9th June 2017
England and Scotland set for battle in Glasgow
The Auld Enemy lock horns again this Saturday in a 2018 World Cup Qualifier at Hampden Park, Glasgow.
Goalkeepers: Gordon, Hamilton, Marshall.
Defenders: Anya, Berra, Kingsley, Martin, Mulgrew, Reynolds, Robertson, Tierney.
Midfielders: Armstrong, Bannan, Brown, Cairney, Fletcher, Forrest, Fraser, McAthur, Morrison, Snodgrass.
Forwards: Griffiths, Martin, Naismith.
Goalkeepers: Hart, Forster, Butland, Heaton.
Defenders: Cahill, Smalling, Walker, Jones, Stones, Bertrand, Cresswell, Gibson, Tripper.
Midfielders: Lallana, Sterling, Oxlade-Chamberlin, Dele, Dier, Lingard, Livermore.
Forwards: Defoe, Kane, Vardy, Rashford.
This could prove to be the straw that breaks the camel’s back for under-fire Gordon Strachan. Last time out a 1-0 victory over Slovenia bought Strachan a bit more time, but with qualification for the World Cup now looking unlikely, former Sunderland boss David Moyes has been heavily linked with the national team job.
A place in the play-offs is still achievable for the Scots, although to get there they’d have to rely on the unlikely event of Slovakia and Slovenia dropping points against Lithuania and Malta.
Scotland are unbeaten at home in their last five and world champions Germany are the only team to come away from Hampden Park with a win since November 2014, although they haven’t been too impressive during qualification so far – drawing with Lithuania and scraping past Slovenia.
Qualification hasn’t been smooth sailing for England so far with a managerial change part-way through. Results have reflected the off-field changes and England remain in firm control of top spot in Group F – with four points separating them and Slovakia in second.
With the upcoming trip to Glasgow, England appear to have got their trickiest fixtures out of the way, having already travelled to Slovakia and Slovenia. Their only remaining away trips after Scotland will be to Malta and Lithuania.
- Scotland have lost seven of their last eight international fixtures against England, with their only win in that run coming in the Euro 2000 second-leg play-off at the old Wembley Stadium.
- This will be the 114th international between the two nations, with England winning 48 times to Scotland’s 41 and 42 draws.
- The Tartan Army have mustered just three goals in their last nine home internationals against England.
- The last time Scotland managed to score more than once at home versus England was in May 1976, with goals from Don Masson and Kenny Dalglish in a 2-1 win.
- England are the only European team in World Cup qualifying yet to concede a single goal going into this round of fixtures.
- Scotland have lost just one of their last eight home qualifying games, to current World Cup holders Germany in September 2015 (W5 D2).
- England haven’t lost a qualifying match since October 2009 versus Ukraine, going 34 games without defeat (W26 D8).
UCFB BA (Hons) Multimedia Sports Journalism student Marcus Banks predicts a 2-0 win for England. “England are the much stronger team and we’ve been playing very well lately. I think Southgate’s selected the best players he has available to him so I don’t think they will cause us too many problems.”
Jamie Green, a BA (Hons) Football Business & Media student, admits it will be tough for Scotland, but predicts a 2-1 win for the home side. “Obviously England are favourites and they have a higher calibre of players. However, with the game being at Hampden Park the Tartan Army will be right behind them and be the 12th man they’re known for. You can never rule out an upset.”