Scotland learned their Group D fate after Saturday's UEFA EURO2020 draw should they progress from the play-off series against Israel and Norway or Serbia. And it made for unsettling, if nevertheless exciting, reading.

Steve Clarke and his men already knew they would face a difficult trip to Wembley to cross swords with England, a team they have failed to beat in 33 years, in the event they qualify from Play-off Path C.

Next out of the hat were Croatia, World Cup finalists last summer, and then the Czech Republic, runners-up to England in qualifying Group A and 2-1 victors over Gareth Southgate's side in October.

Hampden will host Zlatko Dalic's side on June 15 before concluding against the Czechs on June 23. Sandwiched in between will be that trip south to take on the Auld Enemy on June 19.

READ MORE: EURO2020 draw: Two sides Hampden will host have England on their minds

It's a daunting scenario but it could have been much worse. Spare a thought for Iceland, Romania, Bulgaria and Hungary, the nations jousting in Path A for a place in Group F next summer.

World champions France, the holders Portugal and serial winners Germany present an intimidating proposition for whichever side makes it through the play-off process.

No it isn’t. Death is something completely different, it’s a difficult group, it’s theoretically harder as it has two world champions, one European champion

On the face of it, they have a mountain to climb but Fernando Santos, the Portugal coach, preferred to play down the significance of the draw after there was a rush to dub it the group of death.

Santos said: “No it isn’t. Death is something completely different, it’s a difficult group, it’s theoretically harder as it has two world champions, one European champion, that says it all.

“It also features great players, and my team are great too. So for a group that if we look at it, we can say 'If Portugal could choose, would it choose France and Germany to be in its group?' The answer is no. But if we asked Germany if they would choose Portugal and France, the answer would be 'no'. If you asked France if they would choose Portugal and Germany, they would also say 'no'.”

Santos, is aware, too, that the play-off teams will sense an opportunity as Iceland did in 2016 when they reached the last eight having kicked off the tournament with a 1-1 draw against a Portugal side that went on to lift the trophy.

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"We have to wait to see who the third opponent will be,” Santos added. “It might be Iceland, and that first game against Iceland will be a repeat of our first match at UEFA EURO 2016, which was a very difficult game for us. We will prepare well for this EURO and look to go into it with incredible conviction, looking to defend the title."

Didier Deschamps, the France coach, was quick to stress the importance of not losing matches with Germany first up in Munich on June 16.

"It's a difficult group but I think Joachim Löw [Germany coach] and Fernando Santos think the same thing. This is the toughest group but we have to accept it,” said Deschamps. “It's complicated by the quality of these two adversaries and their results on the European and world levels.

"At least today, knowing the quality of our opponents, we can think of logistics and preparation. This is often the situation in the European Championship. You have to be efficient right away. Every point in every game will have a lot of importance."