Who will Scotland play next at Euro 2020? Possible last-16 opponents

·3 min read
 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Scotland are hoping to secure qualification for the knockout stages of Euro 2020 when they face Croatia at Hampden Park on Tuesday night.

The Tartan Army secured a draw with England at Wembley Stadium on Friday night to keep their hopes of reaching the last-16 alive.

The result leaves them bottom of Group D but a win over the 2018 World Cup finalists – who lost to England in their opener before drawing with the Czech Republic – will send Scotland through as runners-up or one of the best third-placed teams.

With 24 teams at the tournament, the process of determining the final 16 teams for the knockouts is slightly more complicated than usual. At a World Cup, where there are 32 teams, the equation is simple with the top from each of the eight groups going through.

At the Euros, the winners and runners-up in each of the six groups automatically qualify for the next round. The four best third-placed teams then also advance. The tie-breaker between teams on the same points is head-to-head record followed by goal difference and goals scored between the teams in question followed by overall goal difference, goals scored, wins and disciplinary record.

So…

If Scotland finish as Group D runners-up

This scenario will occur if the Scots defeat Croatia, Czech Republic beat England and Scotland’s goal difference ends up better than the Three Lions. Scotland’s goal difference is currently -2 while England’s is +1.

If Scotland finish in second in Group D, they will play the team that finishes second in Group E at Parken Stadium in Copenhagen at 6pm BST on Monday 28 June.

All four teams in Group E could still finish as runners-up with Spain drawing 1-1 with Poland after Sweden defeated Slovakia.

The Swedes top the group with four points from two games, while Slovakia are second with three. Spain are third with two points and Poland are bottom with a single point.

If Spain defeat Slovakia while Sweden win against Poland, Scotland will face Luis Enrique’s side in the last-16. However, if Poland defeat Sweden and Slovakia draw with La Roja, the Tartan Army could face any one of them depending on goal difference with Spain crashing out.

If Poland beat Sweden by two or more goals while Spain draw with Slovakia, Scotland will face Slovakia in the last-16. If Slovakia defeat Spain and Sweden draw against Poland, Scotland would take on Sweden in the next round – but if Sweden and Slovakia both win, Steve Clarke’s side will be drawn against Slovakia.

If Scotland finish third in Group D

This scenario will happen if Scotland defeat Croatia and the match between England and the Czech Republic ends in a draw.

The Scots will finish third if they cannot better England’s goal difference. The Czechs own the head-to-head advantage over the Scots so cannot finish below them.

If Scotland end the group stage as one of the four best third-placed finishers, more routes through the knockout stages open up depending on who goes through and which groups end with three qualifiers.

One would see Scotland play Group C winners Netherlands in Budapest at 5pm on Sunday 27 June.

Another option could see Scotland travel to Seville to face the winners of Group B at 8pm on Sunday 27 June. With one game remaining, Belgium need to avoid defeat against tournament debutants Finland to top the group.

The final scenario would pit Scotland against the winners of Group E in Glasgow on Tuesday 29 June at 8pm. Ahead of the final round of games, Sweden are top of Group E but Spain, Poland and Slovakia can all theoretically emerge as winners.

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