Last Saturday saw a cracking game with the score ending 2-2 after some late freekick drama courtesy of Joe Hart and a stunning equaliser from Harry Kane in stoppage time. Below you can read the original preview for the game.
This weekend sees the 114th incarnation of the oldest football fixture in the world. Scotland host England at Hampden Park in Glasgow and are looking for an upturn in fortunes in what is a crucial World Cup 2018 qualifier. This is a mouth watering clash and you can get free football bets by visiting Freebets.com before the game kicks off.
The home team are looking to end a dismal run in this clash, just one win has come for the Scots in the last ten meetings and even that was not enough for them to prevail in their Euro 2000 play-off tie, England having already won the first leg 2-0.
Conversely, England have a good recent record in the fixture having won all of the last three since the 14-year gap which followed Scotland’s win at Wembley. The team from south of the border have also scored three goals on each of those occasions.
Scotland are taking some hope from the fact that, in Gordon Strachan’s view at least, Craig Gordon had precious little to do in goal on their visit to Wembley in November despite losing 3-0 and that the chances Scotland created were at least as good as England’s, perhaps better.
All in all, England have won 48 times in this fixture, Scotland 41 and there have been 24 draws.
England are missing Leicester star Jamie Vardy who has been forced to pull out through injury, though Gareth Southgate will not replace the striker given that Harry Kane, Jermain Defoe and Marcus Rashford are all still in the squad and should provide more than enough firepower to worry the hosts.
Top Premier League performers Gary Cahill, Kyle Walker, Dele Alli and Raheem Stirling are all available, as well as Liverpool’s Adam Lallana who was man of the match the last time the sides met.
For their part, the home side are hoping that the Celtic connection comes good. The Scottish champions went through the domestic season completely unbeaten and their representatives in this game are understandably full of confidence.
Craig Gordon, Tom Cairney, Robert Snodgrass, Stuart Armstrong and Steven Naismith are all big players in their squad.
KEY MEN – SCOTLAND
The experienced ‘keeper is approaching 50 caps for his country and this despite him having had a career break lasting two years following his spell with Sunderland. Gordon kept 28 clean sheets during what was a breeze of a season for Celtic though he’ll be called upon more this time. A top goalkeeping performance for the underdogs could prove pivotal.
The 25-year-old from Inverness has been a star in Celtic’s midfield, producing a goal or an assist once every 103 minutes in the Scottish Premiership. The problem in Armstrong’s profile comes when seeing that he didn’t produce any goals or assists in the Champions League and it’s this sort of quality he’ll be up against on Saturday. Armstrong reportedly wants out of Celtic and wishes to play at a higher level; a man of the match performance against England would go a long way towards achieving that.
The Fulham midfielder is the subject of reported interest from various Premier League clubs willing to pay £15m-£20m for his services. Excellent going forward in an attacking team, it’ll be a challenge for Cairney to put his influence on the game if his side are on the back foot.
KEY MEN – ENGLAND
The Tottenham striker is remembered by many for some shocking performances for England at Euro 2016, however another brilliant season in the Premier League for Tottenham still marks him out as potentially one of the best strikers in Europe. Scotland would do well not to underestimate him.
You can get free football bets by signing up to various accounts as a new customer and using them to back Kane to score could be right way to go.
Alli’s link-up with Kane is what makes them both so dangerous at Spurs and the young attacking midfielder is now the subject of interest from the likes of Real Madrid. As well as being a key provider for Kane, Alli has an eye for goal himself and will make his runs from deep which are notoriously difficult for defenders to track.
A lot may depend on Scott Brown keeping tabs on Alli and stopping his runs into the penalty area.
The much-improved Manchester City winger could have a vital part to play. Given the influence that the likes of Armstrong, Brown and Cairney may have for Scotland, England’s key attacking outlets could be out wide. Stirling, on paper at least, would easily have the beating of Scotland’s full-backs and so the supply line to him must be cut off.