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Former Scotland striker Ally McCoist believes all the pressure will be on England when the two sides meet in the group stages of Euro 2020.
The two sides will play each other at Wembley in the second round of their group stage in a game that could be crucial to both side’s hopes of progressing through to the knockout stages – and is a repeat of their 1996 meeting at the tournament.
Gareth Southgate’s side will be among the favourites to taste success at this summer’s tournament while Scotland are in the first major tournament since 1998.
The visitors will view emerging from the group stages of this year’s tournament as success and their former striker McCoist believes this underdog status suits them for the tie.
England played Scotland in the group stages of Euro 1996 at Wembley
(Image: Hulton Archive)
McCoist said of England, when speaking to TEAMtalk : “All the pressure is on England at the Euros and that will be magnified when they play Scotland.
“Everything that goes with being the home side playing in front of your own fans, they are already looking to get to the semi-finals at worst. The beauty for Scotland is we don’t have that pressure.
“Man for man, England are clearly a better side and this is the best set of players they have had in a long, long time. I’m genuinely worried they might do very well this summer and I’m sure people in Ireland have that same fear!
“They will be one of the most talented teams taking part in Euro 2020, but that kind of suits Scotland. We are better as the underdogs and we are just so pleased to be in the tournament.
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“What Scotland have on their side now is a handful of players who are operating at the highest level of the English game each week and that’s why we have seen signs of improvement.
“Andy Robertson, Kieran Tierney, Scott McTominay and John McGinn have all been playing well in the Premier League and that depth of talent gives Scotland a chance.
“To have players who are performing week-in, week-out in that company, it is the reason why we look better than we have done for a number of years.”
McCoist – who has been a commentator across radio and TV in recent seasons – also spoke of the importance of fans returning to the stadiums for the tournament.
The 58-year-old added: “We all want to get back to sharing the experience of a match with our mates. Whether that is going to football or watching it in pubs, or even in someone’s house. We have all missed the camaraderie of getting together and enjoying the shared experience of watching a match.
“Just seeing and hearing fans back in stadiums over the last few weeks has been incredible. And we want more of it at the Euros.
“I’ve been lucky to get to games over the last year, but there have been certain games when it has just not felt right. The Rangers v Celtic game was one in particular, as that, is not a football match that should ever be played in an empty stadium.
“Now I can only imagine the scenes we will see in the pubs up here in Scotland when the Euros get underway. It’s going to be brilliant.”