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Euro 2020: Clarke Insists Scotland Not Under Pressure Ahead Czech Republic Clash

Euro 2020: Clarke Insists Scotland Not Under Pressure Ahead Czech Republic Clash

Ahead of today’s Euro 2020 encounter against the Czech Republic at Hampden Park on Monday, Scotland manager, Steve Clarke wants his players to balance the excitement without letting the pressure of the occasion get to them.

Steve Clarke’s side are at their first tournament since the 1998 World Cup, having overcome Serbia in a thrilling playoff penalty shootout.

With a massive grudge match against England coming up in their second fixture at Wembley, Clarke’s men will be desperate to get off to a good start in front of a home crowd.

Scotland have failed to progress past the group stage in their two previous participations in the European Championship, but Clarke has put together a squad capable of challenging for a spot in the round of 16.

“I think when you qualify for the first time in 23 years you probably feel a little bit less pressure,” said Clarke.

“We’ve done well to be in the tournament, we’re looking forward to it, we’re going to give our best in every single game and try and make the next step to the knockout stages which would be a first for the men’s national team.

Read Also: Mourinho Backs England To Win Euro 2020 After Win Vs Croatia

“I think the Tartan Army can get overexcited for us. We have to be excited, but we have to keep an emotional control so that when we get to the match we perform to our full potential and I feel we can do that.”

On the other hand, Czech Republic, though, will also certainly have their eyes on a position in the knockout round of the competition and will view Monday’s clash with Scotland as key to their chances of progression.

Jaroslav Silhavy’s side suffered a 4-0 defeat to Italy in their first pre-tournament friendly on June 4 but managed to return to winning ways on June 8 courtesy of a 3-1 success over Albania.

It is difficult to know exactly what to expect from the Czechs this summer, as they can be inconsistent, but a draw with Belgium in a 2022 World Cup qualifier back in March was an indication of their credentials.

Key Stats

Monday’s encounter will be the 10th meeting between Scotland and Czech Republic. In the nine previous clashes, the two sides have won four games each, with the remaining game ending in a 2-2 draw.

Scotland’s record at Hampden Park is W135 D63 L60. They are unbeaten in their last six games there (W4 D2), since a 4-0 Euro qualifying loss to Belgium on 9 September 2019 that was their fifth defeat in eight matches at the ground (W3).

The Czech Republic/Czechoslovakia have played six previous games at Hampden Park (D1 L5). A 2-2 draw away to Scotland in September 2011 is the only time they have avoided defeat.

Possible Lineup

Scotland: Marshall; Hendry, Hanley, Tierney; O’Donnell, McTominay, McGregor, McGinn, Robertson; Dykes, Adams

Czech: Vaclik; Coufal, Celustka, Kalas, Boril; Soucek, Kral; Masopust, Darida, Jankto; Schick

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