The wait is nearly over for Steve Clarke, his players and supporters across the country.

On Friday, Scotland will learn their fate for the Nations League semi-final in March as the bid to qualify for EURO 2020 comes to a head.

One thing is guaranteed - after finishing as the highest ranked side in League C, Scotland will be at home for the semi-final. 

After Finland secured qualification, the potential opposition for that crunch match next year became one of the four best runners-up in the C groups.

That means Scotland are in line to play Bulgaria, Hungary, Israel or Romania. The three sides who are not drawn to play against Steve Clarke's men will earn promotion from Group C.

Should Scotland be victorious, they will face one of Norway or Serbia in the final, with those two going head-to-head in the other semi-final. 

As well as the draw to determine who Scotland face at Hampden, there will be a draw to decide where the final will be played, with the winner of Norway v Serbia or Scotland v Bulgaria/Hungary/Israel/Romania set to host the fixture on Tuesday, 31 March. 

Here, we take a look at each of the four potential teams that could face Scotland at Hampden on Thursday, 26 March in the semi-final.


Although they do not boast a stand out talent like Dimitar Berbatov, Stiliyan Petrov or Hristo Stoichkov as they have in the past, Bulgaria should not be underestimated.

A positive Nations League group stage was followed up by a forgettable Qualification campaign, as the Bulgarians finished with just six points in Group A.

In a difficult Nations League group containing Norway, Cyprus and Slovenia, Bulgaria finished comfortably in second and just two points behind Norway.

While their squad is full of experience, spearheaded by the 90 time capped Ivelin Popov, there is some promising youngsters to be wary of too.

22-year-old Bozhidar Kraev is plying his trade in Portugal’s top flight with Gil Vicente. The creative winger most notably assisted his side’s winning goal in their giant killing win against Porto in August.


Under head coach Marco Rossi, Hungary secured second place in their Nations League group and were part of one of the tightest groups in European Qualification.

Just two points separated Wales, Slovakia and Hungary in Group E, with Croatia topping the group on 17 points. The runners-up at last year’s World Cup did not enjoy an ideal start as Hungary secured a 2-1 win in Budapest, coming from behind to record a memorable victory over the Croats.

They also defeated eventual second placed side Wales thanks to an 80th minute winner from Mate Patkai but it wasn’t enough as Rossi’s side finished fourth and narrowly missed out on automatic qualification.

There is fairly recent history to recall between Hungary and Scotland, with the two going up against one another in Alex McLeish's first match in charge in his second spell at the helm.

Matt Phillips scored the only goal of the game as Scotland emerged victorious in a tightly contested friendly in Budapest. 

One Hungarian to watch is Adam Szalai, who stands out in more ways than one.

Towering at 6ft 4in, the striker will be tough to pin down but his track record for club and country makes him more than just a physical forward.

Szalai has played for Schalke, Stuttgart and Hoffenheim and has an international scoring record which sees him average better than a goal every three games, scoring 21 times in 61 appearances for his country. 


Scotland supporters will be familiar with this potential opponent, having seen the two sides go head-to-head in the Nations League group stages.

In the first meeting, a first-half penalty from Charlie Mulgrew put Alex McLeish’s side in front at the interval, before a Dor Peretz strike and an own goal from Kieran Tierney saw Israel claim a valuable three points in front of their home supporters.

In the match that mattered most though, it was Scotland who came out on top, clinching Group C1 and earning this play-off spot in the process.

It ended a 15-year wait for a playoff spot, with a James Forrest hat-trick enough to see the hosts overcome Israel at Hampden.

Following that memorable night in Glasgow, Israel went on to finish fifth in their European Qualifying group, with Poland and Austria comfortably securing the top two spots in Group G.


Finishing second in their Nations League group was just reward for Romania’s unbeaten run.

Drawn alongside Serbia, Montenegro and Lithuania, Romania won three and drew three as they secured their play-off spot having conceded just three goals along the way.

It is not just an able defence the Scots need to be concerned about, with exciting striker George Puskas one to watch.

The Reading attacker’s impressive tally for the Under-21s has been seamlessly maintained since making his first team debut against Lithuania in this competition. Scoring 18 in 25 appearances for the Under-21s has been followed up with six in 14 for the first team.

In a difficult qualification group, Romania finished fourth behind Norway, Sweden and table-toppers Spain. In their meeting with the former World and European Champions, Romania lost narrowly back in September, with Sergio Ramos and Paco Alcacer inflicting a 2-1 defeat on Scotland’s potential opponents next March.

Follow the draw

The draw will take place on Friday, 22 March at 11am. You can follow it live on and @ScotlandNT on Twitter. 

Just over a week later, the EURO 2020 draw will take place on Saturday, 30 November.