Serbia v Scotland: Kick-off time, is it on TV, who to watch, form guide, Euro 2020 play-off preview, last match
It’s all or nothing for Steve Clarke and Scotland on Thursday night when the qualification campaign for next summer’s delayed Euro 2020 championship comes to a climax.
The Nations League campaign, and semi-final win over Israel in a dramatic penalty shoot-out set up this play-off final for the right to join England, Czech Republic, Croatia in the group stages of next summer’s event – with some games to be played at Hampden.
But to make sure, Scotland have to win in the Balkans, and it really is make-or-break in Belgrade.
Who: Serbia vs Scotland
What: UEFA European Championships qualification play-off final
Where: Arena Kombetare, Belgrade
When: 7.45pm, Thursday November 12
How to watch
Great news here. The Nations League and Scotland matches tend to be a staple of Sky Sports’ subscription package.
But given it’s SUCH a crucial match – and in the face of a growing campaign among the Scotland support, fronted by the Hampden Collection, called #OorLadsOorTelly – the game will be available to all, free-to-air on two of Sky’s other digital channels as well as Sky Sports Football. Sky explained why here.
The match will be shown on Sky One (channel 106) as well as freeview station PICK! plus in the usual mix of fixtures within the sports section of your TV planner.
Who to Watch
Serbia’s main man is Lazio’s Sergej Milinkovic-Savic, usually ably assisted by Dusan Tadic of Ajax – but the playmaker is a doubt and could miss the crucial match which would be a relief to Declan Gallacher and co. However there are plenty more to trouble the Scottish defence – and Aleksandar Kolarov to get past at the back. The former Man City man managed to sign in to the Serbian training camp despite restrictions in Italy putting his, and Milinkovic-Savic’s, participation into question – and there’s still an issue over two of Serbia’s Florence-based players.
Regardless if Dusan Vlahovic and Nikola Milenkovic make it there’s still plenty on offer for Ljubiša Tumbaković. There’s also Luka Jovic of Real Madrid in attack, to share the goal threat with Fulham’s Aleksandar Mitrovic and the penalty and set-piece prowess of Crystal Palace midfielder Luka Milivojevic.
After that big build-up and fearsome collective of European football names – the form doesn’t match.
Granted, in the Euro campaign they lost just two games between November 2018 and 2019 – to Portugal and Ukraine – and drew a friendly in Germany, but recent form in 2020 hasn’t been so good.
Two Nations League draws with Turkey, a defeat to Russia and Hungary surround the dramatic win over Norway, and pales in comparison to Scotland’s recent unbeaten record.
However the Serbs are still favourites.
There’s only been two previous meetings – and Scotland have yet to score.
Serbia were held to a 0-0 draw at Hampden in 2012 and the corresponding World Cup qualifier in Novi Sad six months later finished 2-0 to the home side in March 2013.