Monday, June 17, 2024

Scotland are dark horses for Euro 2024, claims Nevin

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 6 Jun 2024


Pat Nevin believes Scotland can be considered as dark horses to triumph against the odds at Euro 2024.

Steve Clarke’s side welcome Finland to Hampden Park in a friendly this week before making the trip to Germany, where they will open the tournament against the hosts on June 14.

Scotland will be hopeful of earning a first triumph over their opponents since 1999, when Don Hutchison scored the only goal in a 1-0 friendly victory, but they have yet to beat the Germans in a major tournament.

The Scots, who will also face Switzerland and Hungary in Group A, have reached successive European Championship finals, making it to four overall, but they are yet to make it past the first round.

But that is something Nevin, who represented Scotland for a decade between 1986 and 1996, insists will not happen this time around.

“I think this is the best chance that Scotland have had for progression for generations, obviously, because we’ve not got there a lot of the time,” Nevin told Stats Perform.

“But this is a group that is a real possibility. The Hungarians and the Swiss are similar in quality to Scotland, so there’s not a great deal between us. If I had to push it, I think we’re better, player for player. Nothing would make me happier for Steve Clark, for the players, for the way the fans have got behind us, for us to get through to this next stage. I’m better than hopeful, I’m quietly confident.

“I’ve been asked who the dark horses are for the Euros quite a few times. And I honestly can think of only one team that is the obvious dark horses – it’s Scotland.

“I look around all the other teams and I think, no, people don’t rate Scotland that highly because you’re too busy looking at England and how brilliant a team they are.

“They have a lot of players that have played in the Premier League or are at the top level in Scotland. Add on top of that a manager who has developed something extra special. I honestly think it’s us, it’s Scotland this time.

“Anything can happen in the Euros and that’s one of the great things about it. Sometimes I wish the draws weren’t done before because we know who we’ll get if we’re first and second, and it’s going to be tough if we get through.

“Get the job done in hand first. The job in hand is to get out of the group. You know, it’s going to be a tough one after that.”


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