'Stranger things have happened' says Sctotland's Morgan on potential Germany upset

By Sports Desk June 12, 2024

Lewis Morgan believes Scotland can surprise Germany ahead of their Euro 2024 opener against the hosts this Friday. 

Steve Clarke's side travel to Munich in search of their first victory over their opponents since 1999, having failed to beat Die Mannschaft in their previous four encounters.

The New York Red Bulls winger was a late arrival in Scotland's provisional squad after it was announced Ben Doak had to withdraw through injury, and made it into the travelling group of 26. 

Morgan ended his six-year absence from the international stage with a substitute appearance in a 2-2 draw against Finland at Hampden Park last week to earn his third cap for his country, 2,193 days since his last. 

The 27-year-old has scored nine goals in 16 MLS appearances so far this season in the Eastern Conference, and believes his side have every chance of starting their Group A campaign with a victory. 

"Absolutely, stranger things have happened in football," Morgan said about the possibility of Scotland upsetting the host nation.

"We've got a really, really talented squad here, a good group of players playing at the highest level in world football.

"There's no reason why we can't go there and get something, but we can only do that if we give the best version of ourselves and stick to the game plan."

Following Friday's fixture against Germany, the Scots will face Switzerland before concluding their group campaign in Stuttgart against Hungary, with the hopes of reaching the knockout stages of an international competition for the first time in their history. 

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    Olmo has starred for La Roja in Germany, notching three goals and two assists, which crucially gives him the edge in the race for the Golden Boot ahead of Harry Kane. 

    The Spaniard's statistics are more impressive having only started one of their first four games at the tournament. 

    Olmo's goal against France made him the first Spanish player to score in three successive games at the European Championships. 

    His five goal involvements for Luis de la Fuente's side is also the most by a Spaniard at a major tournament since David Silva at Euro 2012 (two goals, three assists). 

    However, Bellingham has also shone at Euro 2024, carrying on his impressive form that saw him net 23 times in all competitions during his debut season for Real Madrid. 

    Bellingham has scored twice for England at the tournament, including the Three Lions opening goal of the competition against Serbia. 

    The 21-year-old's late strike against Slovakia in the last 16 was England's latest-ever goal scored in normal time at a major tournament. 

    However, Olmo has insisted that he does not fear Bellingham ahead of their showdown for the Henri Delaunay Cup. 

    “I'm not afraid. Bellingham is a reference point there, football is played through his boots. He is always in the thick of things," Olmo said. 

    "He is a player to be taken into account, but I don't fear anyone.”

     

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    The Spaniard's statistics are more impressive having only started one of their first four games at the tournament. 

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    His five goal involvements for Luis de la Fuente's side is also the most by a Spaniard at a major tournament since David Silva at Euro 2012 (two goals, three assists). 

    However, Bellingham has also shone at Euro 2024, carrying on his impressive form that saw him net 23 times in all competitions during his debut season for Real Madrid. 

    Bellingham has scored twice for England at the tournament, including the Three Lions opening goal of the competition against Serbia. 

    The 21-year-old's late strike against Slovakia in the last 16 was England's latest-ever goal scored in normal time at a major tournament. 

    However, Olmo has insisted that he does not fear Bellingham ahead of their showdown for the Henri Delaunay Cup. 

    “I'm not afraid. Bellingham is a reference point there, football is played through his boots. He is always in the thick of things," Olmo said. 

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    Marsch added he will make changes to his lineup in North Carolina, with Alphonso Davies a doubt after he suffered an injury to his left foot.

    Marsch will come up against his Leeds United predecessor Marcelo Bielsa on Saturday, after his much-fancied Uruguay side were beaten 1-0 by 10-man Colombia in their own semi-final.

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    "Eleven against eleven, for us, it was easier to attack, and we had to defend. In the second half, playing with an extra man, it was much more difficult to attack, and we practically didn't have to defend."

    Uruguay's defeat was marred by scenes of crowd violence involving the families of some Celeste players at full-time, prompting CONMEBOL to open an investigation. 

    PLAYERS TO WATCH

    Canada – Jonathan David

    Canada had 25 touches in Argentina's penalty area in their semi-final, 12 more than the world champions, yet they only managed five shots from inside the box to their opponents' seven.

    If they are to cap a historic campaign with a medal, they may need David to make some of those openings count.

    David has underperformed his expected goals figures at this tournament, netting once from chances valued at 1.58 xG. No Canada player has attempted more than his seven shots, three of which have hit the target.

    Uruguay – Darwin Nunez

    Nunez has attempted more shots (20) than any other player at this edition of the Copa America, with his total of 2.59 xG only bettered by Argentina's Lautaro Martinez (2.91).

    While the Liverpool man has two goals to his name, they both came in the group stage, and he has only hit the target with five of his 20 attempts.

    Among all players to net at this year's tournament, only three have a worse shot accuracy than Nunez's 33% (excluding blocks), but a profitable game here could even put him back in the race for the Golden Boot. 

    MATCH PREDICTION: URUGUAY WIN

    Uruguay have participated in the third-place play-off at the Copa America on three previous occasions, beating Colombia 2-1 in 2004, drawing 2-2 with Honduras in 2001 (then losing on penalties) and suffering a 3-1 defeat to Mexico in 2007.

    A victory in North Carolina would make this Uruguay's joint-second best Copa campaign of the 21st century, after they won the title in 2011.

    They have only lost four of their 15 Copa America matches against Concacaf opponents, though they are winless in their last three such games in the knockout rounds, losing 3-1 to Mexico in the the 2007 third-place match, and drawing 2-2 with Honduras in the 2001 edition after losing 2-1 to Mexico in the semi-finals.

    Canada are aiming to become the third Concacaf country to finish third in the competition after Mexico (1997, 1999 and 2007) and Honduras (2001). 

    A victory would make this the second-best campaign by a non-CONMEBOL Copa America debutant nation, after Mexico took silver on their 1993 bow. However, Marsch's men are big outsiders.

    OPTA WIN PROBABILITY 

    Canada – 13.2%

    Uruguay – 70%

    Draw – 16.8%

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