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Euro 2020: Croatia, Scotland Battle For Final Round Of 16 Qualification Slot

Scotland and Croatia, both locked on a point apiece in Euro 2020 Group D prepare for battle at Hampden Park on Tuesday.

Croatia were held to a 1-1 draw by the Czech Republic last time out, while Scotland battled favourites to a goalless draw.

It is mathematically impossible for third-placed Croatia to progress as group winners, and England’s victory over them at Wembley means that they are out of sight, so they must hope for the Three Lions to do them a favour against the Czech Republic while they endeavour to see off Scotland.

However, a draw between England would see the result in the Croatia vs Scotland pale into insignificance.

Scotland still waiting for their first goal of the European Championship remain at the bottom of the group and must pray for an exceptional set of circumstances to keep their last-16 hopes alive on the final day.

Not since 2004 have Scotland failed to score in three competitive matches on the bounce, but they must find attacking inspiration from somewhere if they are to extend their stay at the tournament, although the prospect of a third-placed finish being enough for a knockout berth is still very much alive.

History could favour the Scots in this tie, though, as Croatia have failed to win any of their previous five meetings with Scotland, and the two most recent clashes between the sides in 2014 World Cup qualification saw Scotland claim 2-0 and 1-0 victories.

Croatia have been forced to cope without Rangers left-back Borna Barisic for their first two games of Euro 2020, and even though he rejoined the team for training over the weekend, he has not been passed fit for this battle.

Marcelo Brozovic was dropped for the Czech Republic draw, but Dalic has confirmed that he will return to the starting lineup here, while Ante Rebic is set to be restricted to a substitute outing after flattering to deceive so far.

Bruno Petkovic is a strong candidate to lead the line after looking threatening as a substitute against the Czech Republic, while Nikola Vlasic is also in consideration to feature out wide as he nears full fitness.

Meanwhile, Scotland have been dealt a huge blow with the news that Billy Gilmour has tested positive for coronavirus, so Stuart Armstrong may be welcomed back to the midfield three.

Defender Kieran Tierney was passed fit for the clash with England and put in a terrific shift throughout the 90 minutes, so the Arsenal man should line up in a back three with Scott McTominay and Grant Hanley once more.

Kevin Nisbet is pushing for inclusion up top as Scotland seek to break their goalscoring duck, but Che Adams and Lyndon Dykes could be trusted from the off once more.

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