Sport Scotland can be giant-killers at Euro 2020, says Clarke
Soccer-England given reality check by gutsy Scotland in stalemate
Soccer-England given reality check by gutsy Scotland in stalemateLONDON (Reuters) -England's ambitions to be crowned kings of Europe got a cold dose of reality as they were held to a 0-0 draw by a gutsy Scotland side in a Euro 2020 'Battle of Britain' on Friday.
Scotland manager Steve Clarke is aiming to restore the team's reputation as giant-killers as they prepare for their first match at a major tournament for 23 years.
The Scots, who used to be regulars on the global stage, qualified for the coronavirus-delayed Euro 2020 via the play-offs.
Now Clarke wants Scotland to punch above their weight by emulating famous results from their past against the likes of the Netherlands and Spain.
Scotland take on the Czech Republic on Monday before looking for their first victory over England since 1999, and then aim to defend their unbeaten record against 2018 World Cup runners-up Croatia.
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Clarke feels his squad, captained by Liverpool defender Andy Robertson, has what it takes to ruffle a few feathers during the tournament, which starts on Friday.
"We want to start doing what Scotland used to do many years ago, which is always have a result up our sleeve which would upset one of the big guns," he told Sky Sports News.
"Hopefully we can produce that in the tournament."
Scotland have won their past three meetings with the Czechs and Clarke feels a repeat result would put them in a good position to get out of the group stage for the first time.
"Obviously a win would be massive in the first game," he said. "Anybody I have ever spoken to who has been to a tournament and worked in a tournament is always quite strong on the fact that you shouldn't lose the first game.
"If you look historically at a lot of World Cup games and (European) Championship games, a lot of the matches are draws, because both teams realise the value maybe of getting something out of that first game.
"It might be cagey, I don't know. It might open up really quickly. But we will certainly be playing for the three points and I am sure the Czech Republic will be.
"And normally, in recent tournaments, three points can almost guarantee you a place in the last 16, so that would be a great start."
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© Pool via Reuters The opening ceremony of the Euro 2021 will take place in the Olympic Stadium of Rome. The euro starts this Friday night with the meeting between Italy and Turkey (21 hours). Just before, the traditional opening ceremony will take place in a "simplified" format, because of the coronavirus pandemic. two old Italian stars to launch the euro 2020.