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Will Scotland shock Germany in the opening day on Friday? Can Steve Clarke’s side go one step further and book a spot in the knock out stages? We ask the PLZ Soccer pundits:


PETER MARTIN: I think four points will be enough to get us through but it might take a nerve shredding nil-nil draw against Hungary in the last game to get us there.

Our problem is scoring goals and I always think we need two in a game to have a chance. Our backline at times is so fragile because certain players are not playing in their natural positions.

However, that said, we have a really good manager who doesn’t over complicate the message. Steve Clarke will have us organised and the key to our progression to the next round could be the goals from our midfield.


ALISON MCCONNELL: Not the easiest of tasks to go where no Scotland team has gone before and get out of the group but there is a confidence that Steve Clarke’s side could do that.

Germany, of course, is the daunting opener with the performance on Friday night setting a tone for what will follow. Hungary and Switzerland may not carry the same prestige as Germany but they will still be awkward and very capable opponents. Still,  both have to be seen as games where Scotland can take points.

There is a suspicion that four points – and potentially three – could be enough to take Scotland into new territory.

Goals and where they come from is the big question for Scotland and it goes without saying that there will need to be a clinical element to performances for genuine optimism to take root. In that respect, the middle of the park will also be looked upon to chip in, just as they did in the journey of getting Scotland to the tournament.


HUGH MACDONALD: The one consolation of the arithmetic of the Euros is that only eight teams of the 24 go out at the group stages.

Third place will thus have a good chance of progressing. If this appears a downbeat starting point, then it is merely a reflection of the scale of the task facing Scotland.

Germany look to be approaching some sort of efficiency, Hungary had an impressive qualifying campaign under Marco Rossi, and Switzerland regularly peak for tournaments and have such as Manuel Akanji, Fabian Schar, Granit Xhaka and Xherdan Shaquiri at their command.

My take is that three points might be enough to get through. Hungary may be the best hunting ground for this haul. Scotland to squeak through.



The first game is a match we can play in with very little pressure. Of course pressure will come from within the Scotland camp to get a result against the hosts Germany, but outside of that not many expect us to get anything.

The first 20 minutes are vital. If we can be level after that then the Germans may get nervy. Keeping possession in all three games will be hugely important to play our way up the pitch so it will be fascinating to see who he plays. Prediction is unfortunately a narrow defeat in this game 2-1.

The Swiss in Cologne then becomes a must not lose game and I believe we are good enough to get a point against a handy Switzerland team who always seem to be a major tournaments.

I’m sure the Ally McCoist winner against them at Euro 96 will be played to the boys before the game to stir good thoughts and lets hope we have someone who can become a hero like Ally 28 years ago. Prediction 1-1.

Then comes the big one for me. Hungary in Stuttgart. I firmly believe four points will get you through in this group and both teams will need a win to make it.

Hungary have produced some stunning results in recent years, none more than a 4-0 hammering of England away, so they are clearly a very good side.

They are also a big powerful team at set pieces which could be an issue as we are not the biggest of sides. This could be very open as both teams might need to win and I’m not sure that suits us.

My heart is saying 2-1 Scotland but my head is saying 2-2. I will go with my heart and say we win 2-1 and with 4 points to qualify for the knock out stages for the first time ever.