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Scotland: Scott McTominay, John McGinn, Billy Gilmour, Callum McGregor and co key to Euro 2024 push, says Gary McAllister

Scotland will guarantee Euro 2024 qualification if they avoid defeat to Spain; Ryan Jack has withdrawn from the squad through injury; the sides meet in Seville on Thursday night before Steve Clarke's side take on France in a friendly on October 17

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Former captain Gary McAllister believes Scotland's midfield is key to Euro 2024 qualifying success

Scotland are on the brink of Euro 2024 qualification as a nation dreams of playing at a major tournament once again.

Steve Clarke became a Scottish hero when he led the side to Euro 2020, ending 22 years of qualifying misery.

Scotland missed out on the World Cup in Qatar but five wins from five means a place in Germany next summer is almost secured.

Steve Clarke is on the verge of leading Scotland to back-to-back Euros
Image: Steve Clarke is on the verge of leading Scotland to back-to-back Euros

A draw with Spain on Thursday night is all that is required, but if Norway fail to beat Cyprus on the same night, Scotland's result does not matter.

Gary McAllister captained Scotland at Euro 96 and believes a strong midfield is the root of the national side's current success.

Image: Scott McTominay scored a double in Scotland's win against Spain at Hampden

"Clarke's developed a style and we're particularly strong across the middle of the park with some really good midfield players that are really showing that they can compete against the very best," he said.

"We're blessed in the middle of the pitch and it's always strange to see the criticism Scott McTominay takes when he features from Manchester United.

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"He does an amazing job for Scotland and when I see him play for United, I don't think it does a lot wrong for them either.

"It just seems to be a wee bit of the whipping boy at Manchester United, maybe he's not a fashionable name and he plays for Scotland but if he just keeps plugging away, he's a top player. I really do like him.

John McGinn fired in Scotland's third in Larnaca
Image: John McGinn has 58 Scotland caps

"I spent a short period of time with John McGinn at Aston Villa. He's a natural leader and somebody who's taken on that responsibility with the national team and also he is a player who proves he can score a goal and he can make a goal.

"So he's is very crucial for Steve Clarke if they make it to the Euros in Germany. Callum McGregor at Celtic is an outstanding footballer too.

"Clarke looks to have created a domestic club situation where everybody generally wants to turn up and wants to play.

Callum McGregor's water-assisted goal gave Scotland the lead on five minutes
Image: Callum McGregor scored in Scotland's qualifier against Georgia

"That was a problem a few years ago when people there was a lot of injuries, a lot of call-offs.

"Now everybody wants to be part of the success that Scotland are producing on the pitch because not only are they getting the points, I think the performance level is really high as well.

"I think he's creating something like what Craig Brown did. Craig managed with Andy Roxburgh to get to Italia 90. It would be nice to see Scotland getting back to major tournaments because I think they are sadly missed because they get great support."

How can Scotland reach Euro 2024?

Scotland will qualify for Euro 2024 on Thursday if they avoid defeat to Spain in Seville, or if Norway fail to beat Cyprus on the same night.

Should results fail to go in Scotland's favour - they could still claim qualification on October 15, if Spain avoid defeat against Norway.

Even if Clarke's side go into next month's qualifiers having failed to clinch a spot at the Euros, they know a win in Georgia on November 16 would be enough.

Scotland are top of group A with five wins from five, and are six points clear of Spain who have played one game fewer.

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Former defender Charlie Mulgrew is positive about Scotland's chances of qualifying for the Euros after making it five wins from five

Scotland Squad

Goalkeepers: Zander Clark, Angus Gunn, Liam Kelly.

Defenders: Liam Cooper, Jack Hendry, Aaron Hickey, Scott McKenna, Nathan Patterson, Ryan Porteous, Andy Robertson, John Souttar, Greg Taylor.

Midfielders: Stuart Armstrong, Lewis Ferguson, Billy Gilmour, John McGinn, Callum McGregor, Kenny McLean, Scott McTominay.

Forwards: Ryan Christie, Lyndon Dykes, Che Adams, Jacob Brown, Kevin Nisbet.

Scotland's upcoming fixtures

October 12: Spain (a), Euro 2024 qualifier, kick-off 7.45pm

October 17: France (a), friendly, 8pm

November 16: Georgia (a), Euro 2024 qualifier, kick-off 5pm

November 19: Norway (h), Euro 2024 qualifier, kick-off 7.45pm

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