How Scotland can qualify for Euro 2024 during England match - what Steve Clarke's men need to happen

Scotland are on the brink of reaching a second successive European Championships under Steve Clarke.  (Photo by Craig Williamson / SNS Group)
Scotland are on the brink of reaching a second successive European Championships under Steve Clarke. (Photo by Craig Williamson / SNS Group)

It is hard to imagine any of the previous 115 encounters between the world’s oldest international rivals having a shred of attention diverted to another game but Scotland fans will also be tuned into events in Oslo which could secure their place in Euro 2024.

Steve Clarke’s side are on the cusp of booking their spot in the tournament in Germany next year after making it five wins from five in qualification to move onto 15 points at the top of Group A with a 3-0 win over Cyrpus in Larnaca on Friday.

The result, coupled with Spain's earlier 7-1 victory over Georgia in Tblisi, means that all eyes are now on the match between Norway and Georgia, which takes place at the same time as the showdown with the Auld Enemy in Mount Florida.

Should that encounter in the Norwegian capital end in a draw then both nations will be stuck on five points with nine left to play for, leaving Spain as the only side still able to overhaul Scotland in the table. That would send the Tartan Army into raptures with Scotland guaranteed to finish in one of the two automatic qualifying places with a second successive European Championships under Clarke secured following their appearance at the delayed Euro 2021 finals.

Scotland fans are now dreaming of a scenario that involves their heroes defeating England and qualifying for a major tournament on the same evening ... a true night for the ages were it to come to pass. While the omens are good, with Georgia and Norway having played out a 1-1 draw in Tblisi in March, should either of them emerge victorious on Tuesday, then whoever wins would remain a threat to Scotland's chances of qualification, but would need to win all their remaining matches to stand a chance. The most either nation could achieve is 16 points, meaning Scotland can secure their Euro 2024 place on their own terms and regardless of results elsewhere by picking up two more points from their remaining three matches.

One point would be enough providing it comes against the nation who could still catch them – be it Georgia or Norway – while a draw against any other side coupled with two defeats would leave the door open to being caught. There is also the prospect of goal difference coming into play if Scotland finish on 16 points but either Norway or Georgia would need to win all their remaining games to finish on the same total. One win would also clinch it, but Scotland face a tough trip to Spain next up on October 12, followed by Georgia away on November 16 before the qualification campaign ends at home to Norway three days later.

It would take a surprising set of results and some terrible luck for Clarke's men to be denied their place now. Even if the unthinkable comes to pass, Scotland still have the fall-back of a guaranteed play-off place courtesy of winning their Nations League group section last year, which would involve a semi-final and final played over one leg taking place in March 2024.