Euro 2024 - What Scotland need to do against Spain to book their place at tournament in Germany next summer
Scotland have enjoyed a scintillating qualifying campaign for Euro 2024 so far and could book their tickets to Germany on Thursday night.
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Scotland could secure a place at Euro 2024 this week in what could be a historic few days for Scottish football.
Steve Clarke will lead his in-form side to Seville on Thursday, where the Tartan Army will take on Spain in their sixth Group A fixture after a scintillating campaign thus far.
Scottish supporters were able to cheer on their nation in the Euros for the first time since 1996 last time out and only once before has the national side booked a place in successive European Championship finals, that being between 1992 and 1996.
The last time that feat was achieved was between 1992 and 1996 under the stewardship of Andy Roxburgh and Craig Brown overseeing stars including Ally McCoist, Pat Nevin and Gary McAllister. Fast forward to 2023 and now Clarke is on the verge of shepherding a squad led by Andy Robertson, John McGinn and Scott McTominay to those lofty heights after an unbeaten qualifying campaign.
How Scotland can qualify for Euro 2024 against Spain
Scotland have won all of their first five qualifying matches in Group A, an achievement few expected, but now the task at hand is simple for Clarke's men. If the nation wins or draws against three-time Euros winners Spain on Thursday, they book their place in next year's competition. The country's presence in Germany is in their own hands.
Should Scotland avoid defeat against Luis de la Fuente's team, they would be guaranteed to finish either first or second in Group A and therefore automatically progress to the finals, regardless of results in their remaining two qualifiers away at Georgie and at home to Norway. Victory in Seville would take Scotland's points total to 18 and only Spain still have the chance to match that.
A point on Thursday would take Scotland to 16 points, which is a total that Norway could also reach if they win all their remaining games and Scotland lose all of theirs. That would require Norway beating Spain in the process, limiting the Spaniards to a maximum of 16 points as well.
In that situation, Scotland, Spain and Norway would enter a tiebreaker and effectively go into a three-team league of their own. Scotland would come out on top of that with seven points due to their wins over Spain in March and over Norway in June, plus the theoretical point this week.
Norway could have six points if they beat Spain and Scotland in their remaining fixtures while the Spaniard could only reach four points by beating Norway after taking a point from the Scots.
How Scotland can qualify for Euro 2024 after losing to Spain
If Scotland were to lose against Spain on Thursday, there are still two more ways to secure a prized spot at Euro 2024.
Norway play Cyprus on Thursday at the same time as Scotland are in action and, if Erling Haaland and co. fail to win, then Steve Clarke can get planning for Germany right away as qualification will be guaranteed.
If neither of those situations happens, then Sunday becomes the vital day for Scotland fans. Norway host Spain in Oslo and - if Scotland lose on Thursday and Norway win - the Tartan Army will only qualify if the Spaniards don't lose that match.
On the off chance that none of those circumstances happen over the next few days, then Scotland will have to focus on getting the maximum points from their remaining qualifying fixtures. The side play Georgia on November 16 and Norway on November 19 in their final Group A fixtures.
What the nation needs from those matches will depend on other results but, with five wins and 15 points already secured, the odds would be heavily in favour of Clarke’s men qualifying for the tournament.