One of the oldest rivalries in the history of football will renew itself once again as England clash with their rivals from north of the border, Scotland, at Wembley in the Group D clash at Euro 2020.
Both teams had a mixed start to their respective group stage campaigns. England played first and earned a narrow 1-0 win over Croatia thanks to Raheem Sterling’s second half strike. Scotland played the Czech Republic 24-hours later and went down to a 2-0 defeat, thanks to two well-taken goals by Patrick Schick.
With the Czech Republic and Croatia meeting at Hampden Park ahead of the England v Scotland clash at Wembley, both teams will at least have knowledge of the result of that game heading into this one, which will clarify the situation for both teams in terms of what they need to achieve to qualify.
England are already in a strong position, but they also know that topping the group is imperative if they want to continue playing the majority of their games at Wembley (they would only have to play away from Wembley once if they won the group, a quarterfinal tie should they reach that stage).
For Scotland, picking up a point or even all three would massively boost their hopes of reaching the second stage of a major international tournament for the first time in their history.
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Let’s now start the preview by explaining a little about the lengthy history of rivalry between these two nations, including a look at some of the more recent clashes between the teams in major tournaments.
The History of The Auld Enemies – England v Scotland
England v Scotland is the oldest international fixture in football history as the first game took place back in November 1872, finishing in a 0-0 draw.
In the early years of the fixture, England wins were relatively rare, with Scotland very much holding the advantage. England winning just two of the first 13 games between the teams, while Scotland landed nine wins in total over that period.
The two rivals began to play annually and that continued for over 100 years until the British Home Championship was cancelled. After that period, games between the teams became much rarer events and as a result, they were very intense spectacles when the two teams met.
The biggest result in the history of the tournament came in 1961 when England beat the Scots 9-3 at Wembley, Jimmy Greaves scoring a hat-trick, while Bobby Smith and Johnny Haynes both scored a double apiece.
However, the Scots were the first team to beat England after they became World Champions, defeating Alf Ramsey’s team 3-2 at Wembley in April 1967.
Over recent years, as the fixture has become a rarer event, it is England who have enjoyed the better of things. Scotland have beaten their old enemies just twice in the last 15 games, while England have won ten matches with three finishing as drawn games. In the last nine games, England have emerged victorious seven times, with just one Scottish win over that period.
Scotland v England – Recent Encounters
2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers
- Nov 2016 – England 3-0 Scotland
- Jun 2017 – Scotland 2-2 England
The last time these two teams met was in a June 2017 World Cup qualifier, when Alex Oxlade Chamberlain put England in front on 70 minutes. The Scots levelled through a Leigh Griffiths free kick on 87 minutes and then the Celtic striker added a second free kick to put the Scots in front on full time. However, in injury time Harry Kane converted a cross to hand England a point.
That game came after England had beaten the Scots a few months earlier at Wembley in the sae competition, Daniel Sturridge, Adam Lallana and Gary Cahill scoring the goals in a routine 3-0 win for the home side.
2000 European Championships Playoffs
- Nov 1999 – Scotland 0-2 England
- Nov 1999 – England 0-1 Scotland (England win 2-1 on aggregate)
The teams met over two legs in a playoff for a place at the 2000 European Championships. In the first game at Hampden Park, two well-taken goals from Manchester United star Paul Scholes put England firmly in control of the tie.
However, they were made to sweat as at Wembley a few days later. Don Hutchison’s header handed the Scots a lifeline, but they could not grab the second goal to take the game into extra time, which meant England qualified on aggregate by a 2-1 scoreline.
1996 European Championship Group Stage
- Jun 1996 – England 2-0 Scotland
England and Scotland first met in the European Championship finals back in 1996 at Wembley. After a 1-1 draw with Switzerland, England badly needed a win to kick start their Euro 1996 campaign and early in the second half, Alan Shearer headed England into the lead.
Drama was to follow however as Gordon Durie earned Scotland a penalty, which Gary McAllister took only for David Seaman to save. Just seconds later, Paul Gascoigne flicked the ball over Colin Hendry and volleyed past Andy Goram to put England 2-0 up and hand them the victory.
The teams have played 114 times in their histories, England lead the way with 48 wins to Scotland’s 41, with 25 matches between the two drawn.
Group D Standings And News
- Czech Republic – 3pts (+2)
- England – 3pts (+1)
- Croatia – 0pts (-1)
- Scotland – 0pts (-2)
A win for England would see them confirmed as qualifying for the Knockout Phase of the tournament and a draw would make it extremely likely that the Three Lions would qualify, although if they wish to continue to play at Wembley they do need to win the group.
While a defeat would not rule Scotland out of qualifying for the next round, it would make it much ore difficult. A draw would give them a chance with a win over Croatia in their last game, while a win would put them right back in contention in the group.
Harry Maguire has begun training again with England, but it is unlikely that he will feature in this game, with John Stones and. Tyrone Mings likely to continue at centre-back for England. Jordan Henderson could be fit to start if selected.
For Scotland, Kieran Trippier should be fit enough to be in contention for this game after missing the game against the Czech Republic.
Predicted England XI – (4-2-3-1) – Pickford, Walker, Trippier, Stones, Mings, Rice, Phillips, Mount, Foden, Sterling, Kane.
Gareth Southgate won’t likely make too many changes from the team that beat Croatia in their opener after a decent performance, as such, I’d expect England to line up with the same eleven initially that started that game.
Predicted Scotland XI – (5-3-2) – Marshall, O’Donnell, Cooper, Hanley, Tierney, Robertson, McTominay, McGinn, Forrest, Adams, Christie
I can see Steve Clarke making changes to the side for this game. Che Adams did well when coming on in the second half, as did Jamie Forrest and Kieran Tierney should come straight into the team which gives the Scots a more attacking outlook.
What Are Our Tips For England V Scotland?
- Match Winner – England – 3/10
- Correct Score – England 3-1 Scotland – 14/1
- Anytime Goalscorer – Harry Kane (England) – 8/11
I can see the Scots scoring a goal at Wembley, but I think England should have too much quality and experience for them here. As such, I am backing England to win, by a 3-1 scoreline and for Harry Kane to get off the mark in the tournament with a goal in this one.