Friday 11th November. 7:45PM. ITV 1
The Road to Russia for England and Scotland resumes on Friday night, and the two home nations will almost certainly mark November 11th with a game to remember.
A lot of controversy has surrounded the regulations on wearing the poppy, but both nations are set to mark the occasion by uniting to show their respects. Once the first whistle has been blown, however, it’ll be a passionate battle for three crucial points.
Who will take the spoils?
Three Points For The Three Lions?
After an immensely difficult 2016, England will be desperate to end the competitive calendar with a win. If the Three Lions do claim the vital victory, a return of 10 points from 12 would see them sitting very pretty in the race for World Cup qualification.
It’s a massive game for interim boss Gareth Southgate also, who will surely land the permanent role as long as England perform here and against Spain on Tuesday. However, the 46-year-old has a few tough decisions to make for Friday’s crucial clash.
England were poor in Slovenia and unconvincing at home to Malta. Southgate also has to decide whether skipper Wayne Rooney deserves a place in the starting XI while Harry Kane could be lacking sharpness having played just once in the last seven weeks.
The hosts will be expected to win regardless of the team selected. But those recent woes, combined with Scotland’s passion, ensure that it won’t be an easy task for the Three Lions.
Strachan’s Scotland Needing An Upset
After the immediate improvements under Gordon Strachan, Scotland fans may have expected to see more from their team over the last couple of years. Since losing to England in a friendly at Wembley in 2013, however, there has been very little progress for the Tartan Army.
Drawing at home with Lithuania certainly hasn’t helped their cause, and they make the trip to London knowing that defeat would leave them facing an uphill battle in their bid for the play-offs. Even with Scot Brown back in the mix, Scotland do look a far worse team on paper.
Nevertheless, the visitors will be optimistic given their recent performances against England as well as the home side’s current wobbles. There is an opportunity for Scotland to register a truly memorable result, and their players will be ready to fight for every ball.
It has all the makings of a classic chapter in world football’s longest rivalry.
England v Scotland Betting
At Wembley, it will be no surprise to learn that England are the overwhelming favourites. In fact, Bet365 have priced the Three Lions at just 4/11 while the draw is priced 7/2. A shock Scotland win can be backed at 8/1.
Despite England’s recent poor form, they should have enough to clinch the three points. Having said that, Scotland acquitted themselves well in both of the recent head-to-head meetings, and they both occurred at a time where the Three Lions were in better confidence.
Southgate is lucky that Scotland aren’t a good side. If they can break the deadlock early, a relatively easy three points should be on the card.
Whatever happens, it’s set to be an explosive 90 minutes. One way or the other, one team will need to be aggressive as they chase the result they crave. With this in mind, we think a red card is very possible.
We’d probably edge towards it going Scotland’s way but, at 3/1, it’s well worth covering both sides.