Two of the sides that Glasgow will host for EURO2020 finals matches next summer had England on their minds following Saturday evening's draw in Bucharest.

World Cup finalists Croatia will feature in two Group D games at Hampden Park against the Czech Republic and the winners of Scotland's play-off path as they seek to go one better than their tournament-best, last-eight appearances at EURO96 and EURO2008.

Even if Scotland fail to qualify for this group, Scottish football fans will be licking their lips at the opportunity to watch Real Madrid midfielder Luka Modric and Barcelona counterpart Ivan Rakitic strut their stuff on the Hampden turf, but for Zlatko Dalic, the Croatia manager, it is Group D's opening match against England – a team they faced in last year's World Cup semi-finals and during UEFA's Nations League – that had him animated in the mixed zone after the draw.

“We’ll play at Wembley and we’ll kick off the EURO in front of a full stadium, and they’re a good opponent,” said Dalic of the group opener at Wembley Stadium on Sunday, June 14. “It’s good for us. They’re the favourites in our group and I’ve said before that they’re a team that are taking huge steps forward, and they’re bringing football home.”

“Our first aim is to get through the group stage, which is what we will play for. After that, we’ll think about the next steps. I don’t want to look too far into the future because, for me, the most important thing is getting out of the group and then we’ll see what the draw will be like.”


It was a similar story for Jaroslav Silhavy, the coach of the Czech Republic who finished second to England in qualifying Group A. The Czechs beat England 2-1 in Prague in October to make amends for a 5-0 thrashing at Wembley and Silhavy has vowed to seek improvement when his side take on Gareth Southgate's side in London on Tuesday, June 23.

“Wembley it was bad, in Prague it was superb,” said Silhavy. “We will see what happens this time around, it’s at Wembley again, we are going to try to get a better result than in qualifying.

The 58-year-old refused to accept, though, that his team will be also rans in a group that England and Croatia have already been installed as favourites to progress from.

“Of course, there’s England and Croatia as well, who were both semi-finalists in the last World Cup, he added. “They are very strong teams, but despite this I think that we are going to prepare very well and we want to qualify from the group.”

Meanwhile, if Scotland were to come through, they would start the tournament against the Czech Republic on Monday, June 15, followed by the journey south to take on the Auld Enemy at Wembley, four days later, before rounding off Group D by hosting World Cup finalists Croatia at Hampden on June 23.