UEFA EURO 2020 Qualifiers
Scotland v Cyprus
Saturday, 8 June 2019, kick-off 7.45pm
New Scotland head coach Steve Clarke will be looking to hit the ground running as he leads his Scotland side out for the first time in Saturday’s crucial UEFA EURO 2020 Qualifier against Cyprus.
Having taken charge of the side only a few weeks ago, Clarke has been putting the team through their paces with double sessions in training this week as he aims to get his tenure off to a winning start against the group’s fourth pot.
After the disappointing start to the campaign, which saw Alex McLeish leave his post following the opening 3-0 defeat to Kazakhstan, Clarke will be hoping the positivity around Scottish football – generated by his appointment, the Scotland Women’s Team’s success as they head to the FIFA Women’s World Cup, and Andy Robertson’s triumph in the UEFA Champions League Final with Liverpool – will translate into a raucous crowd and three points.
The sides have met on five previous occasions, with Scotland boasting a one hundred percent record against the side currently ranked 89th in the world.
The sides were first paired in qualifying for the 1970 World Cup, Scotland racking up 13 goals over the course of the two fixtures. They emerged 5-0 victors from the first meeting in Cyprus in 1968 before thumping the visitors 8-0 at Hampden Park in 1969, Colin Stein netting four of the goals.
Sadly, the comprehensive victory was not enough to secure Scotland a place at the World Cup and the two sides didn’t meet for 20 years, with subsequent meetings proving to be much tighter affairs.
The two countries were again drawn together in a World Cup qualification group as they fought to appear at Italia 90, Richard Gough the hero as the two sides fought a keenly-contested affair.
Richard Gough’s famous winner in the 6th minute of injury time proved enough to take all the points for Scotland in a 3-2 victory in Limassol in February, 1989, before the two nations met again just a few months later at Hampden Park.
Another tight contest saw Mo Johnston and Ally McCoist secure Andy Roxburgh’s side a crucial victory in a campaign that would ultimately see Scotland successful in their quest to appear on the big stage
In the most recent meeting of the two nations, Craig Levein Scotland to Lamaca for a friendly 22 years after they had last met. Played in front of just 2,000 fans, the contest lacked the intensity of the previous meetings, but was memorable for arguably one of Kenny Miller’s finest career goals, a superb first touch then volley right into the top corner which opened the scoring.
Jamie Mackie added the second, which proved to be the winner as the match ended 2-1.
While the majority of the 27-man squad reported for duty on Sunday night, Andy Robertson arrived on Tuesday, fresh from Liverpool’s Champions League triumph on Saturday. The Scotland captain became the first Scot to lift the famous trophy since Paul Lambert won it with Borussia Dortmund in 1997.
While the entire squad will be aiming to impress the new head coach, a host of players will be hoping to make their debuts on Saturday, including uncapped Kilmarnock trio Greg Taylor, Eamonn Brophy and Stuart Findlay.
Kenny McLean will be seeking to add to his first international goal, his header having opened the scoring against San Marino back in March. The Norwich midfielder will be high on confidence after winning the English Championship and securing promotion to the Premier League, as will fellow midfielder John McGinn, who netted in Aston Villa’s play-off victory over Derby last week.
Clarke will be looking for Celtic players Scott Bain, Callum McGregor and James Forrest to carry on the momentum from Celtic’s treble treble into international duty. There are also recalls for David Marshall, Michael Devlin, Charlie Mulgrew and Tom Cairney.
Kenny McLean and Graeme Shinnie put each other in the hot seat and find out more about each other in a special Q&A ahead of Scotland v Cyprus.— Scotland National Team (@ScotlandNT) June 5, 2019
❓ Favourite player you have played against?
❓ Winning promotion with @NorwichCityFC
❓ Moving to @dcfcofficial #SCOCYP pic.twitter.com/9nbpFmK0VN
Supporters will be able to buy tickets on the day of the match from the ticket sales cabins at the corner of the West and William Hill South Stands. Tickets are priced from £8 for juniors and £27 for adults.
Tickets can be collected from outside the West Stand from 2pm on matchday.
Scotrail have announced they will be adding extra trains travelling to stations near Hampden.
The Association of Tartan Army Clubs (ATAC) have compiled a list of buses that are travelling to the Cyprus match on Saturday, 8 June. These buses are available to all fans.#NothingMattersMorehttps://t.co/wy36c7NoRe— Scotland National Team (@ScotlandNT) May 31, 2019
There will be a number of pre-match activities at Hampden prior to kick-off, including a solo performance from Ross Leighton, lead singer of Scottish Indie Rockers, Fatherson.
Where to watch
The match will be broadcast live on Sky Sports, with BBC Radio Scotland providing live radio commentary. Kick-off for the match is at 7.45pm on Saturday night.
Updates will also be available via the official @ScotlandNT Twitter account.