Soccer

Scotland boss Steve Clarke will not underestimate Germany at Euro 2024

Steve Clarke is preparing for a tough test of Scotland’s credentials in the opening match of Euro 2024 against Germany (Adam Davy/PA)
Steve Clarke is preparing for a tough test of Scotland’s credentials in the opening match of Euro 2024 against Germany (Adam Davy/PA) Steve Clarke is preparing for a tough test of Scotland’s credentials in the opening match of Euro 2024 against Germany (Adam Davy/PA)

Scotland boss Steve Clarke is reading nothing into Germany’s struggles heading into Euro 2024, warning the tournament hosts are “always on it” when it comes to major finals.

Scotland will have the eyes of the continent on them on June 14 next year when they take on Germany in the tournament’s opening match in Munich.

Germany failed to get out of their group at the World Cup in Qatar, with a 2-1 defeat to Japan contributing to their exit. A 4-1 loss to the same opponents in a friendly in September cost Hansi Flick his job.

Results have been mixed since, with former Bayern Munich coach Julian Nagelsmann succeeding Flick at the helm.

But Clarke does not see Germany as a vulnerable opponent in any way, shape or form. They are three-time Euro winners with a further four World Cup titles to boot.

“When Germany get to the finals of a major tournament they are always on it,” Clarke told the PA news agency.

“I don’t think it will be a poor Germany team, I think it will be a very, very good Germany side.”

Clarke’s team are also up against Hungary and Switzerland in Group A, as they aim to become the first Scotland side to go beyond the first stage of a finals tournament.

“The first thing for us to do is just to prepare properly,” Clarke said.

“Make sure we’re competitive, play as well as we can in the games and then after that we’ll count on the points and see if we’ve got enough.”

Scotland secured second spot in their Euro 2024 qualifying group
Scotland secured second spot in their Euro 2024 qualifying group Scotland secured second spot in their Euro 2024 qualifying group (Andrew Milligan/PA)

Clarke’s team qualified with two matches to spare, finishing second in their group behind Spain but ahead of a Norway side infused with the star quality of Erling Haaland and Martin Odegaard.

“I think what impressed me most about this group of players (in qualification) is that they want to be competitive every time they go out there,” he said.

“We want to continue to improve – they feel as though they can improve a little bit more and hopefully between now and next summer, we do improve and we can be very competitive in Germany.”