June 14, 2024


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Who could England face in Euro 2020 last 16? What do Scotland need to qualify?

Steve Clarke's Scotland need to win while England and Gareth Southgate are through to the last 16
Steve Clarke’s Scotland need to win while England and Gareth Southgate are through to the last 16
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England have secured a spot in the last 16 of Euro 2020, while fellow Group D side Scotland are hoping to reach the knockout stages of a major tournament for the first time.

Finland’s defeat by Belgium in Group B means England are guaranteed to qualify whatever the outcome of their match against the Czech Republic on Tuesday at 20:00 BST – at worst as one of the four best third-placed sides.

Scotland head into their final Group D match with their Euro 2020 fate in their own hands.

Nothing but a win will do for Scotland, however, as they welcome Croatia to Hampden Park at the same time.

Here is how Group D stands – and who might be next for those who go through.

How things stand and who needs what?

Group D
The Czech Republic lead Group D from England on goal difference, with both sides three points ahead of Scotland and Croatia

Scotland’s 0-0 draw at Wembley came after a 2-0 defeat by the Czech Republic, with England having begun their campaign with a 1-0 win over Croatia.

England and the Czech Republic are into the last 16, with their four points now enough to qualify as one of the four best third-placed finishers.

But the Czech Republic, who drew 1-1 with Croatia, top the group on goal difference and will hold on to that spot if they avoid defeat against Gareth Southgate’s side.

Scotland need to win – and if they do, will finish either second or third, depending on the outcome of the other game.

Steve Clarke’s side cannot overtake the Czech Republic whatever happens. They best they can do is finish level on points, but the Czechs would still be ahead of Scotland thanks to a better head-to-head record.

And Scotland will not be able to overtake England either if Southgate’s side avoid defeat against the Czechs.

But should the Czech Republic win, then Scotland will leapfrog the Three Lions into second if they can better their goal difference.

Both sides will have home advantage in their final games, with England at Wembley in front of 22,500 fans and Scotland playing at Hampden Park with 12,000 present.

Who awaits in the knockouts?

There’s been plenty of talk about the supposed benefits of finishing second in this group. That’s because if England win the group, they will face the runner-up in Group F – seen as the strongest in the tournament – at Wembley on Tuesday, 29 June in a 17:00 kick-off.

At the moment, that would be Germany, but it could also be world champions France or holders Portugal, who meet on Wednesday.

If England or Scotland finish in second they will meet the runners-up from Group E in Copenhagen next Monday (17:00).

Currently occupying that spot are Slovakia, but they face Spain on the final day and group leaders Sweden play Poland, with any of the four able to finish second.

If either of the home nations finish as one of the best third-placed teams, they could end up playing in any of three different European cities.

Depending on who else progresses, they will either meet the Netherlands in Budapest on Sunday (17:00), Group B winners Belgium in Seville later that day (20:00) or the winner of Group E – Sweden, Slovakia, Spain or Poland – in Glasgow a week on Tuesday (20:00).

What about the fans?

At the potential venues awaiting England and Scotland in the knockout stages, Uefa has announced the following crowd limits:

  • Wembley, London – 40,000 fans, around 50% capacity
  • Parken Stadium, Copenhagen – 25,000 fans, around 65%
  • Puskas Arena, Budapest – 61,000 fans, 100% capacity
  • Estadio de le Cartuja, Seville – 20,000 fans, 30%
  • Hampden Park, Glasgow – 12,000 fans, around 25%

‘Chance to be a national hero’ – what have the sides said?

Gareth Southgate and Steve Clarke

Scotland boss Steve Clarke: “Obviously training was a little bit disrupted [following Billy Gilmour’s positive Covid-19 test] but the bulk of the work has been done over the pre-camp and the training days earlier in the tournament.

“You saw for yourself the team know exactly what they are doing when they get on the pitch. The team has been organised, they know what they have to do, and that will stand us in good stead.

“The only spanner it throws into the works is that Billy would have started the game and now he won’t, so it’s a chance for someone else to come into the team and make themselves a national hero.”

England coach Gareth Southgate: “There will be teams who win all three of their group matches but there will only be a few of those.

“The objective is to qualify. Most of them now know how unique a game England v Scotland is. Until you play or are involved in one you don’t realise how unique it is.

“They have come through that. It wasn’t quite as good a performance with the ball as we hoped. We still had 60% of the possession and we were in control for the majority of it.”

What are the big decisions?

Scotland have yet to score at Euro 2020, while England have found the net once, so the conundrum for both is how they can get more out of their attack.

For Southgate and England, that means getting the best out of captain Harry Kane, who has been a peripheral figure and was substituted in both games, or finding a different solution in attack.

That might also mean looking to Jack Grealish and Marcus Rashford, who have appeared from the bench, or giving Jadon Sancho and Dominic Calvert-Lewin their first minutes of the tournament.

England are yet to concede, but have a wealth of options at full-back and centre-back Harry Maguire has declared himself fit.

Scotland looked solid against England and reduced the hosts to just one shot on target.

Forward Che Adams went close at Wembley and wing-backs Andrew Robertson and Stephen O’Donnell were a threat, but Scotland will definitely be eliminated unless they find a way to score against Croatia.

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