Former Scotland manager Alex McLeish is expecting a tough match in Thursday’s winner-takes-all play-off against Serbia Interestingly, if Scotland make it to Euro 2020, they will once again be placed into a group with England, who they also faced at the same stage in their last Euros when England were tournament hosts.Victory on Thursday would complete the turnaround under Steve Clarke, with Scotland reeling from a 3-0 loss to lowly Kazakhstan in their opening European Qualifier when he was appointed in May 2019. Although he could not quite secure an automatic spot, Scotland had already secured a play-off place thanks to a solid Nations League campaign.Download the Sky Sports Scottish Football Podcast on: Spotify | Apple | Castbox | SpreakerScotland and Serbia last met during qualification for the 2014 World Cup and the Tartan Army were winless in both fixtures. They drew 0-0 at home before losing 2-0 away and Serbia could become just the second side to keep a clean sheet in each of their first three games against Scotland after Japan.Team news Highlights of the Euro 2020 qualifying play-off match between Scotland and Israel 3:20 Scotland head coach Steve Clarke says it’s a blow to lose Ryan Fraser and Grant Hanley for Thursday’s Euro 2020 play-off against Serbia, but believes they have sufficient cover Former Scotland striker Kris Boyd says he is confident Scotland will beat Serbia in Belgrade on Thursday to qualify for next year’s European Championships – Advertisement – 0:34 Scotland head coach Shelley Kerr says the weight of the country is on counterpart Steve Clarke’s shoulders but he will not be distracted for Thursday’s winner-takes-all play-off in Serbia Since losing four consecutive games between June and October 2019, Scotland have enjoyed an eight-match unbeaten run (W6 D2) – they last went longer without defeat in all competitions in September 1976, under Willie Ormond (a run of nine).Serbia have won just one of their last six matches in all competitions (D2 L3), beating Norway 2-1 in October, courtesy of a brace from Sergej Milinkovic-Savic in the previous round of European Championship qualifying.Victory would see Scotland qualify for the European Championship finals for just a third time (previously in 1992 & 1996), whilst Serbia are aiming to reach the finals of the competition for the first time as an independent nation. Scotland striker Lyndon Dykes says they need to go into their Euro 2020 play-off against Serbia with confidence and need to ‘get the job done’ on Thursday night Sky Sports announced last week that both Scotland and Northern Ireland’s play-off games will be free-to-air for UK customers on what is sure to be a dramatic night of football.Serbia vs Scotland will be shown live on Sky Sports Football from 7pm and free-to-air on Sky Pick; kick-off at 7.45pm.You can also follow all the latest in our dedicated live blog across Sky Sports’ digital platforms, including build-up, match commentary and the latest analysis. Plus, watch in-game goals and free match highlights shortly after full-time.Clarke: Qualification always the dream 0:50 Scotland manager Steve Clarke told Sky Sports News:“It’s always been the dream. Even in the years we failed to qualify, that dream is always there. When you start every campaign, you think ‘right, this is going to be the one’.“The team at various times has been close to qualification, but has never managed to get it over the line and this squad is close again and this time, we hope we can get it over the line. 3:23 2:42 “I had a good football career, I managed to win a good few trophies at the end of it, I played a lot of good matches at the highest level in both Scotland and England, but ultimately, you’re always left with that little bit of disappointment that as a player, I didn’t manage to play in a major tournament and for these lads, it’s the same.“It’s not to think about there being another chance in two years time because maybe there won’t be.”McCoist: Scotland’s biggest game in 20 years Sky Sports pundit Ally McCoist told Sky Sports News:“Without doubt, it’s the biggest game in over 20 years. And I’m pleased punters can watch it and get behind the team. I’m so pleased for everybody. Fingers crossed we can get a result.“I’d have bitten your hand off for an opportunity like this. There was a period where it looked like we wouldn’t get this chance and now we’ve got it. It’s great news.“We’re second favourites but I’ve been Scottish for long enough to know that being the underdog suits us.“The team is looking a lot better with some solidarity about them. Lyndon Dykes has given us a focal point. I’m the eternal Scottish optimist. I’m very hopeful although I do appreciate it’s a very big task ahead.”Boyd: Scotland can gatecrash Euro 2020 – Advertisement – Thursday 12th November 7:00pm If Scotland win…If Scotland beat Serbia, they will be Path C winners and go into Euro 2020 Group D with England, Croatia and the Czech Republic. Sky Sports pundit Kris Boyd told Sky Sports News:“It’s a massive opportunity for Scotland and I’m sure the boys will give their all. We’ve not been at a major tournament since 1998, so it’s a fantastic opportunity to get there. I wish them all the best, and I’m confident.“A lot of people have criticised the way Clarke has set his team up but we’ve found a way to get victories. We’re not free-flowing, and we’re not going to open teams up with eight or nine chances a game. What we can do is create one or two good ones and hope that we take them. We look solid defensively and we’re going to need that from the front if we’re going to stop Serbia.“It will be a difficult game, but I do fancy us to gate-crash Euro 2020 and get through the back door.” 1:19 – Advertisement – Scotland will be aiming to keep four consecutive clean sheets across all competitions for the first time since March 2014, under Gordon Strachan.Scotland’s John McGinn has been directly involved in seven goals in his last four appearances in European Championship qualifiers (6 goals, 1 assist).Only Harry Kane (12), Cristiano Ronaldo and Eran Zahavi (11 each) have scored more goals in qualifying for EURO 2020 than Serbia’s Aleksandar Mitrovic (10), who netted in six consecutive matches before facing Norway. 4:27 0:50 Scotland have not featured at a major international tournament for over 20 years, last competing at the 1998 World Cup in France. Their last European Championships was in 1996, where the Netherlands progressed from Group A based on goals scored. Kick off 7:45pm Team news, stats and analysis ahead of Serbia vs Scotland in the European Qualifying play-off final on Thursday; kick-off 7.45pm.Scotland dramatically booked their place in the European Qualifying play-off final last month, winning 5-3 on penalties – their first ever shootout – against familiar foes Israel after a goalless draw. It set up a trip to Belgrade to face Serbia, who were 2-1 winners against Norway in their semi-final.- Advertisement – Scotland manager Steve Clarke says it would be a dream to qualify for the European Championships and he looks back on his career with disappointment because he never played for his country at a major tournament Ryan Fraser and Grant Hanley will both miss out for Scotland after they sustained hamstring problems. Hanley – who has 30 caps for his country – had been called up to the squad for the first time in more than two years, while Fraser was looking to add to his 14 international appearances.Celtic striker Leigh Griffiths has also returned to the Scotland fold and with Fraser absent, could be given his chance to earn his first cap since September 2018. However, Clarke has hinted that Griffiths would be used from the bench.The Scotland manager said: “Leigh being Leigh, we all know his qualities in and around the 18-yard box. But he hasn’t started many games for Celtic recently and it might be a big ask for him to start in a game of this magnitude.”Serbia have been boosted by the news that Lazio’s players have been given permission to go on international duty. It means key man Sergej Milinkovic-Savic will be available to face Clarke’s side after some uncertainty over regional Covid-19 travelling restrictions in Italy for players in Serie A.How to follow Ally McCoist thinks the underdog factor can work in Scotland’s favour ahead of Thursday’s clash away to Serbia – a game he’s calling the biggest in 20 years. Opta stats
Atlético’s calendar for this season with respect to that of the last one has some similarities. Atlético will return to the competition against Athletic, at home, on matchday 28, the same in which he faced a year ago against the Basque team (fell 2-0) and later he will travel to Pamplona. On matchday 29 of last year, he played against Alavés (won 0-4). Just like last year, he has to visit the Camp Nou, where he was defeated. He receives Valladolid, whom he did an exercise 1-0. And in this campaign he ends with two games that can be key: Getafe and Real Sociedad, the first outside and the last in the Wanda Metropolitano.The great difference, and the great incentive of this exercise is that Atlético continues in the Champions League and is among the eight best clubs in Europe. The Madrid team eliminated Liverpool and aspire to be in the final of the European tournament in Istanbul. But first of all, he must secure that fourth place, which is the great headache for Simeone and his footballers. Football begins its countdown to start training and gradually return to normal activity. And Atlético needs to prepare thoroughly for its great challenge: finish the season in the top four. Something that has been complicating Atlético day after day. Atlético is sixth, with 45 points, one less than Getafe, fifth, and Real Sociedad, fourth. And two less than Seville, who has 47 points. There are eleven days left and Atlético has to wipe a distance of two points. It seems within the reach of Simeone’s team but his numbers in the last season do not invite optimism. Atlético will have to improve a lot. Otherwise you may run into serious trouble going to the next Champions League.In the previous campaign, 2018-19 season, Atlético did not make a good end to the league year. Of the eleven final matches of LaLiga, the Cholo team lost three and tied two. He won 20 points out of 33 possible, thanks to his six wins and the two draws. Possibly this campaign will not be worth it to enter the Champions League if he adds the same number of points. Atletico, a year ago, lost to Athletic, Barcelona and Espanyorl. He tied in the last two days, against Sevilla and Levante. And he defeated Alavés, Girona, Celta, Eibar, Valencia and Valladolid. He scored 16 goals in favor and conceded 12.