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Scotland make their return to the finals of a competition for the first time this century, since their elimination at the group stage of the 1998 World Cup and, better still, do so on home soil. The Group D encounter pits Steve Clarke's side against Czech Republic, a team they beat twice last autumn in the Nations League, 2-1 in Olomouc and 1-0 at Hampden by virtue of Ryan Fraser's goal.
When is Scotland vs Czech Republic?
The Euro 2020 game takes place on Monday, June 14 at Glasgow's Hampden Park.
What time is kick-off?
The match will start at 2pm BST.
What TV channel is it on?
Scotland vs Czech Republic will be broadcast on BBC 1, with BBC and ITV sharing the rights for the tournament.
See the full Euro 2020 TV channel schedule
What is the latest news?
By Roddy Forsyth
Andrew Robertson played the Scotland captain’s part this week by anticipating that his fellow squad members’ chances in Euro 2020 might be undermined by homesickness. The Liverpool defender duly spent his precious days off putting together a comfort package for each of his team mates to avert that hazard.
To explain, Steve Clarke’s plans for Scotland’s Euro preparations went awry from the start in one regard. It was proposed initially that the Scots would use their accustomed Oriam training base outside Edinburgh but, because they had to go through the play-off route to reach the finals, they could not confirm their booking until after the crucial penalty decider victory over Serbia in Belgrade in November.
Czech Republic, meanwhile, qualified directly from the same group as England and stole a march on Scotland by reserving the facilities at Oriam for themselves. Croatia were similarly smart off the mark and reserved the training areas at St Andrews University, leaving the Scots no option but to take themselves over the border into England, where they mustered on Wednesday evening at Rockliffe Hall, Darlington.
There, at the first Scottish senior men’s squad assembly for a finals since France 98, Robertson handed each player a package. “When we came here yesterday, Robbo gave us all a gift of a box with a lot of things in it and that made me realise that we were at the Euros and that it’s started now,” said Kevin Nisbet, the Hibs striker who scored his first international goal in the 2-2 draw against the Netherlands in Portugal last week.
“There were Apple watches, earphones, a shirt.”
“Oh, yes. Shortbread, Irn-Bru, a lot of stuff to do with Scotland. I think it was a great touch from him. It brings the squad together even closer. He’s a great guy, a great captain, and he's the one to take us forward.
“That’s credit to Robbo. He’s a great captain and a great leader and the best person to take us forward. Everyone was very appreciative. He has obviously gone out of his own way to do that. When you have got a skipper that does that, then 100 per cent you back them.”
The squad’s togetherness extended to a standing ovation for John Fleck, who had been forced to quarantine for days at the Scots’ warm weather training base in Spain, where he was confined to his room with only an exercise bike for company. “It’s great that Flecky is back,” said Nisbet.
“He had a tough time over in Spain and was in his room ever since, so he got a round of applause from the boys. He wanted to come in and start well and be in contention for a place and it was tough for him to test positive for Covid but he’s a strong character and he’ll bounce back. He was good today in training.”
The sense of an inclusive community has extended to the squad newcomers, Billy Gilmour, Nathan Patterson, David Turnbull and Nisbet himself. Asked if he had ever felt that he did not belong in this company, Nisbet said: “Not at all.
“This is a great group. They accepted me right away in my last camp in March. A goal helps. It helped me with my confidence and with the lads, but they’ve been brilliant with me since I came in.
“It’s done me the world of good. As a striker, you come in and want to score as quickly as possible to get noticed. Thankfully I did that and it was my second appearance for my country so I’m glad to get off the mark so quickly. It’s boosted my confidence and puts me in the gaffer’s head.”
Second-half goals from Lukas Masopust and Ondrej Celustka gave the Czech Republic a 3-1 win over a battling Albania side on Tuesday in their final Euro 2020 warm-up before taking on Scotland in their opening match.
Czech coach Jaroslav Silhavy made four changes to his side ahead of their Group D opener on Monday as the hosts rebounded from a 4-0 thrashing at the hands of Italy in their previous match.
Leverkusen forward Patrik Schick put the Czechs ahead in the 18th minute when he beat the Albanian keeper with a left-footed volley after connecting with a Masopust cross.
"The cross was key, it connected with my step nicely," Schick said, praising his team for sticking to their game plan.
"We had a plan, they defended quite closely... we stuck (to the plan), they had just one shot in the first half, hit it well," he said, referring to the visitors' equaliser.
Albania levelled in the 42nd minute through Konyaspor striker Sokol Cikalleshi's sublime long-range effort that gave Sevilla goalkeeper Tomas Vaclik no chance.
Slavia midfielder Masopust put the Czechs ahead in the 68th minute before Sparta centre back Celustka scored their third in the 89th.
The Czechs -- appearing in their seventh consecutive European Championship finals -- face a challenge to get out of a tough group that also includes England, Scotland and 2018 World Cup finalists Croatia. REUTERS
What have we said about Euro 2020?
What are the latest odds?
Scotland to win: 2/1
Czech Republic to win: 7/4
View the latest Euro 2020 betting offers
What's our prediction?
With two victories over the Czech Republic in the last nine months, Scotland have the form and ability to get their Group D campaign off to a positive start despite the strength of the Czech midfield and defence. Organisation, discipline and the buccaneering runs of the wing-backs can settle a tight game in their favour.
Predicted score: Scotland 1 Czech Republic 0