Scotland aim to repeat Hampden heroics
Scotland will face their toughest challenge of the Euro 2024 qualifiers when they take on Spain in Seville on Thursday night. The Scots are hoping to repeat their stunning 2-0 win over the Spaniards at Hampden in March, which put them on top of Group A with five wins from five games. That victory was a statement of intent from Steve Clarke’s side, who showed energy, commitment, discipline and no shortage of ability against the European giants.
Spain seek revenge and redemption
Spain, meanwhile, are seeking revenge and redemption after their shock defeat in Glasgow. The Spaniards have bounced back with impressive wins over Georgia and Cyprus, scoring 13 goals and conceding only one. They also won the Nations League title in the summer, beating Italy and Croatia in the finals. Spain have a formidable squad, with players like Alvaro Morata, Sergio Ramos, Thiago Alcantara and Pedri. They also have a rising star in Yamine Lamal, who became the youngest player and goalscorer in Euros history at 16 years and 57 days old.
Clarke faces selection dilemma
Clarke faces a selection dilemma ahead of the crucial clash, as he will be without one of his key players, Kieran Tierney. The Arsenal defender is injured and will miss the game, leaving a big gap in Scotland’s defence. Clarke has said that he has solutions in his flexibility and within his squad, but he will have to find the right balance between attack and defence. He may opt for a back three of Scott McTominay, Grant Hanley and Jack Hendry, or he may bring in Liam Cooper or Andrew Robertson to fill in for Tierney.
Scotland’s strengths and weaknesses
Scotland’s strengths lie in their teamwork, spirit and resilience. They have shown that they can handle tough opposition away from home, as they did in their comeback win over Norway last month. They also have some quality players in their ranks, such as John McGinn, Billy Gilmour, Che Adams and Ryan Fraser. Scotland’s weaknesses are their lack of depth, experience and consistency. They have struggled to score goals at times, and they have also conceded some cheap ones. They will need to be at their best to avoid mistakes and exploit any chances against Spain.
Spain’s strengths and weaknesses
Spain’s strengths are their technical ability, creativity and depth. They have a wealth of talent in every position, and they can play different styles and formations. They are also confident and motivated after their recent successes. Spain’s weaknesses are their overconfidence, complacency and pressure. They may underestimate Scotland or take them lightly, as they did in March. They may also feel the burden of expectation from their fans and media, who demand nothing less than a win.
What to expect from the game
The game is expected to be a thrilling encounter between two teams with contrasting styles and objectives. Spain will dominate possession and try to break down Scotland’s defence with their passing and movement. Scotland will defend deep and compactly, and try to hit Spain on the counter-attack or from set-pieces. The game could be decided by individual brilliance, defensive errors or refereeing decisions. The stakes are high for both sides, as a win for Scotland would secure their qualification for Euro 2024, while a win for Spain would put them back in contention for the top spot.
How to watch the game
The game will kick off at 8:45 pm local time (7:45 pm UK time) at Estadio La Cartuja in Seville. The game will be broadcast live on Sky Sports Main Event and Sky Sports Football in the UK, and on TVE La 1 and Movistar+ in Spain. The game will also be available to stream online on Sky Go or NOW TV in the UK, and on RTVE.es or Movistar+ Lite in Spain.