“YOU just can’t write scripts like this,” football pundits like to say.

Most playwrights would probably have something to say about that, but there’s a case to be made that Scotland’s Euro 2020 journey would be rejected as too far-fetched.

The team qualified in the most dramatic of circumstances in Belgrade last November and headed into the tournament – delayed for a year by a global pandemic – buoyed by a sense of cautious optimism.

That was shattered by two stunning Patrick Schick goals at Hampden, leaving the side with an uphill battle to qualify.

Yet the team defied the odds to secure a point at Wembley, setting up a straight shoot-out with Croatia at Hampden to qualify.

As if that wasn’t nerve-shredding enough, the team’s new star, the Ardrossan Iniesta, has been ruled out after testing positive for Covid-19.

Billy Gilmour, man of the match at Wembley, will now self-isolate for 10 days.

READ MORE: Billy Gilmour ruled out of Scotland v Croatia after testing positive for Covid

But there’s still a huge game to be played, with qualification for the knock-outs on the line. This is everything you need to know.

When is it?

Scotland versus Croatia kicks-off at 8pm on Tuesday, June 22 at 8pm.

Where can I watch it?

The match will be shown on STV and STV Player in Scotland, and ITV1 in other parts of the UK. Coverage starts at 7pm.

What’s on the line?

Both teams have one point from two games. That means both teams will need to win to go through.

Results from other groups mean a win is guaranteed to take the victor through to the next round. 

Scotland could also finish second if they win and the Czech Republic beat England at Wembley, provided there is a significant swing in goal difference.

Team news

Scotland had no injury concerns coming into the game, though Gilmour’s absence due to a positive Covid-19 test has dealt the squad a major blow. He will have to self-isolate for 10 days. His tournament is over unless Scotland make it to the quarter-finals. No other players have been identified as close contacts and the rest of the squad have trained as normal.

John McGinn and Stephen O'Donnell will be suspended if they are booked and their side reaches the knock-outs.

For Croatia, holding midfielder Marcelo Brozovic was dropped for the team’s 1-1 draw with the Czech Republic but manager Zlatko Dalic has confirmed he will return to the starting line-up for the group decider. Bruno Petkovic and Nikola Vlasic are in contention to start after the former impressed against the Czechs and the latter recovers from an injury.

Brozovic, Caleta-Car, Kovacic and Lovren are all under threat of suspension.


Scotland seemed set to name an unchanged line-up until Gilmour’s positive test. That could prompt a reshuffle at the back with Scott McTominay stepping into midfield. Alternatively, John McGinn could drop back from his advanced position into a deeper role, with Stuart Armstrong the likeliest to step into midfield. Dykes and Adams will be hoping to bag the team’s first goals of the tournament.

Marshall; O’Donnell, McTominay, Hanley, Tierney, Robertson; McGregor, McGinn, Armstrong; Dykes, Adams For the Croats, questions remain over the misfiring forward line, with Ante Rebic expected to start from the bench.

Livakovic; Vrsaljko, Vida, Lovren, Barisic; Brozovic, Kovacic; Vlasic, Modric, Perisic; Petkovic

Head-to-head record

The two teams have faced each other five times since 2000, with Scotland remaining unbeaten. The first three games ended in draws before Scotland prevailed home and away in World Cup qualifiers in 2013.


The games between the sides have all been tight, with no more than two goals scored in any of the clashes. Expect plenty of nerves, and hope for a Scotland win.