England vs Scotland
Euro 2020, Group D
Date: Friday, 18 June 2021,
Kick-off 20:00 UK/ 21:00 CET
Venue: Wembley Stadium (London).
Having defeated Croatia 1-0 in Euro 2020 Group D opening fixture, England look for another three points in a friendly derby against neighbors Scotland.
Not convincing, yet with three points on the bag, Gareth Southgate and his men can be happy with the win over Croatia on matchday 1.
Raheem Sterling, given his form, was a surprise inclusion in the starting eleven and the Liverpool striker bagged the only goal in the game after a brilliant set-up by the impressive Kalvin Phillips.
Though Phil Foden came close and hit the bar in the opening minutes when England was dominating the game, the game faded out and saw little action except for the goal in the second half and a missed chance from close range from Harry Kane.
The Three Lions had a poor record on matchday 1 at the UEFA Euro, having won none in the previous 8 appearances, drawn 5 and lost 3.
Scotland on the other hand came to the competition with high hopes and were undone by a hard working Czech Republic.
The Scots had the better of chances in the first half and could have put the game to death in the first half itself. But the first goal from Patrik Schick changed the complexion of the game and saw very little from Steve Clarke’s men since, other than some scrambled chances.
Steve Clarke has some tinkering to do and must demand a big improvement from his boys to remain in the competition.
This is the third appearance for Scotland at the Euro and they finished 3rd in the group in previous two without progressing to the knockout phase. Though they bagged a win each time, both in the final group fixture.
England Team News
Goalkeeper Dean Henderson is ruled out of the remainder of Euro 2020 due to a hip injury and Sheffield United’s Aaron Ramsdale is called up as replacement.
Harry Maguire may have a week or two to attain full fitness and there is no reason to change the back-four that shut-out Croatia.
Both Raheem Sterling and Phil Foden were surprise inclusions in the starting eleven for the opener. Both were quiet for the majority of the game though the former repaid the faith with the winning goal and the latter came close to scoring in the opening minutes.
Jack Grealish and Marcus Rashford could come back to the starting eleven if Gareth Southgate decides to go with a more lethal approach.
England Predicted Starting Line-up (4-2-3-1)
Pickford – Trippier, Stones, Mings, Walker – Phillips, Rice – Mount, Grealish, Sterling – Kane.
Scotland Team News
Both Kieran Tierney and Billy Gilmour missed the opening match against Czech Republic, though the former could start here.
Che Adams was a surprise exclusion from the starting line-up on matchday 1 and he could force his way back at the expense of Ryan Christie.
Scotland Predicted Starting Line-up (3-5-2)
Marshall – Hendry, Hanley, Tierney – Robertson, McGinn, McGregor, McTominay, Forrest – Adams, Dykes.
England vs Scotland Head-to-head
There have been 114 head-to-head meetings between England and Scotland and the Three Lions were victorious in 48 while the Scots are not far behind with 41 wins with the teams settling for draws on 25 occasions.
They last met in 2017, at the group stage of World Cup qualifiers. It was a 2-2 draw, all four goals fell after the 70th minute; Leigh Griffiths with both goals for Scotland between strikes from Oxlade-Chamberlain and Harry Kane.
The teams were in Group A of the Euro 1996 and played at this same stadium on matchday 2. England got the better of Scotland aided by goals from Alan Shearer and Paul Gascoigne.
England vs Scotland Prediction
This is a massive game for England and without a doubt they have too much quality in every department, yet this didn’t come to the fore in their opening match.
Still, very few teams can boast a win ratio like England since international football returned from covid-19 pandemic.
Their last 7 across all competitions are wins as well as 11 of last 14, only Belgium and Denmark defeated them during the period, the latter holding them to a draw on the other occasion.
Having claimed the vital win in the group’s first game, I expect them to play an expansive game on Friday.
This Scottish side is under pressure since they know they cannot afford another defeat here. Moreover, Steve Clarke’s side haven’t defeated a team sitting inside the top 5 of the FIFA ranking in the last 3 years.
Harry Kane had a relatively quiet game against Croatia, yet missed a golden chance to take his team 2-0 in the second half. We could see his net here, priced at 1.72, but I will be backing Mason Mount to score anytime in this match encouraged by the historic stats of English midfielders scoring in major tournaments