13 October 2019 19:56
You can watch all of the qualification games for Euro 2020 Live & Exclusive via beIN CONNECT The second match-day in qualification for the 2020 European Championship has thrown up a couple of interesting contests between some of the best teams in Europe. Ahead of the round kicking off this evening, we have decided to preview three games which are must watch and could have a vital say on which sides qualify from their groups. Sunday – San Marino Vs Scotland – HD 11 - KO 20:00 After suffering a disastrous defeat 3-0 away defeat in Kazakhstan Scotland need to pick themselves up for the visit to minnows San Marino. Scotland may have already been assured a place in the playoffs for the European Championships thanks to winning their Nations League group, however, McLeish will know full well that they need to get to the contest in good shape if they are to have any chance of making the championships for the first time since Euro 1996. In team news, the trio of Andy Robertson, Callum Paterson and Ryan Fraser will likely start after missing the contest in Kazakhstan.
It would prove to be one of the biggest upsets in football history if San Marino were to stun the Scots. The side from the tiny principality is on a run of 28 straight defeats, with a 0-0 draw against Estonia all the way back in 2014 their biggest result to date. The World Champions made light work of Moldova in their opening qualification game coming away with a 4-1 victory. The last time the two sides met was a warm-up for the 2018 World Cup, which ended in a 2-2 draw thanks to late strikes from Kylian Mbappé to spare any blushes. As for Iceland, they opened up their campaign with a 2-0 away win against Andorra their first victory in sixteen outings.
SAN MARINO VS SCOTLAND I've always said it is a dream club for every player." Those were the words of Paul Pogba this week when asked about Real Madrid speculation. Scotland captain Andrew Roberton has sprung to the defence of Cardiff City and Callum Paterson after the Bluebirds found themselves locked in a club versus country conflict. Scotland could not pick Paterson in the embarrassing 3-0 Euro 2020 qualifying defeat to Kazakhstan because of fears the Bluebirds' joint top scorer could aggravate a knee problem on a plastic pitch. Paterson has become a key figure under Neil Warnock who wants every player fully fit and available for a gruelling Premier League relegation run-in, which starts next weekend against Chelsea at home. But at the same time, I think if a player wants to play for his country then he makes himself available." However, current skipper Robertson, who missed the Kazakhstan game himself because of dental surgery, backed Paterson and Fraser.
Scotland will be looking to bounce back against San Marino after being humiliated 3-0 by Kazakhstan. The headline in one of Kazakhstan's biggest news websites said it all about the almighty capitulation in the mid-Asian outpost that left Scotland's hopes of automatically qualifying for Euro 2020 already on life support. San Marino, the mountainous micro-state close to Italy's Adriatic coast, is a world away from the sub-zero Nursultan where hopes of finally ending Scotland's major tournament hiatus were put firmly in cold storage. San Marino lost 5-0 to Cyprus on Thursday "There are no easy games in international football" is a sentence frequently used by international managers, but San Marino away is as close to being immune from that billing as it gets. A nation that has only ever won one game of football, who concede an average of 4.32 goals per game, who are represented mainly by amateur players and haven't avoided defeat since a 0-0 draw with Estonia in 2014. Sunday will be San Marino's 155th match. On each occasion, they registered 2-0 victories and, in the most recent of them, under Craig Brown, they left the Scotland fans sweating until breaking the deadlock in the 71st minute through Matt Elliott. Colin Hendry (centre) scored twice when Scotland last played San Marino - a 4-0 win in 2001 Aside from San Marino's solitary victory over Liechtenstein, which came 15 years ago in a friendly, one of their greatest moments was leading England with the second fastest goal in World Cup qualifying history. Since Gaultieri's goal, each of the 20 times San Marino have found the net has been greeted as if it is the goal that has won the World Cup itself. Case in point, their equaliser in Norway, where they scored away from home for the first time in World Cup qualifying for 15 years during the last campaign. San Marino may be the official whipping boys of world football, but the passion for the jersey remains.