In Group A of the Scotland Euro 2024 qualifiers, Scotland national football team finds itself alongside Cyprus, Georgia, Norway, and Spain. With a flawless record of five wins in five games, Steve Clarke’s team is on the brink of securing their spot in next summer’s finals in Germany. As the weekend approaches, we delve into the various scenarios that could determine.
Scotland Euro 2024 Qualification
This week, Scotland plays one qualifier, while the other teams in Group A have two matches each. Only Scotland, Spain, and Norway remain in contention for qualification, and the current standings are as follows:
- Scotland – 15 points, +11 goal difference, played 5 matches
- Spain – 9 points, +13 goal difference, played 4 matches
- Norway – 7 points, -1 goal difference, played 5 matches
- Georgia – 4 points, -8 goal difference, played 5 matches
- Cyprus – 0 points, -15 goal difference, played 5 matches
The earliest Scotland can secure qualification is on Thursday night. They face Spain in Seville, while Norway takes on Cyprus in Larnaca simultaneously. If Scotland manages to win or draw at the Estadio de la Cartuja, their qualification is assured. Even a defeat could suffice, depending on the outcome in Cyprus. If Norway fails to beat Cyprus, they cannot catch up with Scotland, as they would remain at seven points with only six more points available. Given the eight-point gap with Scotland, not even a draw would be enough for Erling Haaland and his team.
A draw between Spain and Scotland coupled with a Norway victory could add complexity to the calculations. However, the key number for Scotland’s qualification is 16 points. There exists a highly unlikely scenario where Scotland, Spain, and Norway all finish with 16 points each. In this scenario, a mini-league is formed, and results among these three teams are considered. Scotland would have seven points (a win and a draw against Spain, a win against Norway), while Spain would have four points (a win against Norway, a draw against Scotland). Norway’s maximum points in this mini-league would be six (wins against Scotland and Spain), thus ensuring Scotland’s progression as group winners.
Norway is the favorite to defeat Cyprus, making it likely that Scotland will need a positive result in Spain. However, if they fall short, they will have a second chance on Sunday, with Scotland not on the pitch but in France preparing for a friendly in Lille on October 17. Norway hosts Spain in Oslo on October 15, and if they fail to secure a victory, Scotland’s place in Euro 2024 is confirmed.
In the event that Norway wins both their matches this week and Scotland loses in Spain, Clarke’s team will have to wait until the next international window in November to seal qualification. During that window, they face Georgia away and Norway at home.
Fingers crossed that it doesn’t come to that…”