Germany v Scotland: who will be left thunderstruck in Euros opener?

<span><a class="link " href="" data-i13n="sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link" data-ylk="slk:Germany;sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link;itc:0">Germany</a>. Scotland. It’s on!</span><span>Photograph: Simon Stacpoole/Offside/Getty Images</span>
Germany. Scotland. It’s on!Photograph: Simon Stacpoole/Offside/Getty Images


Write off the Germans. They say you should never do it, but we just have because today Euro 2024 Daily is channeling its inner William Wallace and is – for one day only – happy to do so. In the run-up to Friday’s eagerly awaited curtain-raiser between the hosts and Steve Clarke’s travelling Tartan Army, you find us buzzing on Buckie and basking in the sense of enormous wellbeing generated by the sight and screeching sounds of that bevvied-up pipe and drum band who went viral courtesy of their march on Munich’s Marienplatz from Odeonsplatz on Thursday. OK, so they may not have been as viewed as often as that tired and emotional lone bagpiper who went bahoochie-over-brogues off the edge of a München restaurant booth without so much as missing a note as he crashed down, but if the team can maintain similar composure in the face of extreme adversity, who’s to say they won’t get a result?

The omens are good. Or bad, depending on your point of view. In the 11 major tournaments they have – and Euro 2024 Daily uses this term advisedly – contested, Scotland have won just three times. One of those came against the footballing stronghold of New Zealand, while the others were at the expense of Yugoslavia and Zaire, two nations of whom our younger reader may genuinely never have heard. Scotland have also failed to win any of their opening games in any of their last six tournaments, while the most recent Scottish international to score a goal at a major competition on foreign soil is Craig Burley, who is aged 52. What’s more, in five competitive matches against Germany, Scotland have never won once, so while a pessimist might point out that both history and the odds are stacked against them, someone who views their glass of Irn-Bru as being more half-full would argue that their time has finally come.

In what is ostensibly a free hit for Clarke’s side before far easier – but still difficult – assignments to come, any kind of positive result would provide a rock-solid platform from which Scotland could subsequently catapult themselves into the knockout stages of a major tournament for the first time in their history. “We want to make history,” roared Andy Robertson, who will lead his side into battle. “We have so many incentives here, but becoming a legendary squad is the biggest. That’s what has to drive us forward. The thought of being the first Scotland team to make a knockout round is our driving force. If we manage that? You just never know.”

Well, you have a pretty good idea, but now is not the time to dwell on negatives, not least when everybody’s favourite fitba pundit, Ally McCoist, is brimful of optimism after getting his monster riffola on in the mosh pit of AC/DC’s gig at Munich’s Olympiastadion on Tuesday night. “The Germany game is a great game for us because it’s the opening game,” he tooted on TalkSport. “Germany have obviously had a bit of form and 100% they’ll be deservedly favourites – but it’s a good game for us to open with.” Top of the bill alongside Germany for Friday’s showdown at the Allianz Arena [Munich Football Arena, actually – Uefa Lawyers], a win for Scotland would give them the momentum of a Rock N Roll Train and guarantee that their boisterous and good-humoured travelling fans shake the Bavarian capital all night long.


Join Niall McVeigh from 6pm for hot coverage of the Euro 2024 opening ceremony, followed by minute-by-minute updates from Germany 0-0 Scotland.


“It started as a joke – hang a ball sprayed with text in a tree. The neighbours liked it, we liked it and now every two years we’re up in the scaffolding and cherry pickers to decorate the street” – Danny van Dijk, one of the driving forces behind decorations in the Marktweg, one of several roads in the Netherlands that gets an oranje facelift during Euros and World Cups, with a whopping 40 miles of bunting on display.


Watching from the other side of the Atlantic, I am always fascinated how England enter every major tournament with an enthusiastic: ‘It’s coming home!’ Even though it is quite clear that football has read Thomas Wolfe and knows that it can’t go home again” – Pat Condreay.

I don’t understand why Steve Malone is down about Wales failing to qualify for the Euros (yesterday’s Football Daily letters). I was quite persuaded by your analysis that none of the participants will hoist the trophy. So, a la Denmark in 1992, wouldn’t the organisers look to the last eliminated, non-qualifying nation to step up? Yup, Wales to win by default (maybe jointly with fellow playoff losers Iceland and Greece). Be proud, lads” – Mike Wilner.

I’m guessing Djinkin’ Djibril Cissé couldn’t bag himself any punditry work for the Euros. This would explain why he’s doing a DJ set at a trendy nightspot near me in Poitiers on the night of the first round-of-16 fixtures” – Ian France.

So the animal prediction business has started already – an orangutan struggling to definitively choose between Germany and Scotland (yesterday’s News, Bits and Bobs, full email edition). The trouble with these things is that the choices are too limited: rather than just two bowls of food or whatever, there should be 24, weighted according to the probability of success. So France, at betting odds of 4-1, get a quarter-size bowl, while Albania at 500-1 get, er, one 500th of a bowl. Unfortunately that will make some bowls rather too small to see; we’ll need something with good eyesight – say, an osprey, or a bald eagle? The orangutan can be shifted on to UK general election duties, which looks somewhat easier to predict” – Charles Antaki.

Send letters to Today’s letter o’ the day winner is … Charles Antaki, who wins our final copy of Euro 88: The Football Purists’ European Championship, by Pitch Publishing. Visit their bookshop here. Terms and conditions for our competitions can be viewed here.