last season due to injury and or/suspension.
James Forrest is another who, due to injury at the beginning of the campaign, should be in good condition after getting some much needed minutes at the back end of the Scottish Premiership season. He has featured only 17 times this campaign, so should be fresh and ready to go.
Defensive duo Scott McKenna and Jack Hendry have both enjoyed injury free seasons, without playing a large amount of games – 31 and 30 appearances respectively – so should be free of any burnout.
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