Opinion: Forrest, Shankland, Conway in a 4-3-3 Scotland masterclass

Scotland take on Switzerland in Cologne in the second match of the Euro 2024 this evening (kick-off time is 8pm, CPT) needing at least a point to maintain a realistic interest in qualifying from the group.

 Andy Robertson embraces Steve Clarke after defeat to Germany during the UEFA EURO 2024 group stage match between Germany and Scotland at Munich Football Arena on June 14, 2024. (Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images)

Maybe more importantly the Scots boys will be looking to regain some pride after their dreadful performance in the opening match last Friday against the tournament hosts Germany. Steve Clarke must take his fair share of the blame for what happened in Munich and perhaps the way to sort this out is to go on the front foot and have a real go at the Swiss side this evening, playing a more offensive formation and asking questions of the Switzerland.

Tonight sees Scotland take on Switzerland as they aim to make amends for the disastrous opening day thumping at the hands of hosts Germany in Munich.

The team were heavily criticised and rightly so after a lacklustre display, some warranted some not, especially in the case of our own Callum McGregor. Callum by his own standards had a poor game and like most of his teammates will be looking to make amends tonight against the Swiss.

Callum spoke the other day about taking criticism on board and proving certain folk wrong. I think we all know who he was alluding to, and let’s hope he makes certain individuals eat their words later this evening.

‘The Celtic captain’ is a terrific player and one that Steve Clarke will be hoping is at the top of his game as his side look to nab a vital win against the Swiss tonight in Cologne.

Calmac and the rest of his teammates are capable of so much more than the trudged performance they produced against the Germans. We earned the right to be here by producing the goods when it mattered in the qualifiers.

If they show the ability we know they are capable of then it will go a long way to help us in our aim of qualifying from the group stage. Let’s hope they produce that form later this evening.

Switzerland look a decent side, they have a much better record at major tournaments than Scotland and showed in their impressive win over Hungary that they are more than capable of breaking down a low block. They will have watch Scotland’s performance and noted what Steve Clarke was trying to achieve against the Germans, figuring that the Scots might execute the same tactics better this evening.

What they will NOT be expecting would be a change of shape with Scotland playing a 4-3-3, which would suit the majority of the Scotland players who are used to playing on the front foot at clubs like Celtic, Liverpool, Manchester United, Arsenal, Aston Villa and so on.

What do you think Brendan Rodgers would do this evening? Well he certainly wouldn’t set up with that awful 5-4-1 shambles that fell apart on Friday evening and will have the Swiss rubbing their hands I anticipation for tonight’s expected Scotland formation. That’s why Steve Clarke should do the unexpected and go on the front foot with a 4-3-3 shape.

Shankland should lead the line

Maybe Scotland could line up with Gunn in goals, a back four of Ralston, Hanley, Tierney and Robertson, a midfield three of McGregor, McGinn and McTominay,  and a front three of Forrest, Shankland and Conway. Or perhaps drop McTominay back into the back four and play Gilmour in the middle of the park?

James Forrest knows the way to goal

Shankland is a goalscorer, there is no denying that. And Conway can play wide and like James Forrest is a threat in front of goal. There are goals in this Scotland team from the middle of the park too.

Conway could play wide and is also a goal threat

This would surely be better than sitting in, then being picked off by this Swiss side who know what to expect. Serve up the unexpected, play on the front foot and at least hold your heads up high. We were the ONLY team in opening matches not to make a game of it, and that’s an embarrassment.

A 4-3-3 might be the solution. It’s certainly what Brendan Rodgers would do, there’s no way he’s play that 5-4-1 nonsense that embarrassed our nation last Friday night and could see Scotland heading home with no points at all and tag of the worst team at Euro 2024.

Just an Ordinary Bhoy

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About Author

An ordinary everyday Celtic supporters hailing and still residing in Govan in the shadows of the enemy. I’m a season ticket holder. I Witnessed my first Celtic game in 1988 and have attended when I can ever since. Growing up in the 90s I witnessed Celtic at their lowest, and now appreciate the historic success we enjoy today. I enjoy writing about this wonderful football club and hopefully will continue to do so. I’ve always been a keen writer and initially started this a hobby. My ambition is to one day become as good an author as my fellow Celtic Star colleagues.

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