Scotland’s final warm-up games ahead of the European Championship are crucial for the players hoping to play during the tournament.
The national side face the Netherlands on Wednesday and Luxembourg on Sunday in their final outings before the Euros.
These clashes are an opportunity for players to prove to Steve Clarke they should be in his side for the first game against the Czech Republic.
Positions are up for grabs
The likes of Andy Robertson, Kieran Tierney, John McGinn and Scott McTominay are players you would expect to be selected if available.
David Marshall and Lyndon Dykes are another two who have done well for Scotland who are also likely to be chosen.
But in other areas of the team positions are open.
James Forrest is back having been injured for most of the season. His Celtic colleagues Ryan Christie and Callum McGregor may not be the certainties they have been previously given the Hoops’ poor form.
Stuart Armstrong is playing at a good level with Southampton, but has been on the fringes for Scotland at times recently.
In defence, there’s plenty of competition between the likes of Scott McKenna, Liam Cooper, Grant Hanley and Declan Gallagher.
It’s up to the players to prove themselves and stake their claim to be a starter at the Euros.
In this training camp, Clarke will be assessing every player both mentally and physically as he starts to formulate his side for the tournament.
There are four or five positions where he probably isn’t certain of who will start.
Therefore nobody should be taking these friendlies lightly.
A chance to make a statement
During my playing career, I always looked at friendlies as an opportunity to try to impress the manager and break through.
Games like these take on more significance in the lead up to a major tournament.
The manager needs to have confidence he can trust you in the tournament games.
To gain that trust as a player, you have to make a statement and show that you should be selected.
For the manager, these games are also an opportunity to test out one or two things like different shapes and different combinations in certain areas ahead of the finals.
If the boss is swithering about a certain position and has a decision to make, you want to have done enough to make sure you are chosen.
Dutch provide quality opposition ahead of Euros clashes
Facing a side like the Netherlands is a good gauge for individual players and for the team collectively.
Clarke will want to see his charges performing well against that level of opposition.
Anybody who does do well against the Dutch will show that they are ready for selection in what is a tricky group at the Euros.
If Scotland are to progress from the section against the Czech Republic, England and Croatia, you need to see signs that they are capable against a top-quality side.
Somebody who puts in a good display against Holland could have a major impact on the manager’s thoughts.
I’d imagine in his mind Clarke will have a fair idea of the side he wants to open the tournament with against the Czechs.
But the opportunity is there for others to make him think again.
The other thing worth considering is that injuries could happen in these two fixtures, so anybody who thinks they are second choice could quickly be promoted.
For the seasoned campaigners and regulars, the games are a chance to cement their place and the fringe players are looking to force their way in.
A whole generation of players and fans have missed out on that. As a player being part of the squad is all well and good, but there’s nothing better than playing in the tournament.
That’s why these games are important, because it’s the chance for players to prove they should play at the Euros.