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Kenny Miller backs Scotland to qualify from Euro 2024 group



Former Scotland striker Kenny Miller is confident Euro 2024 will be the tournament where the national team finally makes it to the knockout stages.

Scotland have yet to progress from the group stages at a major finals, spanning eight World Cups and three European Championships.

Miller reckons Steve Clarke’s Scots can finally end that drought at Germany this summer.

The Scots have been drawn in Group A with host nation Germany, Switzerland and Hungary.

Capped 69 times, Miller is backing the Scots to be history makers by reaching the knock-out rounds.

Scotland’s Scott McTominay (left) celebrates scoring their side’s second goal of the game  in te defeat of Spain in the Euro 2024 qualifier. Image; PA

He said: “It is a really good squad and I think they will go through from the group.

“It could have been a worse group as the teams outwith Germany are pretty much like for like.

“The games are there to be won and I don’t see any recent why Scotland can’t get results against Switzerland or Hungary.

“Against Germany we will go in as underdogs but we tend to excel in those situations.

“We have a real chance and against Switzerland and Hungary we can definitely get results.”

Kenny Miller (right) celebrates his goal in the 3-2 loss to England at Wembley with Scotland teammate Robert SSnodgrass. Image: SNS

Scotland confident under Clarke

Miller netted 18 times for Scotland in an international career spanning 12 years.

His final appearance for his country was in the 3-2 friendly loss against England at Wembley on August 14, 2013 – when he scored a sensational goal.

Miller never played in the finals of a major tournament for his country.

National boss Steve Clarke ended a 22 year qualification drought when leading the Scots to Euro 2020.

Former Rangers, Celtic, Hibs, Wolves and Cardiff City striker Miller has hailed Clarke for resurrecting Scotland’s fortunes.

Scotland’s Scott McTominay scores in the defeat of Spain. Image: Darrell Benns/DC Thomson

Miller said: “Scotland will go into the Euros confident because in the last five years under Steve Clarke they have been moving in the right direction.

“This group of Scotland players are in a good place as they have racked up a lot of experience at international level.

“A lot of the players are also going into the Euros after a strong season with their club.

“Scotland are in a positive situation ahead of Germany.”

Scotland boss Steve Clarke and assistant coach John Carver. Image: Shutterstock.

Fine margins in Scots’ group games

The Scots kick-off their campaign against hosts Germany in Munich on Friday, June 14 in the tournament opener.

They then face Switzerland in Cologne on Wednesday, June 19.

Clarke’s squad then conclude their Group A fixtures against Hungary in Stuttgart on Sunday, June 23.

Miller said: “The games against Switzerland and Hungary will be very cagey affairs.

“It will be fine margins in those games.

“Scotland and the team they are up against will both will be looking at that the match thinking it is one that we can win.”

Scotland manager Steve Clarke during a UEFA Euro 2024 qualifier between Scotland and Cyprus. Image: SNS.

Coping with the absence of Dykes

Scotland were dealt a major blow when striker Lyndon Dykes suffered an injury during training with Clarke’s squad.

Queens Park Rangers’ centre-forward Dykes is ruled out of the Euros.

Often the focal point of Clarke’s attack, Dykes scored nine goals in 36 international appearances.

The 28-year-old played in all eight of Scotland’s qualifiers, starting five of them, and scoring once.

Miller says the injury exit of Dykes is an “absolute disaster” so close to the tournament.

That left Clarke with only Che Adams and Lawrence Shankland as the only out-and-out strikers in his Euro 2024 squad.

Clarke opted to take in strikers Tommy Conway (Bristol City) and Lewis Morgan (New York Red Bulls).

Scotland’s Lyndon Dykes celebrates scoring their side’s third goal against Ukraine.

Miller said: “It is a huge blow for Lyndon.

“He has been a huge part of the Scotland team over the years and it is extremely disappointing for Lyndon.

“Picking up an injury at this time is an absolute disaster for Steve and the squad.

“Steve will be really disappointed as he has lost the type of option that Lyndon brings.

“He brings something different to the squad, but so do all the strikers.

“It left Steve with the question of taking someone extra in or rolling with what he has got.

“Is it enough to go into a major tournament with just two recognised strikers?

“You get another injury and then you are left with just one striker.”

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