Euro 2020, Scotland vs Czech Republic: Top 5 players to watch out for in SCO vs CZE: Group D underdogs Scotland and Czech Republic kick-off their Euro 2020 campaign at Hampden Park on Monday. Steve Clarke’s men are buoyed after ending Scotland’s 23-year wait to return to a major international tournament. However, their chances of progressing to the knockout stages hang on a knife’s edge.
Since favourites England and Croatia go head-to-head in the Group D opener, Scotland will sense an opportunity to capitalize on at least one, or maybe even both, of them dropping points. If they are to do so, then they must get the better of Czech Republic, who have historically impressed in this tournament.
Jaroslav Silhavy’s troops bounced back from the 4-0 drubbing at the hands of Italy with a 3-1 win over Armenia in the final warm-up friendly. Considering they have more experience at this level than Scotland, the Czechs will feel that failure to win could be considered a disappointment.
Ahead of the meeting between the two sides, we profile the top five players to watch out for in Glasgow on Monday.
Euro 2020, Scotland vs Czech Republic: Top 5 players to watch out for in SCO vs CZE:
Euro 2020, Scotland vs Czech Republic: Key Player 1
Andy Robertson (Scotland)
The Scotland captain has been in great spirits ahead of leading his nation at the Euros this summer. In a bid to cherish the remarkable achievement, Robertson surprised his teammates with personalized gift boxes.
While the gesture has gone down incredibly well with his teammates, everyone in the Scotland camp knows they must try and focus on matters on the pitch now. Robertson has been an exceptional leader on and off the pitch and he will be expecting to do the same again on Monday.
The fact that Hampden Park will welcome back fans to celebrate Scotland’s special moment can be the cherry on top, if Robertson and company come up with the recipe for a perfect result.
Euro 2020, Scotland vs Czech Republic: Key Player 2
Tomas Soucek (Czech Republic)
Since converting his loan move from Slavia Prague to a permanent deal at West Ham, Soucek has been nothing short of a revelation. The midfielder played every single minute of the Hammers’ league campaign as they exceeded expectations and finished sixth in the table to secure a Europa League berth.
Despite being a defensive midfielder by trade, Soucek netted 10 goals in England’s top-flight last term. Understandably, the 26-year-old is a key figure for Czech Republic and will be hoping to replicate his form at the Euros as well.
Soucek can be a real threat from set-pieces as well and could bully Scotland if he is given the luxury of settling down quickly.
Euro 2020, Scotland vs Czech Republic: Key Player 3
Scott McTominay (Scotland)
The Manchester United midfielder will have to provide balance in midfield for Scotland. Steve Clarke could use him right in the heart of a 3-5-2 system, and with the likes of John McGinn and Callum McGregor on either side, McTominay will almost definitely have to play the anchor in midfield.
As such, the 24-year-old has to be at the peak of his powers if Scotland are to get a firm grip on the game.
Euro 2020, Scotland vs Czech Republic: Key Player 4
Vladimir Coufal (Czech Republic)
Just like Soucek, the 28-year-old full-back has also been a sensational signing at West Ham since making the switch to England from Slavia Prague.
Coufal will be deployed at right-back and could be put under pressure from Robertson, who loves to get forward from the wing-back position. Czech Republic will know the threat could come from the flanks and Coufal will be keen to snuff out such troubles.
Euro 2020, Scotland vs Czech Republic: Key Player 5
John McGinn (Scotland)
The Aston Villa midfielder rediscovered his best form last season. McGinn netted three goals and registered six assists in the Premier League last term as he helped Villa finish eleventh.
On Monday, McGinn will look to push forward from midfield and make an impact inside the final third for Scotland. With a keen eye for goal and pass, he could be a menace for Czech Republic.