Old foes Scotland and England will face off against each other in a special ‘heritage friendly’ at Hampden Park in Glasgow on Tuesday night. The game is to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the oldest international fixture in football.
The two sides first locked horns way back in 1872 at the West of Scotland Cricket Club when they played out an uninspiring 0-0 draw. A repeat of that score line is highly unlikely when they clash at Hampden tomorrow evening. Both Scotland and England come into the game in fine form from their respective UEFA Euro 2024 qualifying campaigns, so it promises to be an exciting game in Glasgow.
Scotland welcome England to Hampden in excellent form. They are undefeated in 11 qualifiers, which is the longest run throughout Europe. Steve Clarke has guided his side to five consecutive wins in all competitions for the first time since 1949. That run included an impressive 2-0 win over Spain which has taken them to the top of their Euro 2024 qualification group. The Tartan Army have only conceded one goal in their last five outings, so they should be tough to break down tomorrow night.
After beating Georgia and Norway back in June, Scotland eased past Cyprus 3-0 last Friday to maintain their 100% record in Group A. They sit top of the table with a maximum 15 points, eight ahead of third-placed Norway and six ahead of Spain – who have a game in hand. Clarke’s side are in an excellent position to qualify for Euro 2024, which would make it consecutive European Championships. They also qualified for Euro 2020 but will hope for a better showing this time having failed to make it out the group.
One thing that’s for sure, UEFA Euro 2024 tickets will be in high demand if Scotland book their place at the tournament as they have one of the most passionate and loyal fan-bases in the world. Thousands of supporters will travel to watch the Tartan Army in action at Euro 2024 if Scotland secure their place and they’ll all want tickets to watch their nation in action.
England come into the game off the back of a frustrating 1-1 draw with Ukraine in their Euro 2024 qualifier on Saturday. Arsenal’s Oleksandr Zinchenko opened the scoring for the hosts before England levelled things up thanks to a Kyle Walker goal late in the first half.
That result ended England’s perfect record in Group C but they still sit top of the table – six points clear of Ukraine and Italy – although the Italians have a game in hand. So the Three Lions are still well positioned to win the group and book their place at the European Championships.
Gareth Southgate’s side will be among the favourites at the tournament having made it to the final in 2020. They narrowly lost out to Italy in 2020 so England will be looking to go one better next summer.
After tomorrow’s friendly against Scotland, England take on Australia in another friendly before returning to competitive action in October when they take on Italy in a huge game at Wembley Stadium.
The sides last met at Euro 2020 when they played out a hard fought 0-0 draw at Wembley. Prior to that, they shared the spoils at Hampden but it was a far more entertaining game. Scotland thought they’d won it after Leigh Griffiths scored two late free-kicks, but Harry Kane snatched a draw for England in stoppage time to secure a 2-2 draw.
In total, the two sides have met 115 times. England have won 48, Scotland 41 with the soils shared on 26 occasions.
Scotland have no fresh injury concerns to contend with ahead of the match. Clarke didn’t report any new injury issues after the win over Cyprus and he’s expected to field a strong side tomorrow evening.
If Clarke does make a few changes, Nathan Patterson is in-line for a recall on the right flank while Stuart Armstrong could also come into the midfield.
The likes of Kieran Tierney, John McGinn, Scott McTominay and Andrew Robertson should all start and they’ll be familiar to the England squad as they’ve plied their trade in the Premier League.
McTominay has become something of a dangerman in qualifying as he’s scored six goals in five games for Scotland, so he’ll be looking to continue that form on Tuesday night.
Angus Gunn should keep his place in goal while Clarke is expected to stick with a 3-4-2-1 formation. Ryan Porteous, Jack Hendry, and Tierney should make up the defence once again. Lyndon Dykes is expected to lead the line up front.
As for England, Southgate has suggested he’ll freshen things up to give some minutes to his squad players. Arsenal’s Aaron Ramsdale could start in goal with Jordan Pickford rested.
Lewis Dunk, Marc Guehi and Kieran Trippier could all come into the defence with Harry Maguire taken out of the firing line. Kalvin Phillips is also in need of some game time and could start in midfield with or in place of Declan Rice.
Marcus Rashford could replace James Maddison on the left flank while Phil Foden is pushing for a recall. He could come in for Arsenal’s Bukayo Saka on the right wing with the youngster in need of a breather.
Jude Bellingham could keep his place after showing some excellent form this season following his move to Real Madrid. That means Jordan Henderson may drop out after a disappointing display against Ukraine.
Harry Kane is likely to captain England and start up front. That means the likes of Callum Wilson and Eddie Nketiah will have to settle for a place on the bench.
Trent Alexander-Arnold and Jack Grealish pulled out of the squad ahead of the Ukraine game while Luke Shaw and John Stones are other notable absentees due to injury. However, Southgate didn’t report any fresh concerns from the weekend.
This is a celebratory game but it’s rarely ‘friendly’ when these two meet, such is the history between the two sides, so we should see a good game at Hampden. Scotland are in the form of their lives so they’ll be confident of getting a positive result on home soil.
However, England have a far stronger side on paper and should have too much quality if they take their chances. If Kane starts and is given decent service from the other attackers, then we’d see England as favourites to edge a narrow game in Glasgow. Scotland 1-2 England
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