IT is finally upon us. After 23 years of waiting, Scotland are back in the big time with the Euros set to kick-off this evening when Turkey host Italy.

Will we see France add to their 2018 World Cup win? Could we see a first-time winner, as we did in 2016 with Portugal? Is there even the slightest chance of Scotland ‘doing a Greece’ and going all the way?

Time will tell. Until then, we’ll have to make do with merely predicting what will unfold over the next month or so. Here’s what our team of writers expect to see…

Matthew Lindsay

Scotland can be the surprise package of Euro 2020. Steve Clarke’s men are 250-1 outsiders to triumph with bookmakers. Only North Macedonia are fancied less. It is unlikely our boys will challenge France, Germany and Spain for the silverware.

However, they are certainly capable of reaching the knockout rounds and possibly going even further. They have Che Adams, Lyndon Dykes, John McGinn, Scott McTominay, Andy Robertson and Kieran Tierney. They would challenge for a place in any side in the finals.

There are concerns defensively. But if Clarke can get his team to function as well at the back as they did in the play-offs, when they conceded just once in 210 minutes, they can do well.

Graeme McGarry

It would seem obvious that the biggest concern about holding the Euros in a multi-country hosting format for the first time with the world still in the grip of a pandemic is that it will be devalued somewhat by Covid wreaking havoc upon the squads.

We can only hope that John Fleck’s positive coronavirus test is the closest Scotland come to such disruption, and one can only pray that the tournament is dominated by memorable matches rather than player withdrawals.

I’m going to be an optimist and say that it will all go relatively smoothly, Scotland will make the quarter-finals before going out in heartbreaking fashion in a penalty shootout, and France will go on to win the tournament.

Chris Jack

The odds speak for themselves ahead of the big kick-off and France – given the strength of their starting line-up and the depth within their ranks – are worthy market leaders and outright picks. It would be no surprise to see Didier Deschamps follow up his World Cup win with a Euros success.

England are second favourites with many bookies and Gareth Southgate’s side must prove that they can go a couple of steps further having fallen short in recent times.

That lack of winning nous is an obvious drawback, but the Three Lions attack will cause problems for any outfit and the chance to win at Wembley will be a real motivation. This could well be England’s time.

Aidan Smith

Having never seen Scotland at a major tournament, my excitement is through the roof. It is gutting that many of the Tartan Army miss out on the games due to limited fan numbers, but I am sure the whole country will enjoy the matches all the same. I just hope Steve Clarke and his squad do themselves justice and qualify from the group.

Our squad is full of young and talented players and if they go and express themselves, I see no reason why Scotland can’t get out of their group and into the knockout stages. A wee win over England would go down a treat too. Come on Scotland!

Mark Hendry

If nothing else I expect there to be a barrel load of goals scored at this tournament. We've seen over the course of this season that, without fans, teams seem to be a tad more open at the back.

For me it could come down to a straight shootout for top scorer between Portugal's old-timer Cristiano Ronaldo - who could be playing his final international tournament - and the new breed in France's Kylian Mbappe.

A pettier man would not give England's Harry Kane a chance but I do. And Thomas Muller of Germany is always there or thereabouts. I predict fireworks.

James Cairney

I think we can expect a tournament like no other this summer. Between the home advantage some nations will enjoy, the varying crowd capacities in different countries, the long travel times between fixtures (in some instances) and the restrictions facing travelling supporters – not to mention all the Covid protocols in place – there are plenty of reasons why Euro 2020 will be unique.

We’ve seen last season that crowds do have an effect on games, so don’t be surprised to see a country with a low infection rate and a high number of punters in their own ground to go further than expected – after all, they’ll be enjoying an advantage that few others will.