Euro 2020 is reaching the business end of the group stages with all of the teams playing their crucial third game in the coming few days. With the top two from each group guaranteed a place in the last 16 – and with a further four third place spots up for grabs – there's all to play for most teams, even if they've not had the smoothest of opening games.
And despite losing their opening game against the Czech Republic, Steve Clarke's men are still in contention after a strong performance at Wembley on Friday night earned them a point from a 0-0 draw with England.
If they can beat Croatia in the next of their Euro 2020 fixtures at Hampden Park they will be playing in the knockout stages of a major tournament for the first time. This is because they would have four points and two of the completed groups have third placed teams with only three points.
With all four teams from Group D playing tonight, it's likely England and the Czech Republic will be battling it out to win the group, while Scotland and Croatia will play for qualification – although swings in goal difference could see this change.
For example, if Czech Republic were to beat the England 2-0 and Scotland were to beat Croatia 2-0, the four goal swing in goal difference would see Scotland qualify in second place in the group ahead of England (a larger swing in goal difference could see the Czech Republic overtaken too). Stranger things have happened in football, so it's going to be a tense 90 minutes for all involved. It's also possible that a slimmer victory for Scotland and results going differently elsewhere would put them through in third place in the group.
But if the Scottish national team can make it through into the knockout stages for the first time, who might they play and when?
Who could Scotland play in the Euro 2020 knockouts?
Who Scotland might play in the knockout stages of the tournament is dependent on the factors we have already discussed – mainly do they qualify as second place in the group or as one of the four best third placed teams in Euro 2020.
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With some of the other groups also still yet to be finalised, this leaves a number of variables and permutations, so here we go.
Finishing in second place in Group D will set up a last 16 match against the runner-up of Group E which is home to Spain, Sweden, Poland and Slovakia. With a game left to play in group E, any of the four sides could still finish second in the group. Sweden are leading the pack ahead of Slovakia right now, with Spain drawing their first two matches. Spain would be the team that everyone would want to avoid – but there would be no easy games in the last 16 for Scotland.
Finishing in third place in Group D becomes even more complicated as we don't yet know which third placed teams will go through yet. We know that Group D third place will play either winner of Group B, which we now know is Belgium, the Group C winner, which is the Netherlands, or they will play the winner of Group E which is yet to be decided. This could still be Sweden, Slovakia or Spain.
Finishing in fourth place in Group D would see them eliminated from the competition.
What dates could the Scotland knockout games be?
Here are the dates to make sure you're free, just in case Scotland end up playing one of them:
- Monday June 28th, 5pm in Copenhagen (if they finish second in Group D)
- Sunday June 27th, 5pm in Budapest/Sunday June 27th, 8pm in Seville/Tuesday June 29th, 8pm in Glasgow (if they finish third and make it through in Group D)
What dates could Scotland play if they make it through the knockouts?
As for after that, the dates Scotland could end up playing in the quarter-finals are:
- Friday July 2nd, 5pm in St Petersburg (if they finish second in Group D and win round of 16 game)
- Friday July 2nd, 8pm in Munich/Saturday, July 3rd, 5pm in Baku/Saturday July 3rd, 8pm in Rome (if they finish third, make it through Group D and win round of 16 game)
If Scotland make it through the quarter-finals, here are their semi-final options:
- Tuesday, July 6th, 8pm in London
- Wednesday, July 7th, 8pm in London
The Euro 2020 final takes place on Sunday July 11th at 8pm in London
That's a lot of dates to put in the diary but the most optimistic of Scotland fans will already be planning ahead.
If you're wondering who will win Euro 2020, check out our analysis and key predictions for how the tournament will pan out.
Want more Euro 2020 content? We’ve got you covered – read on to find out every Euros winner throughout the history of the tournament, how many fans are attending Euro 2020 games this year, how VAR is being used at Euro 2020, if you can still get tickets to Euro 2020, or why Euro 2020 is not called Euro 2021.
For the full breakdown of what games are coming up check out our Euro 2020 fixtures on TV guide.