England v Czech Republic: England fans hit the pubs ahead of tonight’s Euro 2020 clash

Who could England face in the Round of 16? 

If England win Group D

They face the runners up of Group F – which could be France, Germany, Portugal or Hungary

At: Wembley on June 29

 If England finish second in Group D

They face the runners up of Group E – which could be Sweden, Slovakia, Spain or Poland.

At: Parken Stadium, Copenhagen, on June 28 

If England finish third in Group D

They could face the runners up of Group C – The Netherlands

At: Puskas Arena, Budapest, on June 27

Or they could face the Group B winners – Belgium 

At: Estadio de La Cartuja, Spain, on June 27

Or they could face the Group E winners – Sweden, Slovakia, Spain or Poland

At: Hampden Park, Scotland, on June 29   

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Expectant England fans have been streaming into pubs and bars and along Wembley Way as the Three Lions take on the Czech Republic – while the nail biting begins for the Tartan Army as Scotland face a must win game against Croatia.

Three Lions supporters have been knocking back pints ahead of England’s final group game of Euro 2020, which kicked off at 8pm.

Hundreds of fans were been pictured on the Wembley Way two hours before kick-off at England’s national stadium tonight. 

But it could be a strange atmosphere among Three Lions supporters, many of whom are split on whether they actually want England to claim victory tonight.

Gareth Southgate’s side are already through to the knock-out stages of the competition after results went their way last night – with tonight’s outcome instead deciding who England will face in the Round of 16.

Though there are a number of possibilities, depending on results, a loss could see England face the Netherlands or Belgium, a draw could see them face the likes of Spain or Sweden and a win could land them a tough game against Germany, Portugal or France.

However the latter, though a more difficult tie, would be played at Wembley – which could be prove a major advantage to Southgate’s side.

Meanwhile, Scotland fans today prepared for one of the most important football matches in the country’s history, knowing that a win against Croatia tonight will see them qualify from the group stage of a major finals for the first time.

Supporters were seen enjoying the sunshine in Glasgow ahead of tonight’s Euro 2020 match at Hampden Park, where a victory will ensure they qualify for the second round at least as one of the four best third-placed teams.

Fans walked around the city wearing kilts and draped in flags, while kiosks were selling half-and-half scarves to mark the match which kicks off at 8pm – the same time as England v Czech Republic at Wembley in London.  

England supporters look in fine spirits at the 4TheFans Fan Park at Event City in Manchester, ahead of the Euro 2020 clash against Czech Republic

England supporters look in fine spirits at the 4TheFans Fan Park at Event City in Manchester, ahead of the Euro 2020 clash against Czech Republic

England supporters look in fine spirits at the 4TheFans Fan Park at Event City in Manchester, ahead of the Euro 2020 clash against Czech Republic

England fans prepare to cheer on their side at Wembley in their final Euro 2020 group game against Czech Republic

England fans prepare to cheer on their side at Wembley in their final Euro 2020 group game against Czech Republic

England fans prepare to cheer on their side at Wembley in their final Euro 2020 group game against Czech Republic

Where have we seen that before? England fans with a replica Jules Rimet trophy at Wembley (pictured left), while other fans wave a Great Britain flag

Where have we seen that before? England fans with a replica Jules Rimet trophy at Wembley (pictured left), while other fans wave a Great Britain flag

England fans wave a Great Britain flag with the Queen's face on it

England fans wave a Great Britain flag with the Queen's face on it

Where have we seen that before? England fans with a replica Jules Rimet trophy at Wembley (pictured left), while other fans wave a Great Britain flag (right)

Expectant England fans have already begun streaming into pubs and bars ahead of tonight's clash with the Czech Republic - as the Tartan Army gears up for Scotland's match against Croatia

Expectant England fans have already begun streaming into pubs and bars ahead of tonight's clash with the Czech Republic - as the Tartan Army gears up for Scotland's match against Croatia

Expectant England fans have already begun streaming into pubs and bars ahead of tonight’s clash with the Czech Republic – as the Tartan Army gears up for Scotland’s match against Croatia

Three Lions fans have already been knocking back pints in pubs across the country ahead of the game at Wembley stadium tonight

Three Lions fans have already been knocking back pints in pubs across the country ahead of the game at Wembley stadium tonight

Three Lions fans have already been knocking back pints in pubs across the country ahead of the game at Wembley stadium tonight 

Three Lions supporters have started knocking back pints as they ready themselves for England's final group stage game of Euro 2020. Pictured: England fans at a pub in London ahead of the match tonight

Three Lions supporters have started knocking back pints as they ready themselves for England's final group stage game of Euro 2020. Pictured: England fans at a pub in London ahead of the match tonight

Three Lions supporters have started knocking back pints as they ready themselves for England’s final group stage game of Euro 2020. Pictured: England fans at a pub in London ahead of the match tonight

Fans including Jessica Sigsworth (second left) watch the Group D match between Czech Republic and England at the 4TheFans fan park in Manchester

Fans including Jessica Sigsworth (second left) watch the Group D match between Czech Republic and England at the 4TheFans fan park in Manchester

Fans including Jessica Sigsworth (second left) watch the Group D match between Czech Republic and England at the 4TheFans fan park in Manchester

England fans gather at Trafalgar Square ahead of the Three Lions' clash against Czech Republic at Wembley Stadium tonight

England fans gather at Trafalgar Square ahead of the Three Lions' clash against Czech Republic at Wembley Stadium tonight

England fans gather at Trafalgar Square ahead of the Three Lions’ clash against Czech Republic at Wembley Stadium tonight

Three Lions fans draped in England flags are gathering at Trafalgar Square tonight, where the game will be shown on big screens

Three Lions fans draped in England flags are gathering at Trafalgar Square tonight, where the game will be shown on big screens

Three Lions fans draped in England flags are gathering at Trafalgar Square tonight, where the game will be shown on big screens

England fans begin drinking at Trafalgar Square this evening, ahead of England's game against Czech Republic at Wembley

England fans begin drinking at Trafalgar Square this evening, ahead of England's game against Czech Republic at Wembley

England fans begin drinking at Trafalgar Square this evening, ahead of England's game against Czech Republic at Wembley

England fans begin drinking at Trafalgar Square this evening, ahead of England's game against Czech Republic at Wembley

England fans begin drinking at Trafalgar Square this evening, ahead of England’s game against Czech Republic at Wembley

An England fan dresses in a Lion costume - the mascot of England's national team - ahead of the game against Czech Republic at Wembley

An England fan dresses in a Lion costume - the mascot of England's national team - ahead of the game against Czech Republic at Wembley

An England fan dresses in a Lion costume – the mascot of England’s national team – ahead of the game against Czech Republic at Wembley

Fans dressed in colourful England cowboy hats were pictured outside Wembley Stadium this afternoon, hours before kick-off

Fans dressed in colourful England cowboy hats were pictured outside Wembley Stadium this afternoon, hours before kick-off

Fans dressed in colourful England cowboy hats were pictured outside Wembley Stadium this afternoon, hours before kick-off 

Fans draped in England flags also queued up outside Wembley tonight ahead of the Euro 2020 clash against Czech Republic tonight

Fans draped in England flags also queued up outside Wembley tonight ahead of the Euro 2020 clash against Czech Republic tonight

Fans draped in England flags also queued up outside Wembley tonight ahead of the Euro 2020 clash against Czech Republic tonight

England fans have also piled into the Euro 2020 fan zone in Manchester to watch the game

England fans have also piled into the Euro 2020 fan zone in Manchester to watch the game

Fans will watch the game on a big screen at the Manchester fan zone

Fans will watch the game on a big screen at the Manchester fan zone

England fans have also piled into the Euro 2020 fan zone in Manchester to watch the game – which will be shown to supporters on a big screen tonight

Is that you Gareth? England fans, including one wearing a Gareth Southgate mask, soaked up the atmosphere in London tonight ahead of the game against Croatia

Is that you Gareth? England fans, including one wearing a Gareth Southgate mask, soaked up the atmosphere in London tonight ahead of the game against Croatia

Is that you Gareth? England fans, including one wearing a Gareth Southgate mask, soaked up the atmosphere in London tonight ahead of the game against Croatia

Three Lions fans with England flag face paint and cans of Stella Artois were earlier pictured strolling along Wembley Way ahead of the game

Three Lions fans with England flag face paint and cans of Stella Artois were earlier pictured strolling along Wembley Way ahead of the game

Three Lions fans with England flag face paint and cans of Stella Artois were earlier pictured strolling along Wembley Way ahead of the game

It could be a strange atmosphere among supporters, many of whom are split on whether they actually want England to claim victory at Wembley tonight. Pictured: England supporters arrive at Wembley ahead of the match tonight

England and Czech fans arrive at Wembley Stadium ahead of the UEFA EURO 2020 at Wembley, with kick-off at 8pm

England and Czech fans arrive at Wembley Stadium ahead of the UEFA EURO 2020 at Wembley, with kick-off at 8pm

England and Czech fans arrive at Wembley Stadium ahead of the UEFA EURO 2020 at Wembley, with kick-off at 8pm

Three Lions fans draped in England flags prepare to take up their seats at Wembley ahead of tonight's game against Czech Republic

Three Lions fans draped in England flags prepare to take up their seats at Wembley ahead of tonight's game against Czech Republic

Three Lions fans draped in England flags prepare to take up their seats at Wembley ahead of tonight’s game against Czech Republic

Fans have been in high spirits ahead of the game against Czech Republic, with a win securing a tie against either Germany, France, Portugal or Hungary

Fans have been in high spirits ahead of the game against Czech Republic, with a win securing a tie against either Germany, France, Portugal or Hungary

Fans have been in high spirits ahead of the game against Czech Republic, with a win securing a tie against either Germany, France, Portugal or Hungary 

Fans arrive at Wembley Park tube station as they prepare to stroll along Wembley Walk to the stadium ahead of tonight's 8pm kick off

Fans arrive at Wembley Park tube station as they prepare to stroll along Wembley Walk to the stadium ahead of tonight's 8pm kick off

Fans arrive at Wembley Park tube station as they prepare to stroll along Wembley Walk to the stadium ahead of tonight’s 8pm kick off

A large group of England fans are seen ambling along Wembley Walk on their way to the stadium, where England play the Czech Republic tonight

A large group of England fans are seen ambling along Wembley Walk on their way to the stadium, where England play the Czech Republic tonight

A large group of England fans are seen ambling along Wembley Walk on their way to the stadium, where England play the Czech Republic tonight

Three Lions fans dressed in bucket hats and draped in England fans walk up Wembley walk towards the stadium ahead of tonight's match

Three Lions fans dressed in bucket hats and draped in England fans walk up Wembley walk towards the stadium ahead of tonight's match

Three Lions fans dressed in bucket hats and draped in England fans walk up Wembley walk towards the stadium ahead of tonight’s match

Pictured: Fans on the Wembley Walk at the entrance to Wembley Stadium, where England play Czech Republic in their final Euro 2020 group game tonight

Pictured: Fans on the Wembley Walk at the entrance to Wembley Stadium, where England play Czech Republic in their final Euro 2020 group game tonight

Pictured: Fans on the Wembley Walk at the entrance to Wembley Stadium, where England play Czech Republic in their final Euro 2020 group game tonight

England fans take their seats at Wembley ahead of the final Euro 2020 Group D match against Czech Republic tonight

England fans take their seats at Wembley ahead of the final Euro 2020 Group D match against Czech Republic tonight

England fans take their seats at Wembley ahead of the final Euro 2020 Group D match against Czech Republic tonight

England fans take their seats at Wembley ahead of the final Euro 2020 Group D match against Czech Republic tonight

England fans take their seats at Wembley ahead of the final Euro 2020 Group D match against Czech Republic tonight

Scotland fans enjoy a drink in the Glasgow sunshine today ahead of their Euro 2020 match against Croatia this evening

Scotland fans enjoy a drink in the Glasgow sunshine today ahead of their Euro 2020 match against Croatia this evening

Scotland fans enjoy a drink in the Glasgow sunshine today ahead of their Euro 2020 match against Croatia this evening

Croatia fans wear their country's colours as they are seen in Glasgow enjoy a drink this afternoon ahead of the match tonight

Croatia fans wear their country's colours as they are seen in Glasgow enjoy a drink this afternoon ahead of the match tonight

Croatia fans wear their country’s colours as they are seen in Glasgow enjoy a drink this afternoon ahead of the match tonight

A merchandise seller is pictured in Glasgow ahead of the match tonight, selling scarves and flags to passers-by

A merchandise seller is pictured in Glasgow ahead of the match tonight, selling scarves and flags to passers-by

A merchandise seller is pictured in Glasgow ahead of the match tonight, selling scarves and flags to passers-by

Scotland fans enjoy a pint in Glasgow today ahead of the match tonight to decide if they get through to the next round

Scotland fans enjoy a pint in Glasgow today ahead of the match tonight to decide if they get through to the next round

Scotland fans enjoy a pint in Glasgow today ahead of the match tonight to decide if they get through to the next round

Merchandise for sale is seen in Glasgow ahead of the match tonight which will see Scotland take on Croatia

Merchandise for sale is seen in Glasgow ahead of the match tonight which will see Scotland take on Croatia

Merchandise for sale is seen in Glasgow ahead of the match tonight which will see Scotland take on Croatia

Scotland fans smile as they walk through the city wearing kilts ahead of tonight's crunch Euro 2020 group stage match

Scotland fans smile as they walk through the city wearing kilts ahead of tonight's crunch Euro 2020 group stage match

Scotland fans smile as they walk through the city wearing kilts ahead of tonight’s crunch Euro 2020 group stage match

Scotland fans are draped in flags while walking through Glasgow in the sunshine this afternoon ahead of the match tonight

Scotland fans are draped in flags while walking through Glasgow in the sunshine this afternoon ahead of the match tonight

Scotland fans are draped in flags while walking through Glasgow in the sunshine this afternoon ahead of the match tonight

What starting XI has Gareth Southgate picked for England’s game against the Czech Republic? 

England’s team to play Czech Republic: Pickford, Walker, Stones, Maguire, Shaw, Phillips, Rice, Saka, Grealish, Sterling, Kane. 

Subs: Henderson, Rashford, Trippier, Ramsdale, Mings, Coady, Sancho, Calvert-Lewin, White, Johnstone, James, Bellingham.

 

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Scotland manager Steve Clarke has urged the Tartan Army to turn up the noise from the first minute to the last at Hampden, with the stadium hosting a socially-distanced crowd of 12,000 fans for the final Group D match.

But they will have to do it without key young midfielder Billy Gilmour who is now in self isolation for ten days after testing positive for Covid-19. This has also left England footballers Mason Mount and Ben Chilwell in quarantine until next Monday, because they chatted in the Wembley tunnel for 15 minutes following their match last Friday.  

The Scotland players were inspired by their travelling fans at Wembley as they secured a 0-0 draw against England to keep their chances of progression alive – and Clarke believes their vocal support will be crucial again.

Speaking yesterday as Scotland bid to upset the odds against the World Cup runners-up Croatia, Clarke said: ‘If they can make half the noise that the 3,000 supporters did at Wembley then it will be a great atmosphere.

‘What I would say to the Tartan Army is we need your backing from the first minute to the 95th minute. We need you all the way.

‘Sometimes in a game things go against you, that’s when you need the crowd more than anything. So hopefully they will get behind us from the first to the last minute. And hopefully everybody leaves the stadium with a big smile on their face.’

The Tartan Army were out in force outside Hampden Park in Glasgow this evening ahead of the game against Croatia

The Tartan Army were out in force outside Hampden Park in Glasgow this evening ahead of the game against Croatia

The Tartan Army were out in force outside Hampden Park in Glasgow this evening ahead of the game against Croatia 

Scotland fans gather outside Hampden Park in Glasgow ahead of their side's game against Croatia tonight - a vital game for Scotland's Euro 2020 campaign

Scotland fans gather outside Hampden Park in Glasgow ahead of their side's game against Croatia tonight - a vital game for Scotland's Euro 2020 campaign

Scotland fans gather outside Hampden Park in Glasgow ahead of their side's game against Croatia tonight - a vital game for Scotland's Euro 2020 campaign

Scotland fans gather outside Hampden Park in Glasgow ahead of their side's game against Croatia tonight - a vital game for Scotland's Euro 2020 campaign

Scotland fans gather outside Hampden Park in Glasgow ahead of their side’s game against Croatia tonight – a vital game for Scotland’s Euro 2020 campaign

Fans wearing Scotland face masks take their seats ahead of the game at Hampden Park tonight, with Scotland hoping to qualify for the knock-out stages

Fans wearing Scotland face masks take their seats ahead of the game at Hampden Park tonight, with Scotland hoping to qualify for the knock-out stages

Fans wearing Scotland face masks take their seats ahead of the game at Hampden Park tonight, with Scotland hoping to qualify for the knock-out stages

Fans dressed in kilts and draped in Scotland flags have taken their seats at Hampden Park ahead of kick-off against Croatia

Fans dressed in kilts and draped in Scotland flags have taken their seats at Hampden Park ahead of kick-off against Croatia

Fans dressed in kilts and draped in Scotland flags have taken their seats at Hampden Park ahead of kick-off against Croatia

Scotland fans take their seats at Hampden Park ahead of kick-off in the game between Scotland and Croatia

Scotland fans take their seats at Hampden Park ahead of kick-off in the game between Scotland and Croatia

Some of the Tartan Army were seen dressed in kilts at the stadium on Tuesday night

Some of the Tartan Army were seen dressed in kilts at the stadium on Tuesday night

Scotland fans take their seats at Hampden Park ahead of kick-off in the game between Scotland and Croatia. Some of the Tartan Army were seen dressed in kilts at the stadium on Tuesday night

Fans sit out in the sunshine at Hampden Park ahead of Scotland's final Euro 2020 group game tonight, against Croatia

Fans sit out in the sunshine at Hampden Park ahead of Scotland's final Euro 2020 group game tonight, against Croatia

Fans sit out in the sunshine at Hampden Park ahead of Scotland’s final Euro 2020 group game tonight, against Croatia 

One fan was seen with Scotland flag face paint, while another had a flag for the Tartan Army at Hampden Park tonight

One fan was seen with Scotland flag face paint, while another had a flag for the Tartan Army at Hampden Park tonight

One fan was seen with Scotland flag face paint, while another had a flag for the Tartan Army at Hampden Park tonight

Meanwhile, tables have been set out at the Glasgow fan zone this afternoon, with the big screen ready to show the Scotland match against Croatia

Meanwhile, tables have been set out at the Glasgow fan zone this afternoon, with the big screen ready to show the Scotland match against Croatia

Meanwhile, tables have been set out at the Glasgow fan zone this afternoon, with the big screen ready to show the Scotland match against Croatia

It's been a sunny day in Scotland and fans have been lapping up the good weather in Glasgow, where fans have arrived at the fan zone ahead of the match

It's been a sunny day in Scotland and fans have been lapping up the good weather in Glasgow, where fans have arrived at the fan zone ahead of the match

It’s been a sunny day in Scotland and fans have been lapping up the good weather in Glasgow, where fans have arrived at the fan zone ahead of the match

It was all smiles for Scotland fans at the Euro 2020 fan zone in Glasgow ahead of their final group game against Croatia tonight

It was all smiles for Scotland fans at the Euro 2020 fan zone in Glasgow ahead of their final group game against Croatia tonight

It was all smiles for Scotland fans at the Euro 2020 fan zone in Glasgow ahead of their final group game against Croatia tonight

The Tartan Army were in fine voice this evening as they headed to Hampden Park in Glasgow ahead of the Euro 2020 game against Croatia

The Tartan Army were in fine voice this evening as they headed to Hampden Park in Glasgow ahead of the Euro 2020 game against Croatia

The Tartan Army were in fine voice this evening as they headed to Hampden Park in Glasgow ahead of the Euro 2020 game against Croatia

Fans were seen waving Scotland flags ahead of the game at Hampden Park

Fans were seen waving Scotland flags ahead of the game at Hampden Park

Other fans were seen wearing face paint of Scotland's colours ahead of the game at Hampden Park

Other fans were seen wearing face paint of Scotland's colours ahead of the game at Hampden Park

Hampden Park is again awash with blue and white ahead of tonight’s game between Scotland and Croatia – with some fans in face paint and others waving Scotland flags

Scotland fans gather at Hampden Park tonight ahead of the game against Croatia - Scotland's final Euro 2020 group game

Scotland fans gather at Hampden Park tonight ahead of the game against Croatia - Scotland's final Euro 2020 group game

Scotland fans gather at Hampden Park tonight ahead of the game against Croatia – Scotland’s final Euro 2020 group game

Thousands of fans will be at Hampeden Park tonight to cheer on their team in their final group game of Euro 2020

Thousands of fans will be at Hampeden Park tonight to cheer on their team in their final group game of Euro 2020

Thousands of fans will be at Hampeden Park tonight to cheer on their team in their final group game of Euro 2020

It is a big night for Scotland, who could qualify for the knock-out stages of Euro 2020 if they can secure a result against Croatia

It is a big night for Scotland, who could qualify for the knock-out stages of Euro 2020 if they can secure a result against Croatia

It is a big night for Scotland, who could qualify for the knock-out stages of Euro 2020 if they can secure a result against Croatia

The Tartan Army will be in fine voice tonight for the game, which could be a historic moment in the history of Scottish football

The Tartan Army will be in fine voice tonight for the game, which could be a historic moment in the history of Scottish football

The Tartan Army will be in fine voice tonight for the game, which could be a historic moment in the history of Scottish football

Four key talking points as Scotland stand on the verge of history tonight

Scotland take on Croatia in their final Euro 2020 Group D fixture tonight. Steve Clarke’s men have one point from two matches following a 2-0 defeat by the Czech Republic and a 0-0 draw against England. Here are some of the talking points ahead of the crucial match:

On the verge of history

Scotland have never qualified out of the group stage of a major finals, which includes eight World Cups and two European Championships, but victory will ensure they progress, at least as one of the four best third-placed teams. They could even leapfrog England into second if the Czechs win at Wembley and they overturn a three-goal deficit on their neighbours. If the Tartan Army are looking for an omen, Scotland won their previous two final Euro matches in 1992 and 1996 and have not lost to Croatia in five meetings.

Who will replace Billy Gilmour?

The Chelsea midfielder was named star man by Uefa following his first international start but he was brought crashing back to earth by a positive Covid-19 test. John Fleck, who had his own positive test before the tournament, would be a direct replacement. The Sheffield United player is yet to feature in Euro 2020. Scott McTominay could return to midfield but he performed better in the back three at Wembley and could help Scotland push forward better than another centre-back, such as Jack Hendry. John McGinn could revert to a more defensive role, which he filled against the Czech Republic, with options for the more advanced midfield role including Stuart Armstrong, Ryan Christie and David Turnbull.

Where are the Scotland goals coming from?

Scotland are the only team yet to score at Euro 2020. According to official tournament statistics, they have had 30 attempts on goal but only six have been on target while 18 have been blocked. Midfielder John McGinn has 10 international goals but no-one else in the squad comes close and, between them, strikers Lyndon Dykes, Che Adams and Kevin Nisbet have only five goals in 25 caps.

Are Croatia past their best?

The 2018 World Cup finalists also go into the game with one point from a 1-1 draw against Czech Republic, before which they looked insipid in a 1-0 defeat against England. From the side which shone in Russia, midfielder Ivan Rakitic, forward Mario Mandzukic and goalkeeper Danijel Subasic have stepped away from the international scene. Croatia will lean on 35-year-old Real Madrid midfielder Luka Modric more than ever but they still have quality in players such as Inter Milan winger Ivan Perisic, defender Sime Vrsaljko of Atletico Madrid, former Southampton and Liverpool defender Dejan Lovren and AC Milan attacker Ante Rebic.

 

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Clarke accepted that his team were underdogs. ‘Obviously Croatia are the favourites, finalists at the last World Cup,’ he said. ‘They will be favourites.

‘We will have a little bit of an advantage in that we will have a home crowd. But the Croatian players will be able to deal with that atmosphere. We go out there determined to give or best performance.

‘If we can reach our levels then hopefully that’s enough to get us through to the knockout stages of a major competition for the first time in Scotland’s history, and that would be a major achievement.’

Scotland are the only team yet to score at Euro 2020, but they have had 30 attempts at goal in their two matches – more than all their Group D rivals and more than a number of the teams who have played three games.

Clarke said: ‘If we keep creating the chances we have created, if we keep having the shots at goal we have had in previous matches, then you would like to think that Lady Luck will be on our side and maybe one of them will hit the back of the net, or at least one will hit the back of the net.

‘If we reach the performance levels of the other night then I think we will be very competitive in the game and then that you need that little stroke of luck that every team needs in a big game. Hopefully it’s our turn to be the lucky team.’

Scotland have never qualified out of the group stage of a major finals, which includes eight World Cups and two European Championships, but victory will ensure they progress.

They could even leapfrog England into second if the Czechs win at Wembley and they overturn a three-goal deficit on their neighbours. 

If the Tartan Army are looking for an omen, Scotland won their previous two final Euro matches in 1992 and 1996 and have not lost to Croatia in five meetings.

Steve Clarke’s side were handed an even greater incentive last night after groups B and C both ended with the third-placed teams on three points.

A Scotland win against Croatia today would therefore move them to four points and ensure they would at least qualify as one of the four best third-placed teams.

The Tartan Army were looking for a clear winner in the game between Austria and Ukraine and Christoph Baumgartner’s strike gave Scotland’s World Cup qualifying rivals a 1-0 win to seal progress and leave Ukraine on three points.

Group B results also went Scotland’s way with Denmark’s first win of the tournament, a 4-1 thrashing of Russia, and Belgium’s 2-0 triumph over Finland leaving both losers on three points.

Defender Liam Cooper, 29, feels Scotland blew away any signs of nerves and answered doubts about their quality with their performance against England.

‘There was always going to be nerves but they soon go,’ the Leeds centre-back said. ‘You realise the job at hand and you get on with it. The lads who played the other night proved themselves on the world stage, that we belong here.

‘The nerves have gone and it’s all focus on Tuesday night. It’s a massive game, probably the biggest game Scotland has seen for a very long time, and it’s one we are all very excited about and looking forward to.’ 

A Scotland fan sports a series of badges as supporters gather in Glasgow this afternoon ahead of the Euro 2020 match

A Scotland fan sports a series of badges as supporters gather in Glasgow this afternoon ahead of the Euro 2020 match

A Scotland fan sports a series of badges as supporters gather in Glasgow this afternoon ahead of the Euro 2020 match 

A merchandise seller is seen in Glasgow this afternoon ahead of the match which takes place at Hampden Park at 8pm

A merchandise seller is seen in Glasgow this afternoon ahead of the match which takes place at Hampden Park at 8pm

A merchandise seller is seen in Glasgow this afternoon ahead of the match which takes place at Hampden Park at 8pm

The Scottish flag on the equestrian statue of Arthur Wellesley, the 1st Duke of Wellington, outside the Gallery of Modern Art

The Scottish flag on the equestrian statue of Arthur Wellesley, the 1st Duke of Wellington, outside the Gallery of Modern Art

The Scottish flag on the equestrian statue of Arthur Wellesley, the 1st Duke of Wellington, outside the Gallery of Modern Art

Scotland fans are seen in Glasgow ahead of the match tonight which will decide qualification for the next round

Scotland fans are seen in Glasgow ahead of the match tonight which will decide qualification for the next round

Scotland fans are seen in Glasgow ahead of the match tonight which will decide qualification for the next round

The Scottish flag is seen on the equestrian statue of Arthur Wellesley, the 1st Duke of Wellington, in Glasgow this afternoon

The Scottish flag is seen on the equestrian statue of Arthur Wellesley, the 1st Duke of Wellington, in Glasgow this afternoon

The Scottish flag is seen on the equestrian statue of Arthur Wellesley, the 1st Duke of Wellington, in Glasgow this afternoon

A Scotland fan's badges are pictured in Glasgow today ahead of the Euro 2020 match against Croatia this evening

A Scotland fan's badges are pictured in Glasgow today ahead of the Euro 2020 match against Croatia this evening

A Scotland fan’s badges are pictured in Glasgow today ahead of the Euro 2020 match against Croatia this evening

A merchandise seller is seen in Glasgow ahead of the match this evening which will see Scotland take on Croatia

A merchandise seller is seen in Glasgow ahead of the match this evening which will see Scotland take on Croatia

A merchandise seller is seen in Glasgow ahead of the match this evening which will see Scotland take on Croatia

Scotland fans are seen in Glasgow ahead of the match tonight which is one of two final games in Group D of Euro 2020

Scotland fans are seen in Glasgow ahead of the match tonight which is one of two final games in Group D of Euro 2020

Scotland fans are seen in Glasgow ahead of the match tonight which is one of two final games in Group D of Euro 2020

Cheers to that: Fans in Glasgow raise a glass in the hopes their boys will make history against Croatia tonight

Cheers to that: Fans in Glasgow raise a glass in the hopes their boys will make history against Croatia tonight

Cheers to that: Fans in Glasgow raise a glass in the hopes their boys will make history against Croatia tonight 

Sun's out kilts out:  Shirtless fans enjoy a kickabout in traditional Scottish attire in the centre of Glasgow in anticipation for tonight's potentially historic match

Sun's out kilts out:  Shirtless fans enjoy a kickabout in traditional Scottish attire in the centre of Glasgow in anticipation for tonight's potentially historic match

Sun’s out kilts out:  Shirtless fans enjoy a kickabout in traditional Scottish attire in the centre of Glasgow in anticipation for tonight’s potentially historic match 

The celebrations began early in St George's Square in Glasgow as fans rocked tartan kilts and draped tables in the Scottish flag

The celebrations began early in St George's Square in Glasgow as fans rocked tartan kilts and draped tables in the Scottish flag

The celebrations began early in St George’s Square in Glasgow as fans rocked tartan kilts and draped tables in the Scottish flag

Fans sat on socially distanced benches and sipped beers in St George's Square, Glasgow, ahead of Tuesday's Euros 2020 Scotland v Croatia clash

Fans sat on socially distanced benches and sipped beers in St George's Square, Glasgow, ahead of Tuesday's Euros 2020 Scotland v Croatia clash

Fans sat on socially distanced benches and sipped beers in St George’s Square, Glasgow, ahead of Tuesday’s Euros 2020 Scotland v Croatia clash 

Meanwhile, Mount and Chilwell are out of England’s clash with the Czech Republic tonight and must remain in isolation until the start of next week.

The Three Lions’ preparations for their final Group D match were thrown into chaos when it emerged that the Chelsea pair had been in contact with Gilmour, who tested positive for coronavirus.

Mount and Chilwell will now miss the pool decider at Wembley and could also miss England’s last-16 match, with qualification assured but their place in the group up in the air.

The Football Association said in a statement: ‘We can confirm that Ben Chilwell and Mason Mount must isolate up to and including next Monday, June 28). This decision has been taken in consultation with Public Health England.

Fans have taken to social media to wish Scotland luck as they attempt to make football history and qualify out of the group stage of the Euros for the first time ever

Fans have taken to social media to wish Scotland luck as they attempt to make football history and qualify out of the group stage of the Euros for the first time ever

Fans have taken to social media to wish Scotland luck as they attempt to make football history and qualify out of the group stage of the Euros for the first time ever

'C'mon Scotland, let's do this': Gifs of iconic film Braveheart were shared by fans egging on the Scots ahead of their Croatia clash

'C'mon Scotland, let's do this': Gifs of iconic film Braveheart were shared by fans egging on the Scots ahead of their Croatia clash

‘C’mon Scotland, let’s do this’: Gifs of iconic film Braveheart were shared by fans egging on the Scots ahead of their Croatia clash

'It's going to be torturous': Scotland fans are feeling the nerves ahead of the potentially historic match at Hampden tonight

'It's going to be torturous': Scotland fans are feeling the nerves ahead of the potentially historic match at Hampden tonight

‘It’s going to be torturous’: Scotland fans are feeling the nerves ahead of the potentially historic match at Hampden tonight 

'Scotland winning tonight': Some fans are confident history will be made as Scotland prepare to face off against Croatia

'Scotland winning tonight': Some fans are confident history will be made as Scotland prepare to face off against Croatia

‘Scotland winning tonight’: Some fans are confident history will be made as Scotland prepare to face off against Croatia 

'Give Croatia hell tonight': One fan says Scotland 'will not give up without a fight' above a picture of the iconic Scottish soft drink Irn Bru

'Give Croatia hell tonight': One fan says Scotland 'will not give up without a fight' above a picture of the iconic Scottish soft drink Irn Bru

‘Give Croatia hell tonight’: One fan says Scotland ‘will not give up without a fight’ above a picture of the iconic Scottish soft drink Irn Bru

'I'm expecting a win tonight': One Twitter user hopes fortunes are in Scotland's favour after his ankle broke the last time they played, sending a message of support above a picture of Willie the caretaker from The Simpsons

'I'm expecting a win tonight': One Twitter user hopes fortunes are in Scotland's favour after his ankle broke the last time they played, sending a message of support above a picture of Willie the caretaker from The Simpsons

‘I’m expecting a win tonight’: One Twitter user hopes fortunes are in Scotland’s favour after his ankle broke the last time they played, sending a message of support above a picture of Willie the caretaker from The Simpsons 

'Who even am I?': The highly-anticipated game between Scotland and Croatia seems to have got everyone excited, even non-football fans

'Who even am I?': The highly-anticipated game between Scotland and Croatia seems to have got everyone excited, even non-football fans

‘Who even am I?’: The highly-anticipated game between Scotland and Croatia seems to have got everyone excited, even non-football fans 

‘The pair were confirmed overnight as close contacts of Scotland’s Billy Gilmour after his positive test following last Friday’s match. Chilwell and Mount will isolate and train individually in private areas at England’s training base St George’s Park, with the rest of the squad returning there after tonight’s fixture against Czech Republic.

‘We will continue to follow all Covid-19 protocols and the UEFA testing regime, while remaining in close contact with PHE. The entire England squad and staff had lateral flow tests on Monday and all were again negative, as was the case with Sunday’s UEFA pre-match PCR tests. Further tests will be carried out as and when appropriate.’

Furious England fans blast rules that let every Scotland player escape Covid isolation while Mason Mount and Ben Chilwell could miss TWO Euro 2020 games over tunnel chat with Billy Gilmour

What is a ‘close contact’?

The UK Government defines a close contact as ‘a person who has been close to someone who has tested positive for Covid-19’.

Someone can be a contact any time from two days before the person who tested positive developed their symptoms (or, if they did not have any symptoms, from two days before the date their positive test was taken), and up to ten days after, because this is when they can pass the infection on to others.

A contact can be:

  • Anyone who lives in the same household as another person who has COVID-19 symptoms or has tested positive for Covid-19
  • Anyone who has had any of the following types of contact with someone who has tested positive for Covid -19:
  • face-to-face contact including being coughed on or having a face-to-face conversation within one metre
  • been within one metre for one minute or longer without face-to-face contact
  • been within 2 metres of someone for more than 15 minutes (either as a one-off contact, or added up together over one day)
  • A person may also be a close contact if they have travelled in the same vehicle or plane as a case.

If you have been identified as a contact, you have been assessed as being at risk of developing Covid-19, even if you don’t currently have symptoms.

An interaction through a Perspex or equivalent screen with someone who has tested positive for Covid-19 is not usually considered to be a contact, as long as there has been no other contact such as those in the list above.

If you are a contact of someone who has tested positive for Covid-19 you will be notified by the NHS Test and Trace service via text message, email or phone. 

According to NHS England, in normal situations, close contact means ‘close face to face contact (under one metre) for any length of time – including talking to them or coughing on them. It also includes being within one to two metres of each other for more than 15 minutes – including travelling in a small vehicle.  

You should also self-isolate if you have Covid symptoms, such as a high temperature, a new, continuous cough or a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste, if you or anyone you live with test positive for Covid, or if someone in your support bubble tests positive and you have been in close contact.

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Furious Three Lions fans have today blasted coronavirus rules which mean two England stars who came into contact with Covid-positive Scotland midfielder Billy Gilmour have to self-isolate – while his own teammates do not.

England stars Mason Mount and Ben Chilwell are now facing six more days in quarantine after a tunnel chat with their Chelsea teammate in the aftermath of Friday’s 0-0 draw at Wembley.

But, in a bizarre twist, no other Scotland player, apart from Gilmour, will have to self-isolate.

It means Scotland go into their game against Croatia with a near-full strength squad, while England will be without star midfielder Mount and left-back Chilwell against Czech Republic.

The pair, who have both tested negative for Covid since coming into contact with Gilmour, could also miss England’s upcoming knock-out fixture depending on when it takes place.

Football pundits have today slammed the decision, while England fans have also hit out, describing the situation as ‘farcical’.  

England fan Mike Davies, of Tunbridge Wells Kent, told MailOnline: ‘It is a disgusting decision. I can’t believe it.

‘When you think of the fact that Billy Gilmour was in a changing room with his Scottish teammates after the match, it just doesn’t make sense.’

Another fan Ian Greener, from Wakefield who works for Network Rail as an engineer, said: ‘It is a farcical position. It is just crazy.

‘But I believe that if they had quarantined the Scotland team, then their match with Croatia wouldn’t have been able to take place tonight.

‘That would’ve messed up the whole group and delayed matches for everyone else. At the end of the day it’s all about money for UEFA. Is that plain and simple.’   

Another, Richard Wilkinson, 65, a retired bricklayer of Dagenham, Essex, added; ‘When you think that fans have paid a lot of money to watch the match, you’d allow them to see the best players.

‘Mason Mount is a quality England player and to stop him from playing just because he’s been in touch with someone who’s got Covid and yet the Scots haven’t lost one player into quarantine, is ridiculous.

‘The Covid rules are all over the place when it comes to football.’

It comes as Gary Neville and Gary Lineker both criticised the decision to put England duo Mason Mount and Ben Chilwell into isolation because of close contact with Scotland’s Covid-positive Gilmour.  

Meanwhile, both Mount and Chilwell admitted they were ‘gutted’ today after being told they would have to self-isolate until next Monday – meaning they could also miss England’s knock-out game depending on when it falls.

The players have been deemed ‘close contacts’ of Covid-carrying Scotland player Billy Gilmour after chatting to him in the tunnel  for 15 minutes following their match at Wembley Stadium in London on Friday.

But the decision has sparked anger from fans who point out that none of the Scotland team has been categorised as a ‘close contact’ of 20-year-old Gilmour despite being seen hugging him on the pitch. 

The English Football Association said it had taken the decision today ‘in consultation with Public Health England’. 

Meanwhile, none of Scotland’s players will be self isolating because they do not need to do under Uefa rules, with none having been defined as ‘close contacts’. 

A PHE spokesman told MailOnline: ‘There is guidance in place governing Covid-19 in elite sport, published by DCMS.

‘It is the responsibility of each team’s medical staff to make the appropriate risk assessments, based on the guidance, and to make the final decision about who does and does not need to isolate.

‘So any queries about why Scottish players aren’t being required to self-isolate will be for the Scottish FA to answer.

‘Queries about the English players should go to the FA in the first instance. PHE’s role is advisory.’ 

Both England players said they were ‘gutted’ at having to sit out at least tonight’s match. Midfielder Mount wrote on Twitter: ‘I’m absolutely gutted to have to miss tonight’s game. I’ll be cheering on the boys as usual and ensuring that I’m ready to go again when called upon. Come on @England!’

And defender Chilwell posted: ‘It’s a tough one to take and I’m gutted but I want to wish the boys all the best tonight in the game, I’ll be cheering you all on. I will make sure I am ready for when I can rejoin the squad. Let’s go @England!’

The decision to isolate Mount and Chilwell prompted a fierce backlash today, with former England star Gary Lineker saying: ‘Ridiculous. Just test them’ and Gary Neville tweeting: ‘Absolute joke!’

The FA insisted today that this was not their decision, and that they were following strict PHE rules. However, it comes after PHE indicated yesterday that any decision on players isolating would be made by the FA.

And the singling out of Mount and Chilwell appears o be based on the categorisation of a 15-minute chat the pair had with Gilmour indoors after the Scotland-England match on Friday evening.

Under PHE guidelines criteria for close contact includes face-to-face contact within one metre or being within two metres for more than 15 minutes.  

None of Scotland’s players will quarantine – despite team-mates sharing the same dressing room and hotel as Gilmour and hugging each other after the match, while captain Andy Robertson and midfielder McGinn played table tennis with Gilmour over the weekend.

The team trained at their Rockliffe HQ near Darlington early yesterday, before traveling up to Glasgow in the afternoon ahead of tonight’s game at Hampden Park. 

If England finish second in Group D, they will play their last-16 match next Monday – but if they come first then it will be next Tuesday, meaning the players’ availability for the next round could depend on tonight’s result. 

Gilmour was forced to quarantine for ten days following a positive test, with Scotland’s team doctor delivering the news at his hotel room door at 8am yesterday.

England medics initially put Mount and Chilwell, who play with Gilmour at Chelsea, into quarantine as a precaution after all three hugged at the end of Friday’s clash and met again in the tunnel area after the game.

But an FA spokesman then said today: ‘We can confirm that Ben Chilwell and Mason Mount must isolate up to and including next Monday, June 28. This decision has been taken in consultation with Public Health England.

‘The pair were confirmed overnight as close contacts of Scotland’s Billy Gilmour after his positive test following last Friday’s match. Chilwell and Mount will isolate and train individually in private areas at England’s training base St George’s Park, with the rest of the squad returning there after tonight’s fixture against Czech Republic at Wembley. We will continue to follow all Covid-19 protocols and the Uefa testing regime, while remaining in close contact with PHE. 

‘The entire England squad and staff had lateral flow tests on Monday and all were again negative, as was the case with Sunday’s Uefa pre-match PCR tests. Further tests will be carried out as and when appropriate.’ 

The UK Government advises the public to self-isolate if they have has had ‘face-to-face contact including being coughed on or having a face-to-face conversation within one metre’ of someone who has tested positive.  

Ex-England goalkeeper David Seaman told ITV’s Good Morning Britain today: ‘Scotland have come in on a coach together, they’re in a dressing room, so I just don’t understand why it’s two England players that have to isolate… and no one from Scotland, because surely the guys from Scotland have had a lot more contact with Billy Gilmour.’ 

England have already qualified for the knockout phase after going through last night without kicking a ball due to other results, while Scotland have to beat Croatia this evening at Hampden Park to make it through. 

Croatia coach Zlatko Dalic admitted all of his players have been ‘afraid’ amid the ‘psychological pressure and uncertainty’ caused by isolation rules, but the full squad have tested negative every third day at the tournament. 

It comes amid concerns over whether the semi-finals and final should still be at Wembley given the renewed surge in Covid-19 cases in England, with Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi among those calling for them to be moved. 

A PHE spokesman told MailOnline today: ‘There is guidance in place governing Covid-19 in elite sport, published by DCMS. It is the responsibility of each team’s medical staff to make the appropriate risk assessments, based on the guidance, and to make the final decision about who does and does not need to isolate.

‘So any queries about why Scottish players aren’t being required to self-isolate will be for the Scottish FA to answer. Queries about the English players should go to the FA in the first instance. PHE’s role is advisory.’

Billy Gilmour was seen hugging two Chelsea team-mates, Ben Chilwell and Mason Mount, after Friday's match at Wembley

Billy Gilmour was seen hugging two Chelsea team-mates, Ben Chilwell and Mason Mount, after Friday's match at Wembley

Billy Gilmour was seen hugging two Chelsea team-mates, Ben Chilwell and Mason Mount, after Friday’s match at Wembley

Mason Mount

Mason Mount

Ben Chilwell

Ben Chilwell

Both England players – Mount (left) and Chilwell (right) said they were ‘gutted’ at having to sit out at least tonight’s match

England stars Mason Mount (pictured here with Gilmour on Friday night) and Ben Chilwell have been forced to self-isolate

England stars Mason Mount (pictured here with Gilmour on Friday night) and Ben Chilwell have been forced to self-isolate

England stars Mason Mount (pictured here with Gilmour on Friday night) and Ben Chilwell have been forced to self-isolate

Gary Lineker

Gary Lineker

Gary Neville

Gary Neville

Gary Lineker and Gary Neville joined the fan outrage about the decision to make Mount and Chilwell isolate 

England manager Gareth Southgate had said a final decision on whether Mount and Chilwell could play in tonight’s match against the Czech Republic would be taken this morning, with talks ongoing with PHE. PHE can issue advice, but it had said the FA would decide to tell players to isolate if they were not ‘close contacts’.

England players all returned further negative tests yesterday, and a frustrated Southgate said at the time: ‘I don’t want to cause a drama for Scotland but if you’re all in the dressing room together where does everything stand?

Gareth Southgate called for footballers to get their jabs three months ago ‘but was shouted down’

England manager Gareth Southgate during training drills at Hotspur Way Training Ground in London yesterday

England manager Gareth Southgate during training drills at Hotspur Way Training Ground in London yesterday

England manager Gareth Southgate during training drills at Hotspur Way Training Ground in London yesterday

Gareth Southgate called for footballers to be vaccinated three months ago amid concerns over the risks of contracting Covid-19 while playing in the pandemic.

The England manager said yesterday: ‘In terms of the vaccinations, you need to go back to my suggestions in March around that where I was fairly firmly shouted down for daring to suggest anything of the sort.

‘I did propose it but at the time I also said I totally understood where we stand in the pecking order for vaccinations. In actual fact the vaccinations wouldn’t stop you catching the virus so it might not necessarily have stopped this situation in fairness.’

According to the Daily Telegraph, Southgate added: ‘I just made an observation that I thought given the tournament, given that we were asking professional sportspeople to go into these sorts of events and travel, and go back home to their families, that there would be a point where they were at greater risk of catching the virus than others.

‘But, look, that ship’s sailed and, as I said, even if we had the vaccine – you know I’m old enough, I’ve had both vaccines now – I’m told you can still catch it, the different variants, it’s just less dangerous.

‘The reality is moving forward, I don’t think we’ll be in a situation where a positive test rules you out because I think we’ll be living with it, like we’ve lived with flu.’

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‘I don’t know is the honest answer to that. Our medical people are dealing with all of this. I was on the training pitch when I found out, so we’d just literally finished training.

‘In terms of the team, we’ll need to go through details with the players in the morning really, so we’ll have to know by first thing in the morning of their availability and if not we’ll just have to play on without them.’ 

He added: ‘I’ve been updated as regularly as I can be which is every hour or so when there’s a little bit more information and we have to accept whatever the situation is and adapt to it. That’s the world we’re all living in, across every family and every sport and every business.’ 

It comes as England qualified for the knockout phase last night without kicking a ball on a day that Mount and Chilwell went into isolation after Gilmour tested positive three days after the Scotland game at Wembley. 

Speaking on Good Morning Britain this morning, celebrity GP Dr Hilary Jones pointed out that there was an argument to say the whole Scotland team should be self-isolating and not playing tonight.

He said the incubation period for Covid-19 is five days, which is potentially why the England players will not be playing in tonight’s match after coming in contact with Gilmour on Friday night.

Dr Hilary said: ‘If you look at the definition of close contact it’s 15 consecutive minutes within two metres of contact with someone who’s tested positive, so they could argue it wasn’t 15 consecutive minutes.

‘CDC in America say it could be 15 minutes over a whole 24 hour period in which case the whole Scotland team would have been exposed so the Scotland team should be self-isolating in theory.’

‘In theory, they should self-isolate for longer and they shouldn’t be playing tonight and they should be separated from the England team but we know that’s not going to happen don’t we?

‘Because football seems to not abide by any of the rules. If you look at the crowds, if you look at what’s going on in the pitch, there’s close contact all the time it’s making a nonsense of what we’re asking everybody else to do.’ 

And Health Secretary Matt Hancock told ITV’s Good Morning Britain today: ‘The rules, with respect to the Scotland team playing in Scotland are written by and a matter for Public Health Scotland, and I’m assured that the Scotland team are following them assiduously and that is a matter for the Scotland manager. 

‘But I also very much hope we can keep this competition going because it’s bringing joy to so many people.’

He added: ‘Throughout the pandemic we’ve had specific rules for elite sports to make sure that those sports can carry on. 

‘All the way through this winter, the Premier League continued for instance, the Scottish Football League continued, and it did so by having specific testing regimes, and specific rules around it, and I’m assured that the Scotland team are following those rules.’ 

Will Scotland boss Steve Clarke now have to self-isolate? The manager was seen speaking to Gilmour face-to-face following the match at Wembley on Friday night

Will Scotland boss Steve Clarke now have to self-isolate? The manager was seen speaking to Gilmour face-to-face following the match at Wembley on Friday night

Scotland boss Steve Clarke speaks to Billy Gilmour during the match at Wembley

Scotland boss Steve Clarke speaks to Billy Gilmour during the match at Wembley

Scotland boss Steve Clarke was seen speaking to Gilmour face-to-face following the match at Wembley on Friday night

Billy Gilmour (far right) celebrates with Scotland teammates after he helped his side to a 0-0 draw against England on Friday

Billy Gilmour (far right) celebrates with Scotland teammates after he helped his side to a 0-0 draw against England on Friday

Billy Gilmour (far right) celebrates with Scotland teammates after he helped his side to a 0-0 draw against England on Friday

Jim Weems, club doctor at Oldham Athletic FC, told BBC Radio 5 Live: ‘The players at the end of the match were doing what they normally do, but perhaps it’s a wake-up call – players need to be reminded that they’re in a privileged position that they’re playing in this tournament at all.

How did England qualify for the knockout stage last night without playing?

England made it through to the Euro 2020 knockout phase last night without kicking a ball as any stress over qualification was removed by results elsewhere.

Four of the best third-placed teams at the rearranged Euros progress to the knockout phase.

And England’s four-point haul is now guaranteed to put them in that bracket whatever happens against the group-leading Czech Republic in tonight’s match.

Belgium and Holland topped their respective groups with victories against Finland and North Macedonia on Monday, while Denmark thumped Russia to progress and Austria saw off Ukraine to also finish second in their group.

That left Finland and Ukraine in third place in Groups B and C respectively on three points each – meaning England, Switzerland, Sweden, Czech Republic and France can celebrate reaching the last 16.

Tonight’s fixtures are:

  • England v Czech Republic (8pm, Wembley, ITV)
  • Scotland v Croatia (8pm, Hampden, ITV4) 
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‘It just goes down to what guidance are they going to follow – are they going to follow the Public Health England guidance, are they going to go with WHO (World Health Organization) guidance – there are discrepancies between the two as to what constitutes close contact.

‘So in this country we’re talking about face-to-face contact – if you’ve been coughed on, or had a face-to-face conversation within one metre and you could say the interactions of the players at the end of the game would tick that box.

‘Or within one metre for a minute, no face-to-face contact, or two metres in the same room as someone for more than 15 minutes, and that’s over the course of the day, so you’d have to think that the England and the Scotland squads and all of the squads in the tournament are treated as bubbles.’

The Scottish Football Association announced yesterday morning that 20-year-old midfielder Gilmour had returned a positive Covid-19 result and would miss tonight’s crunch Group D encounter with Croatia.

Gilmour helped boost Scotland’s qualification hopes with a man-of-the-match display in Friday’s 0-0 draw at Wembley, where he interacted with Chelsea team-mates Mount and Chilwell. 

The fact Gilmour’s positive result appears to be having a bigger impact on the Three Lions than Scotland has left Gareth Southgate confused, but any stress over qualification was removed by results elsewhere yesterday.

Four of the best third-placed teams at the rearranged Euros progress to the knockout phase, with England’s four-point haul now guaranteed to put them in that bracket whatever happens against the pool-leading Czechs.

Belgium and Holland topped their respective groups with victories against Finland and North Macedonia yesterday, while Denmark beat Russia to progress and Austria saw off Ukraine to also finish second in their group.

That left Finland and Ukraine in third place in Groups B and C respectively on three points each – meaning England, Switzerland, Sweden, Czech Republic and France can celebrate reaching the last 16.

Billy Gilmour shakes hands with Scotland teammate Stuart Armstrong after he is substituted during his side's 0-0 draw with England at Wembley

Billy Gilmour shakes hands with Scotland teammate Stuart Armstrong after he is substituted during his side's 0-0 draw with England at Wembley

Referee Antonio Miguel Mateu Lahoz speaks to Billy Gilmour during the match against England on Friday night

Referee Antonio Miguel Mateu Lahoz speaks to Billy Gilmour during the match against England on Friday night

Billy Gilmour shakes hands with Scotland teammate Stuart Armstrong (pictured left) after he is substituted during his side’s 0-0 draw with England at Wembley. Referee Antonio Miguel Mateu Lahoz (pictured right) speaks to Gilmour during the match

Southgate is braced to be without Mount and Chilwell for tonight’s match, despite the pair producing negative lateral-flow tests on Monday afternoon following negative results in Sunday’s round of UEFA pre-match PCR tests.

Croatia coach Zlatko Dalic (left) admits his squad has been gripped by Covid anxiety

Croatia coach Zlatko Dalic (left) admits his squad has been gripped by Covid anxiety

Croatia coach Zlatko Dalic (pictured in Glasgow yesterday) has admitted his squad has been gripped by Covid anxiety

Asked about the duo’s availability for the group decider, the England manager said: ‘Well, we don’t know at the moment.

‘There’s obviously got to be quite a doubt, but there’s still a lot of discussions and investigations going on behind the scenes, so at the moment they’re isolating and we just have to find out over the last 12 hours or so.’ 

Prince William will be at Wembley tonight. 

A PHE spokesman said that it was ‘working with the FA to identify close contacts of Billy Gilmour and any risk to other players and staff’, and indicated any decision to tell players from the England team to isolate was made by the Football Association. 

Southgate, who had been due to have Mount alongside him at the pre-match press conference yesterday evening, said: ‘We had worked with the players this morning on the training pitch so then of course we find out when we finish that this is the situation.

‘I can’t say it isn’t disruptive. We don’t really know at this point whether they might be OK for (Tuesday) or they could be out for 10 days so there are a lot of unknowns frankly at this moment in time.’

Among the many things Southgate is trying to get his head around is how England are having to prepare without two players whereas Scotland have avoided further absences despite Gilmour’s positive test being in their camp.

Steve Clarke’s men have been under the PHE umbrella, having stayed in Darlington and used Middlesbrough’s training ground – the same facilities used by England during their pre-Euros training base. 

When could Billy Gilmour have caught Covid?

It’s difficult to know exactly when the Scottish starlet contracted Covid.

It generally takes four to five days for the virus to ‘incubate’ in someone before they start shedding enough to test positive.  This would suggest Gilmour, who produced a positive result on Sunday, picked up the virus sometime last week.

The midfielder would have tested negative last Wednesday, two days ahead of Scotland’s clash with England, because UEFA rules mean all players, coaches and supporting staff need to take a swab 48 hours before each match.

It’s possible that Gilmour was technically infected with the virus at that point and that it had not yet multiplied in his system enough to show up on the test. If this was the case, then it is also possible that the Chelsea star was infectious by the time he took to the pitch at Wembley on Friday evening.

While UEFA requires a negative test two days before each match, players are only checked for their temperature on matchday. Many infected people go undetected by temperature checks because only a handful of Covid patients suffer a fever. Fit and healthily 20-year-olds like Gilmour are much more likely to be symptomless while infected.

There is a slim chance that Gilmour’s positive result on Sunday was a ‘false positive’, when the test wrongly tells a person they are infectious. While the PCR method is highly accurate, some studies have shown they can give a false positive up to 4 per cent of the time.

UEFA’s stringent testing protocols stipulate that players cannot challenge a positive PCR test or ask for it to be redone. However, assuming that Gilmour was infected at the time of the England game, it raises concerns that others could also have contracted the virus.

Gilmour was seen hugging some of his Chelsea teammates after the match -and there could now be doubts over both Ben Chilwell and Mason Mount prior to England’s final group game against the Czech Republic tomorrow. He was also seen embracing his Scotland teammates and manager Steve Clarke on the pitch.

Covid finds it easier to spread when people come into close contact with others, which is why we were urged not to hug loved ones and friends for months during lockdown. But being outdoors in the fresh air significantly reduces the likelihood of the virus being able to jump from person to person.

However, Gilmour was also recorded celebrating with teammates in the changing rooms and interacting with his parents in the stands on Friday night.

Footage then surfaced of the Glaswegian playing table tennis in close proximity with members of the Scotland squad at the team hotel over the weekend. 

UEFA has stressed that all 26 England players and the support team, as well the rest of the Scotland squad, returned negative results after the latest round of PCR testing yesterday. 

But the virus’ incubation period means there is still a risk some of them may have caught the disease.

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Ex-England striker Gary Lineker shared confusion about the differing impact on the sides following news that Mount and Chilwell were isolating.

‘This is odd,’ he wrote on Twitter. ‘They may have had close contact with Billy Gilmour, but if they continue to test negative surely they can play.

‘Otherwise surely every single Scottish player, who all hugged Gilmour after the game, won’t be allowed to play either. Makes no sense.’

But Southgate – who expressed sympathy for Scotland counterpart Clarke following Gilmour’s positive test – is not letting his attention waver, saying in tournaments ‘you have to adapt, you have to respond’.

Asked why it just Mount and Chilwell, who were pictured embracing Gilmour on Friday, having to isolate, the England boss said: ‘I don’t know all of the factors behind that.

‘Clearly it’s nothing to do with being on the pitch so that’s why there is no issue with teams training, for example.

‘Going to when the Premier League restarted training and matches were shown to be a situation where there weren’t contacts for long enough for that to be a risk, so we’re just waiting to hear more information at this moment in time.’

He added: ‘It would be something to do with chatting after the game, but I have no idea of all the detail. That’s why we’ve taken the decision at this point to isolate them. That’s why we’re having to have the discussions with Public Health England, as I understand it.’ 

Southgate will, though, make sure England’s players are reminded of their duties. ‘After what’s happened, I don’t think they will need us to tell them but for sure we will,’ he said.

‘I think you can see evidence at every match of interactions. I think these sorts of things do serve as a reminder that we are under a different sort of spotlight to most parts of the community and at higher risk of being forced to miss matches or whatever else.’ 

While Gilmour has entered ten days of isolation ahead of the winner-takes-all Group D fixture between Croatia and Scotland tonight, no close contacts have been established within the remainder of Steve Clarke’s squad.

Croatia’s Dalic feels wider Covid regulations have already given his country a raw deal at the tournament and hs is on high alert in case of any further complications.

‘There is a pressure for all of us, lasting for a month relating to this situation,’ said the 54-year-old, assessing playing the tournament within a pandemic.

‘Every third day, we go through the tests. There is psychological pressure and uncertainty. So we are afraid something would happen, they test positive and we all end up isolating and having those serious issues. 

‘I hope nobody else is positive. I don’t want this to expand. Hopefully, it’s just a single case.

‘We are concerned but we have to do this match. We have to play and try to win the three points. 

‘We have just arrived in Glasgow, had lunch and we are due to have a meeting. But I don’t expect anyone to say they don’t want to play.

‘All of them are afraid but, nonetheless, we have to play, concentrate on the game and forget everything else. That’s how the situation is for this entire Euros. All of us have been negative until now.

‘We are taking all the precautions and implementing all the measures. But we just have to see what happens.’

The Scottish Government were bemused when Croatia cited concerns over the strictness of close-contact regulations as a reason for abandoning a planned training camp in St Andrews. 

Croatia face Scotland in a winner-takes-all Group D fixture at Hampden Park tonight

Croatia face Scotland in a winner-takes-all Group D fixture at Hampden Park tonight

Croatia face Scotland in a winner-takes-all Group D fixture at Hampden Park tonight

Dalic’s squad have instead trained at Rovinj in their homeland and flown to the UK for each of their three group matches.

A 1-0 defeat to England and a 1-1 draw with the Czech Republic means Croatia have to beat Scotland to progress. And Dalic is upset that quarantine rules will see very few of their fans inside Hampden.

‘We always knew the third match would be decisive,’ he said. ‘This is our last chance and we’re going to try to take it.

‘I keep saying it — we are at a disadvantage. We are harmed because we don’t have our fans here. We are much better with our supporters behind us. It’s not fair.

‘We have to travel, we are in isolation all the time — and they have told us if one of us is positive then we all go into isolation. We’re afraid of all these things and being told we are not allowed to do this and that.

‘I would not like to comment and say something that isn’t related to the field. The conditions should be the same for all, but they are not the same for all.

‘Nonetheless, I wish Gilmour a good recovery and that nobody else ends up positive with Covid because that would make things difficult.’

Dalic doesn’t expect Scotland to be critically weakened by the Chelsea youngster’s absence. ‘Any player missing is something that is not good for the team,’ he added. ‘He didn’t start in the initial line-up but played the last match.

‘Scotland have other players, maybe more experienced players, that will replace him. So I don’t think it’s a great blow to Scotland because they are a good team with great players.

‘They have shown they are in good form. They drew with Holland 2-2 and only lost a goal in the last minutes. Against England, they played well away from home in front of the English fans. They have a lot of motivation, a lot of self-confidence.

‘Against the Czech Republic, they created some very good chances and didn’t deserve to lose.This will be a very difficult game. Scotland are a strong team, they can be physical and they have a lot of power.

‘Even so, we want to achieve success and will be fighting very hard to do it. We will have to be patient and take our chances.’ 

An FA spokesman said: ‘As a precaution at this time and in consultation with Public Health England, Ben Chilwell and Mason Mount are isolating after interaction with Scotland player Billy Gilmour at Friday’s match.

‘The pair will be kept away from the rest of the England players and wider support team, pending further discussions with PHE.’ 

Separately, Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi said the final of the tournament should not be held in Wembley given the renewed surge in coronavirus cases in England.

Speaking in Berlin: ‘I support ensuring that the final does not take place in a country where the risk of infection is of course very high.’

Link hienalouca.com

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