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We are into the final round of group matches at Euro 2020 with teams now having a degree of certainty on what they need to do for the strongest possible group finish.
The 24-team format of this competition has made the format and qualification process more convoluted, with the four best-performing third-placed sides in groups also going through to the knockout stages.
Not only does this complicate the clarified process of the top two teams in groups advancing and the bottom two dropping out of the competition, but it also muddies the clarity of team’s paths to the finals.
If the tournament had the regulation 16 or 32 teams, then the winners of Groups A and B would face the runners-up in those groups at the next stage, but third-placed sides advance complicate that structure.
Scotland and England played out a scoreless draw at Wembley in Group D at Wembley
The one group that has been completed is Group A; Italy have advanced as group winners with Wales through in second spot and Turkey definitely out having finished bottom, but third-placed Switzerland’s qualification is still unclear.
So where does all this leave England and Scotland going into the final round of matches in Group D?
If England beat Czech Republic on Tuesday then they will win the group while a draw would see them definitely finish as runners-up, behind their opponents on goal difference.
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A defeat would see Gareth Southgate’s side finish second should Scotland draw against Croatia, or if Croatia win due to England’s superior head-to-head.
If England lose and Scotland defeat Czech Republic, then the Three Lions could finish third – behind the Scots in second – if there is a three-goal swing.
For Steve Clarke’s side the task is much simpler: they need to win against Croatia to stand any chance of advancing into the Round of 16.
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For the Tartan Army to finish in second spot, that victory must be accompanied by an England defeat and a goal swing of at least three in their favour over Southgate’s team.
The likelihood is that the Scots will finish in third spot if they do win and that should be enough to see them advance in third spot, as they would have four points.
However, their goal difference is currently minus two and if they were to defeat Croatia by just one goal then they would be ranked behind Switzerland (on goals scored) and could potentially miss out on qualification on goal difference.
Scotland impressed against England at Wembley
(Image: PA Images Contributor/Press Association Images)
The winners of the group will definitely face the runners-up of Group F (which could be any one of Germany, France, Portugal or Hungary) at Wembley on Tuesday 29 June.
The runners-up in the group will definitely play the runners-up of Group E (which could be any one of Spain, Poland, Sweden or Slovakia) in Copenhagen on Monday 28 June.
The third-placed side from Group D (should they qualify as one of the four best third-placed finishers) is slightly more complicated.
They will face one of the following three possibilities:
Playing Netherlands in Budapest on June 27.
Playing the winners of Group B (currently Belgium) in Seville on June 27.
Playing the winners of Group E (currently Sweden, but could be Poland, Slovakia or Spain) in Glasgow on June 29.