England vs Scotland preview

November 10, 2016
By: Nemanja Lazarevic

scotland-vs-englandBitter rivals England and Scotland meet in a competitive match for the first time since 1999, when the Three Lions won the Euro 2000 play-off tie.

This time out, they are battling it out in Group F of the 2018 World Cup qualifiers, with Scotland trailing three points at the moment.

England keep suffering new lows as Euro 2016 failure and Sam Allardyce controversy further damaged the team’s reputation, and it’s now up to Gareth Southgate to try and make things right.

The former Middlesbrough manager enjoyed a decent start to his new job, masterminding a 2-0 triumph over Malta before his side played out a goalless draw with Slovenia.

With their main rivals for the first place Slovakia suffering two defeats in first three games, England now sit pretty at the Group F summit, but this could easily change if they fail to beat Scotland.

The Three Lions have been made 1.40 (2/5) favourites to see off their bitter rivals, but they will certainly not have an easy job.

Danny Drinkwater and Fraser Forster have already withdrawn from the squad, with Aaron Cresswell and Jordan Pickford brought in.

Harry Kane is back after a lengthy injury lay-off, while Jack Wilshere has been recalled even though his form has been far from impressive.

Probable starting line-up (4-2-3-1): Hart – Walker, Cahill, Stones, Rose – Henderson, Dier – Walcott, Alli, Lallana – Sturridge.

Scotland boss Gordon Strachan has been under a great deal of pressure of late and some pundits believe he could lose his job if his side get defeated at Wembley.

The media may have been a bit unfair to the former Celtic manager, but with Rep of Ireland, Wales and Northern Ireland all making it to Euro 2016, it is hardly surprising the expectations are now higher.

Scotland have been struggling of late, taking just four points from first three 2018 World Cup qualifiers, with home draw against Lithuania especially disappointing.

It remains to be seen whether the Tartan Army will be able to show any sort of improvement when facing England, but odds seem firmly stacked against them.

Gordon Strachan again faces serious selection problems as Steven Fletcher is struggling through a knee injury, while Gordon Greer has been ruled out.

The good news is that Scott Brown should be fit to play, as he returns to the side having come out of retirement to help the team.

Probable starting line-up (4-3-3): Marshall – Paterson, R. Martin, Hanley, Wallace – McArthur, Brown, Bannan – Snodgrass, S. Fletcher, Ritchie.

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