Scotland face their oldest rivals England in an international friendly – if it can be called that – tonight at Wembley Stadium. With the Scotland Under-21 side being humiliated 6-0 last night by their English counterparts, Gordon Strachan’s men will not only look to do much better than their juniors, but also to prove their many detractors and critics wrong.
England are overwhelming favourites going into tonight’s game, which is to be expected, given the gulf in class between the two sides. But, with England failing to perform in recent games and failing to live up to the overhyped nature of the English game, they will be looking to instill some much-needed national pride by defeating Scotland.
Tonight is the first meeting between the two sides in 14 years, when Scotland beat England 1-0 in their second led play-off game thanks to a solitary headed goal from Don Hutchison. Can Gordon Strachan’s side make it two wins in a row at Wembley or will England be just too hot to handle for their underdog counterparts?
There are three changes from the Scotland side that beat Croatia in June. Kenny Miller replaces Leigh Griffiths up front, while James Forrest and Scott Brown replace Barry Bannan and James McArthur in midfield.
There are murmurings of discontent from the Tartan Army, with the inclusion of Kenny Miller from the start as he is handed a lone striker’s role. Many believe that Miller’s inclusion is just a ‘thank you’ to his years of service for Scotland rather than starting Jordan Rhodes or Leigh Griffiths to aid their development as future Scotland strikers.
There is no denying that Miller’s experience is invaluable, but maybe it is time that Miller is put out to pasture and give the young guns a chance to prove their worth.
The only absentee from the Scotland squad is Brighton midfielder Liam Bridcutt who has a groin problem.
Wayne Rooney starts for England. If you are the English media, that is all they have been talking about this evening. Whether that is a good or bad thing for Scotland, we shall see.
England saw Michael Carrick and Ashley Young pull out through injury, Young with an ankle injury and Carrick through an eye infection.
England XI: Hart; Walker, Cahill, Jagielka, Baines; Walcott, Gerrard, Cleverley, Wilshere Welbeck, Rooney.
Scotland XI: McGregor, Hutton, Hanley, Martin, Whittaker, Snodgrass, Brown, Morrison, Forrest, Maloney, Miller