AUTHOR: Lewis Williams

ALEX CROOK EURO 2024 PREVIEW: Germany v Scotland

Hosts Germany will be looking to get Euro 2024 off to a flier when they entertain Scotland at the resplendent Allianz Arena on Friday night, writes ALEX CROOK.

The four-time World champions have flopped at each of the last three major tournaments and since arriving in Berlin on Monday, I am not picking up too many bullish vibes from the locals.

Fears of another underwhelming championship will not have been allayed by being held to a 0-0 draw with Ukraine and scraping a narrow 2-1 victory over Greece in their two warm-up matches.

They have also had a poor recent record in Munich with just one win in their last five matches.

And while they have talented individuals like Bayer Leverkusen’s Florian Wirtz and the elegant Jamal Musiala, their fans feel the class of 2024 lack that traditional German grit of bygone glory days.

There are also serious question marks over whether 38-year-old goalkeeper Manuel Neuer is past his best and concerns over a lack of a prolific striker in the Miroslav Klose mould, with Arsenal’s Kai Havertz set to be asked to play as a false number 9.

However, history tells us never to write off the Germans on home soil, having reached at least the semi-finals on all three occasions they have been sole host of either a Euros or World Cup, most recently against the odds under Jurgen Klinsmann in 2006.


Scotland also have a dreadful tournament record, having never progressed beyond the group stage and not winning a single game since my talkSPORT colleague Ally McCoist scored the only goal against Switzerland at Euro ’96.

With injuries to key players Aaron Hickey, Lyndon Dykes and Lewis Ferguson – who had an exceptional season at Bologna – I would argue this Scotland squad is weaker than at Euro 2020 when a dour 0-0 draw with England at Wembley was as good as it got for Steve Clarke’s side.

They did brilliantly to come through qualifying at the expense of Erling Haaland’s Norway, recording a shock victory at home to Spain in the process, but wins have been hard to come by in the past few international breaks.

Roared on by a huge following of the Tartan Army, the one thing we can guarantee from Clarke’s men is stacks of effort and endeavour and I would expect them to be difficult to break down.

Opening games of tournaments rarely produce goal sprees so this might be a night when Germany have to play with patience and I can see Scotland holding them at bay at least until the second half.

You can back the draw at half-time at ? with to hopefully get our tournament off to a winning start.

Wirtz scored 18 goals in all competitions for all-conquering Leverkusen this season and I am expecting some big performances from him over the next five weeks.

Germany to win, Wirtz to score at any-time and Scotland captain John McGinn, who will be fully pumped up for this game, to be shown a card returns 18/1 as a build-a-bet with

BACK Draw at half-time 1pt at 13/8 (⭐ ? CLICK TO BET NOW)
Build-a-bet: Germany to win, Wirtz to score at any-time and John McGinn to be shown a card 0.5pts at 18/1 with



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