World Cup Qualifying: England vs Scotland preview


The oldest international football fixture in the world will feature its 113th episode on Friday when England host rivals Scotland at Wembley. The previous 112 direct matches have produced 47 wins for England, 41 for Scotland, and 24 draws. England have won four of the last five direct matches, including the latest friendly match in 2014. But Scotland won the last competitive match between the two sides, a 1-0 victory at Wembley back in 1999, in the qualification campaign for the European Championships.

England are leading the table in Group F after three matches with two wins and a draw, three goals scored and none conceded. But things are a lot worse than the numbers might show, former boss Sam Allardyce got sacked and last time out England barely squeezed past Malta before snatching a somewhat lucky goalless draw in Slovenia. Interim manager Gareth Southgate had to pull out Danny Drinkwater and Fraser Forster from the squad because of injuries, they were replaced by Aaron Cresswell and Jordan Pickford.

Scotland started the campaign with a positive 5-1 victory in Malta, but after hammering the group minnows the Scots were unable to get another victory. First they got held to a 1-1 draw at home by Lithuania, and then they got hammered themselves, 3-0 in Slovakia. Manager Gordon Strachan is under pressure after those results, a good performance against rivals England might rescue his job, but a defeat might well bring the end of his reign. Scotland have not qualified for the World Cup since 1998.

Probable line-ups:

England: Hart - Walker, Stones, Cahill, Bertrand - Dier, Henderson - Lallana, Rooney, Walcott - Sturridge

Scotland: Marshall - Paterson, Martin, Hanley, Kingsley - Bannan, McArthur, D. Fletcher - Ritchie, S. Fletcher, Snodgrass

My prediction: England to win 2-0.

Here are the odds for the match at Bet365:

England win - 1.36
Draw - 5.00
Scotland win - 10.00

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Members Comments

  • Bulgaria sharpe

    23/11/16

    In the end it was comfortable win for England but maybe the result is not so fair and Scotland deserved more, anyway it's about time for England to start playing moreefficient football and winning games in which they are not so dominating.
    It was about time for a young and fresh manager finally to be ahead of England, someone which is closer to the players (on age too) and maybe that will bring a better times for the Englanders ahead.

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