Saturday 10th June. 5PM. ITV 1
Club football is over for another season. However, the UEFA World Cup qualifiers ensure that the action continues for a little while longer, and the headline clash from Hampden Park promises to be a cracker as the oldest rivalry in international football resumes.
Both nations have plenty to play for in what is a crucial stage on the road to Russia for very different reasons. Scotland v England. Bring it on!
Strachan’s Scotland In Must Win Territory
March’s 1-0 win over Slovenia took Scotland to seven points at the halfway stage of Group F, but the Tartan Army still faces a steep uphill battle as they look to book a play-off spot on the road to Russia.
Scotland enter the day’s action just two points adrift of second-placed Slovakia. However, the fact that both they and Slovenia will be expected to beat Malta and Lithuania respectively will pile the pressure on. On a brighter note, if they perform like they did at Wembley last November, the hosts can be optimistic.
Finishing was the only thing that let Scotland down in that game, but Strachan is confident that a Celtic backbone will have the confidence to cause major problems for a transitional England. With the Glaswegian crowd behind them, Scott Brown and co. will be up for it to say the least.
Consistency is a major problem Scotland. Given that this is unlikely to be an issue here, though, they might just continue their turnaround in style.
England Expected To Win
The Three Lions are under no illusions about their ranking in international football right now. Nevertheless, a place at the World Cup already looks in the bag thanks to a return of 13 points from a possible 15. A win in Glasgow would virtually seal it.
England haven’t performed well in this campaign,though. A late win against Slovakia, a drab draw in Slovenia and a flattering win over Scotland have all highlighted weaknesses while even the wins over Lithuania and Malta were underwhelming to say the least.
Gareth Southgate is starting to stamp his authority after taking the helm following Sam Allardyce’s dismissal, though, and will be eager to see Harry Kane and Marcus Rashford vindicate his decision to leave Wayne Rooney out once more. At the other end, Joe Hart and his defence will be looking for a sixth clean sheet in as many qualifiers.
The visitors will be considered favourites but will need to perform. Whatever happens, it should be a cracking atmosphere from start to finish.
Scotland v England Betting
Even with home advantage on their side, Scotland are the underdogs at 17/4 with 888sport. England, meanwhile, are priced 7/10 for the win while the draw is 5/2.
The recent fixtures between the two sides have produced goals. While Scotland have scored three over the course of three games, England have scored three in each of them. One way or another, we expect to see three or more here.
Southgate’s men are due to concede, and could easily hit three again on a good day too. At 7/5, over 2.5 goals is well worth a punt.
While Scotland have a strong Celtic flavour, England are heavily influenced by the Spurs players. And we think it will be Dele who grabs the headlines.
The 21-year-old scored goals for fun at Tottenham this term, and also scored in Southgate’s first game against Malta. Back him to grab another here.