5 things learned from Scotland’s Euro 2020 warm-up win over Luxembourg

Steve Clarke unveiling as new Scotland National Team Head Coach
(Image credit: Jane Barlow)

Scotland claimed a 1-0 win over Luxembourg in their final tune-up before Euro 2020.

Che Adams scored the only goal at the Stade Josy Barthel to ensure Steve Clarke’s side march towards the nation’s first major tournament in 23 years on a high.

Here the PA news agency takes a look at five things we learned from the friendly clash.

Scotland on a roll

Scotland manager Steve Clarke has found a winning formula

Scotland manager Steve Clarke has found a winning formula (Tim Goode/PA)

Momentum is key at big tournaments and Scotland will believe they have it in abundance. Clarke’s team are now unbeaten in five, with only two losses in their last 16 outings. They face a huge challenge if they are to become the first Scottish team to reach the knockout stages of a major competition as they prepare to battle with the Czech Republic, England and Croatia. But Clarke has found a formula that gets results and the Tartan Army have every right to dream big.

The Billy Gilmour clamour is off and running

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The Chelsea midfielder only got half an hour after being introduced at half-time before he was forced back into a seat in the stand by an awful bodycheck from Olivier Thill. Clarke has confirmed there is no lasting damage and no need for the 19-year-old to follow concussion protocols. That is great news for the Tartan Army who appear to have seen enough already in Gilmour’s brief cameo to be convinced he must start against the Czech Republic at Hampden. The question now is – does Clarke agree?

Patterson breathing down O’Donnell’s neck

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Rangers teenager Nathan Patterson became the third youngster this week to receive his maiden cap after Gilmour and David Turnbull made their international debuts against the Dutch. Motherwell’s Stephen O’Donnell is the tried-and-trusted holder of the right-back slot but he is not everyone’s cup of tea. Patterson knew he had to make an impression in his 26-minute run out if he was to force Clarke into a rethink and did just that with a series of forward runs. O’Donnell will be sweating on his slot but given his rival has played just 17 professional appearances, he may just get the nod for the Group D opener on June 14.

Defensive decisions

Kieran Tierney will be one of the first names on Steve Clarke's team-sheet

Kieran Tierney will be one of the first names on Steve Clarke’s team-sheet (Kirk O’Rourke/PA)

Kieran Tierney’s place in Clarke’s three-man backline is nailed on but the other two spots look wide open. Grant Hanley has emerged as one of the manager’s favourites since returning from a three-year exile but he looked far from assured during a shaky first half in Luxembourg. Declan Gallagher – who also started tonight’s clash – saw his Motherwell form dip badly last season but he has seldom let Scotland down. Scott McKenna was given the chance to stake a claim off the bench while Jack Hendry and Liam Cooper fared well against the Dutch in midweek so there are some big selection calls ahead.

Misfiring Dykes

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The big QPR striker put in a performance packed full of thrills, spills and some rather shoddy finishing. His partnership with Adams still needs work done but they did combine well as Dykes laid on the opener. Adams then returned the favour with a beautiful ball in behind the Luxembourg defence which led to Vahid Selimovic being sent off for a last-man foul on Dykes. But the former Livingston striker really should have added to Scotland’s lead but instead passed up a string of glorious opportunities, including a decent header which bounced back off a post.

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