Scots To Overcome Understrength England
Scotland v England
England take on a vastly improved Scotland side in Glasgow on Tuesday night for one of international football’s greatest grudge matches.
Scotland earned a crucial three points when they beat Ireland 1-0 at Celtic Park in their European Championship qualifier on Friday night to greatly aid their efforts to qualify for the finals of a major championship for the first time since 1998. Gordon Strachan’s side have now picked up seven points from their four qualifying games following what their manager described as a ‘heavyweight’ win against Ireland to keep them three points adrift of Group D pacesetters Poland.
The Scots have lost just once in their past ten games – away to world champions Germany – while they have also kept six clean sheets in their past nine.
After falling behind to Slovenia at Wembley on Saturday night when Jordan Henderson put the ball past Joe Hart in the second half, England struck three times in less than 15 minutes to maintain their 100 percent start to qualification for Euro 2016 and earn a fifth win in a row in all competitions. Wayne Rooney scored his 44th international goal with a penalty on the night he picked up 100 caps for his country and became the country’s joint third-highest goalscorer in the process.
The England and Manchester United skipper has now scored four in his last five appearances – all of them from dead balls – for his country while Danny Welbeck’s double on Saturday means the Arsenal striker has now struck five in four internationals, including another brace in their 2-0 win away to Switzerland in September.
James McArthur is missing for Scotland with a calf problem, but Chris Martin could line out fromt he start after impressing against Ireland after coming off the bench but Strachan is expected to remain faithful to the majority of the side that preformed so well against Ireland.
Everton full-back Leighton Baines, Manchester United midfielder and Spurs winger Andros Townsend have all returned to their clubs after picking up injuries with the England squad and won’t feature here. Rooney is again expected to lead the side as he breaks a century of caps. Saido Berahino will hope to make his senior debut following a first call-up while Stewart Downing, James Milner, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Ross Barkley are all expected to play some part.
Head to Head
These sides met for the first time in over a decade at Wembley in August 2013 and played out a thoroughly entertaining five-goal thriller that saw England edge it thanks to Rickie Lambert’s goal despite twice falling behind.
James Morrison and Kenny Miller scored Scotland’s goals that night with Theo Walcott and Danny Welbeck scoring the others for the hosts. It was the first time in seven games between the teams that both sides had managed to score while England have won six of the past eight encounters.
In a game which England boss Roy Hodgson has already acknowledged he will use to view fringe players and mentioned how friendly matches are now of little or no real significance Scotland look like an absolute steal at 13/5 given their recent results.
Strachan has made this side one nobody can underestimate now and I just can’t see them losing at home to any England selection at the moment so the 8/11 on Scotland or Draw in the Double chance market is a worthy back-up, but if Hodgson is to make wholesale changes it could be a decision which he comes to seriously regret.