Steve Clarke says Scotland have been practising penalties ahead of Israel clash

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Scotland boss Steve Clarke talks about their play-off semi-final against Israel on Thursday and the chance of qualifying for a major tournament for the first time in 22 years

Steve Clarke admitted Scotland have been practising penalties ahead of their Euro 2020 play-off semi-final with Israel on Thursday.

Scotland, who have not qualified for a major tournament since 1998, can take a huge step towards taking part at the rescheduled Euro 2020 showpiece, due to take place next summer, with victory over Israel.

The match is a one-off, which means there has to be a result, one way or another, at Hampden Park, and Clarke is prepared for every eventuality.

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"We have it in front us," Clarke told Sky Sports. "We have two difficult games coming up - it is going to be tough.

"Everyone is aware of the size of the game. It is a knockout competition now and we will have to deal with it. It can go to 120 minutes, and it can go penalties.

"I always did it as a club manager that if you are going into a game that is going to penalties, then that week, in training, at then end of the sessions let everybody take a penalty and see what happens.

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Scotland midfielder John McGinn says some of his country's most experienced players like Darren Fletcher told him about their regrets of not qualifying for a major tournament

"But we know that taking one on a training pitch, and taking one in a stadium where there is a lot riding on it is a totally different experience."

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VAR will be in use at Hampden, too, something that Clarke himself is not overly familiar with.

"It will be my first experience of VAR as a manager," Clarke added. "But hopefully it will pass without controversies and will just be a good game between two good teams."

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