Football

Battle of Britain

After an dramatic General Election, attention turns to qualifying for the 2018 FIFA World Cup. One particular stand out fixtures sees a national derby as Scotland host England at Hampden Park.

 

Victory for the Three Lions will all but assure at least a play off place. The Scots however must win, if want to keep their Russian dreams alive.

 

Team News

 

Scotland have a full squad to choose from despite dropping Steve Fletcher from Gordon Strachan’s initial squad selection.

 

Despite being named in the squad, Jamie Vardy had to withdraw due to injury this week.

 

Nathaniel Clyne too will miss the match. This means that Middlesbrough’s Ben Gibson could earn his first ever England cap.

 

Harry Kane could make his return to international duty, after injury prevented him from debuting under Gareth Southgate’s reins so far.

 

Tactics

 

Scotland will be an interesting proposition for Southgate’s side as they feature several members of Celtic’s treble winning side.

 

Their confidence will surely be of benefit here seeing as they have avoided any competitive defeat since the 3-0 thrashing in this fixture, back in November 2016.

 

Either way, a 4-2-3-1 is expected to be the Auld Enemy’s starting formation for this crunch match.

 

The Three Lions are expected to stick to their 3-4-3 formation, despite their squad selection suggesting otherwise.

 

Harry Kane has been on fire lately for Tottenham having scored seven goals in his last two matches. Can he transfer that momentum onto the international stage and do some damage to Scotland’s qualification’s hopes.

 

Dominant England

 

Since these sides met in the November 1999 play offs for the 2000 UEFA Euros, England have won all three meetings this century.

 

In terms of goals scored across that period, the Tartan Terriers have scored just three goals to England’s nine.

 

As a result, the advantage lies with Southgate’s men here.

 

Prediction

 

Unlike the November clash, this game will take place amongst political turmoil so expect a slightly tighter match, given how some teams tend to tighten up during similar situations.

 

Given that the Scots have only suffered one home loss since November 2014 (3-2 Germany – September 2015), England have their work cut out but have won on last four trips north of the border.

 

With Kane in top form, I expect him to be the key player here in a white for the English side of the border.

 

Prediction: Scotland 1-2 England

Result: Scotland 2-2 England

 


 

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