The Scotland v Croatia record which should encourage fans ahead of crucial Euro 2020 clash
Scotland will play one of their biggest games in many a year when they face Croatia at Hampden Park on Tuesday evening.
Depending on results elsewhere in the tournament, a win could secure passage to the Euro 2020 knockout stages.
No one in the Scotland camp will need reminding that no team in the history of the country’s men’s team has achieved such a feat.
Both teams are on one point heading into the encounter.
On paper Croatia are the favourites. They reached the 2018 World Cup final, are favourites with the bookies and sit 14th in the Fifa world rankings, compared to Scotland who are 44th.
Steve Clarke’s side should, however, draw encouragement from the country’s record against Croatia.
Tuesday’s fixture will be the sixth time the sides have met and Scotland are unbeaten in the previous five.
The countries met in qualification for the 2002 World Cup. While Craig Brown’s men didn’t lose either match, the two draws with Croatia proved costly as they finished third in the group behind their opponents and Belgium.
Croatia’s side was hugely impressive and featured the likes of Robert Prosinecki, Alen Boksic, Robert Jarni and Dario Simic.
The countries also drew a friendly in 2008 prior to being paired together in qualifying for the 2014 World Cup.
In a group which contained Belgium, Croatia, Serbia, Wales and Macedonia, Scotland finished fourth, winning just three times. Two of those wins came against Tuesday night’s opponents.
Robert Snodgrass scored the only goal in a 1-0 win in Zagreb before he was on the scoresheet again at Hampden Park in a 2-0 victory. Steven Naismith scored the other goal in a game which saw Croatia line up with Darijo Srna, Niko Kranjcar, Luka Modric and Mario Mandzukic.
A repeat result of the last time the team’s met would be huge in Scotland’s chances of qualifying.
It would ensure a third-place finish and put them ahead of Switzerland in the ranking of third-placed teams.
Today, Scotland are looking out for the following fixtures with regards to having an impact on their qualification hopes: Austria v Ukraine and Finland v Belgium.