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Scotland missing key stars and Sane dropped by Germany – predicted line-ups

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Euro 2024 will finally get underway on Friday this week as Germany kick things off in Munich against Scotland.

The hosts are one of the pre-tournament favourites and will be looking to make the perfect start to their campaign.

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Germany are expected to go farCredit: Getty

Meanwhile, Steve Clarke‘s men will hope they can stun the world in what should be a cracking game and it’s live on talkSPORT.

However, the Tartan Army are struggling in a few areas of the pitch due to injuries suffered before the tournament.

Scotland

In goal, Scotland have two options, Angus Gunn and Zander Clark, but the Norwich shot-stopper will likely get the nod.

Clarke often deploys a back three with wing-backs crucial to their game.

Grant Hanley is the glue in the middle of the defence, and he’ll have Kieran Tierney on the left, with the Arsenal defender playing as a left-sided centre-back for his country.

To the right of Hanley, there are two standout options.

One is Jack Hendry, who currently plays in Saudi Arabia under Steven Gerrard at Al-Ettifaq, and the other is Watford’s Ryan Porteous.

It’s close between these two, but based on the last year, it’s clear Hendry is the preferred option.

Tierney plays as part of a back three for Scotland rather than as a left-back

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Tierney plays as part of a back three for Scotland rather than as a left-backCredit: Getty

Andrew Robertson is his country’s captain and is fit to start having suffered an injury scare in training on Monday.

He also plays as a left-wing-back for the Tartan Army, meaning he has even more license to get forward and create goals.

In the centre of midfield, Manchester United‘s Scott McTominay is one of Scotland’s biggest goalscoring threats.

The 27-year-old scored seven times during the qualification campaign, including a double in a 2-0 win over Spain.

Next to him, there is a choice of Billy Gilmour or Callum McGregor.

Both are hard-working individuals who look to create from deep, but given McGregor started every game in qualifying, he’ll be alongside McTominay.

McTominay is one of Scotland's most important players

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McTominay is one of Scotland’s most important playersCredit: AFP

Scotland are likely to play with two No.10s, with a lack of natural wingers in the squad a problem.

On one side, they’ll have Aston Villa‘s John McGinn.

McGinn is one of the best players in the team and has a knack for scoring important goals and creating big moments.

He was crucial for Aston Villa as they sealed a place in the Champions League, and he’ll be important for his country as well.

On the other side, Bournemouth’s Ryan Christie should start having impressed in the Premier League under Andoni Iraola last season.

McGinn is a massive part of Clarke's plans

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McGinn is a massive part of Clarke’s plansCredit: Getty

Scotland will have to rejig the focal point of their attack because they lost their preferred striker, Queens Park Rangers forward Lyndon Dykes, before the final squad was confirmed due to a freak injury.

The Tartan Army now only have two recognised strikers to choose from: Lawrence Shankland and Che Adams.

Shankland has three goals in 11 appearances for his country, including a strike in the recent 2-2 draw with Finland.

He also bagged 21 league goals for Hearts in the SPFL.

However, Adams – a summer transfer target for Nottingham Forest – is likely to get the nod because of his size and hold-up play.

The forward didn’t have the most prolific season with Southampton in the Championship, registering 15 goals, but he’s been a consistent starter at international level since his Scotland debut.

Scotland will play with three at the back in possession

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Scotland will play with three at the back in possession

Germany

For Julian Nagelsmann, things should be a bit more straightforward.

Manuel Neuer will be in goal.

Due to a lack of options, Joshua Kimmich is likely to be at right-back.

Left-back has been taken by Maximilian Mittelstadt.

Antonio Rudiger is likely to partner Bayer Leverkusen‘s Jonathan Tah despite Nico Schlotterbeck helping Borussia Dortmund reach the Champions League final.

Kroos will retire from football after Euro 2024

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Kroos will retire from football after Euro 2024Credit: Getty

In midfield, Toni Kroos will play his final games of football this summer before retiring, and Leverkusen’s Robert Andrich is likely to be alongside him in the engine room.

Ilkay Gundogan should start in behind Kai Havertz, who has emerged as Die Mannschaft’s striker after a strong season for Arsenal.

The main difficulty for Germany comes on the wings, but Jamal Musiala and Florian Wirtz are too good to leave out, meaning Leroy Sane will have to make do with a place on the bench.

There is no room for Sane in the Germany XI

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There is no room for Sane in the Germany XI
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