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Scotland v England 5.00 pm kick World Cup Qualifier
Saturday 10th June 2017 – Hampden Park Glasgow
The two have only met on three occasions this century and England have won all three, two friendlies and the reverse fixture at Wembley which was 3-0. It is probably fair to say that there is no such thing as a friendly between the two old rivals so the results are significant. Scotland were poor at Wembley but in front of a partisan crowd they will need to up their game and they will. In the campaign so far they have won two, lost two and drawn one with England unbeaten with four wins and a draw. England do not need to win, Scotland must not lose and that causes us a slight problem when Betfair Trading and betting. There is no doubting that England are a better side but that will count for nothing if they are not 100% up for this test.
Part of the problem in recent years for Scotland is the poor standard of their own domestic scene and also the few decent players are playing in England. Add to that the selection of players who qualify through grandparents and were never really brought up “Scottish” and you can see how the problem has grown. Gone are the days of Bremner, Souness, Dalglish etc, top players with real passion for the shirt but I don’t see that in this squad. When you select players who have never set foot in Scotland until they were selected, then you can see why they are struggling. This used to be a great fixture, blood and thunder but the game at Wembley petered out like a damp squib and if Scotland don’t score first here, England will kill the game again.
So how do Scotland win? Can they win?
Yes they can win but I feel they must get the first goal. England are a decent side but they are not a great side and pressure can take its toll as we have seen before. If Scotland can frustrate them and stop them scoring in the first half then they have a real chance. In their last fourteen internationals at home, Scotland have won eight drawn four and lost just two, to World Champions Germany and to England. They have scored in thirteen of those games so are likely to score at home. All three England strikers have been in good form, Kane, Defoe and Rashford and they will cause problems for the Scottish defence. Strachan looks sure to go with a nucleus of Celtic players and they are full of confidence and if they can inspire the others, the game will be closer than the odds suggest.
My personal view is that both teams will score and that the game could end 1-1 with England settling for a point and holding on from Scotland towards the end. That however would change with an early England goal as the Scots would push on and become vulnerable to counter attacks and the speed of the England team, As a betting option, both teams to score must be the call, if England do go ahead you can guarantee Scotland will throw everything at them to score so the bet would be a big player.
Both Teams To Score @5/4 (2.25)
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