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.

Scotland's John McGinn during a Nations League match with Czech Republic at Hampden last month (Photo by Alan Harvey / SNS Group)
Scotland's John McGinn during a Nations League match with Czech Republic at Hampden last month (Photo by Alan Harvey / SNS Group)

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.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Match details

Scotland Head Coach Steve Clarke (Photo by Alan Harvey / SNS Group)

Who: Serbia vs Scotland

What: UEFA European Championships qualification play-off final

Where: Arena Kombetare, Belgrade

When: 7.45pm, Thursday November 12

Dusan Tadic with Jamie Mackie during 2012 0-0 draw

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.

Serbia won the last meeting of the sides 2-0

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.

Opposition Form

Manager Steve Clarke with Leigh Griffiths during Scotland training at Oriam on November 9, 2020 (Photo by Craig Williamson / SNS Group)

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.

Previous Meetings

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.

Bookmakers’ odds

Serbia are best priced 4/6 favourites (William Hill, BoyleSports, Paddy Power) while the draw is 14/5 (bet365).

Scotland can be backed at 9/2 (William Hill, Skybet, BoyleSports).

Mitrovic is 3/1 to be first scorer (bet365) with Lyndon Dykes lowest odds for Scotland at 10/1 (Paddy Power, betway).

A message from the Editor:

Thank you for reading this article. We're more reliant on your support than ever as the shift in consumer habits brought about by coronavirus impacts our advertisers. If you haven't already, please consider supporting our trusted, fact-checked journalism by taking out a digital subscription.