Euro 2020: Who Scotland can face in the knockout stages and where - IF they beat Croatia at Hampden
Scotland are on the cusp of history at Hampden Park this evening.
Not that anyone needs reminding but all Steve Clarke's men have to do is beat Croatia, who they have a good record against, and they will reach the knockout stages of an international tournament for the first time.
Those fans who are allowing themselves to look forward and dream about the endless – well a few – possibilities have been poring over the permutations as to who Scotland could face in the last-16 of Euro 2020.
So, with that in mind, if the national team were to defeat Croatia, no matter the score, what lies in store?
This outcome involves Scotland finishing second in the group behind Czech Republic.
For that to happen, Clarke’s side would have to beat Croatia 2-0 and hope England lose at home to the already qualified Czechs.
It would result in a game against the runners-up of Group E. We won’t discover the identity of that team until Wednesday at just before 7pm.
Slovakia face Spain and Poland meet Sweden. You would expect Spain to beat Slovakia so then it depends on the outcome of Sweden and Poland in St Petersburg.
The Netherlands in Budapest – Sunday, June 27, 5pm
There are three possible combinations which could see Scotland face the Dutch in Hungary on Sunday.
It would require the following to happen in one or both the groups:
Spain to beat Slovakia by three clear goals and Sweden to defeat or draw with Poland.
France to beat Portugal by four clear goals or Hungary thump Germany by four clear goals.
Sweden/Slovakia/Spain in Glasgow – Tuesday, June 29, 8pm
This is the most likely scenario if three points are won at Hampden Park tonight.
Yes, that’s right. Scotland would be back at Mount Florida a week today to face the winners of Group E.
Again, the opponents wouldn’t be known until Wednesday evening but Poland can be ruled out as they are unable to finish top of their group due to their head to head record with Slovakia.
The reason one of these three teams is the most likely scenario is because the teams who have finished third in Groups B and C – Finland and Ukraine – are the two who are most likely to miss out having finished on three points and with a minus goal difference, unless one of the outcomes in option 2 come to fruition.
What about the quarter-finals?
Do we dare look that far ahead? Why the bloody hell not!
If Scotland finish second then go on to win their game in Copenhagen they would meet the winners of a tie involving – in all likelihood – Germany / France v Switzerland.
Success against the Netherlands in Budapest after finishing third would see Scotland travel to Baku to face the winners of Wales v Denmark.
But if it was the Hampden Park clash with Spain, Slovakia or Sweden. A win there would mean a Rome meeting with – in all likelihood – the winners of a tie involving England v Portugal / Germany / France.
The most important thing?
Scotland defeat Croatia tonight at Hampden Park.
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