Glasgow’s iconic Hampden Park forms the backdrop for the 150th Anniversary Heritage Match between Scotland and England on Tuesday evening.
A fierce rivalry stretching back to the first-ever international match in 1872 has seen 115 previous meetings between the nations, with England edging Scotland in the all-time H2H record (W48, D26, L41).
Despite lagging narrowly behind the Three Lions in the overall H2H stakes, the Scots will take the field in a buoyant mood following a supreme start to their 2024 European Championship qualifying campaign.
With Manchester United misfit Scott McTominay regularly making the international headlines, Steve Clarke’s side have won all five qualifiers in the build-up to this heavily anticipated fixture.
McTominay’s first-team prospects at Old Trafford have dwindled under Erik ten Hag, yet he leads the scoring charts in the ongoing Euro qualifying cycle with six goals.
He was on the scoresheet as Scotland thumped Cyprus 3-0 on foreign soil last week to remain one of only three nations with a 100% record in the Euro 2024 qualifying campaign.
Kyle Walker settled the score on the stroke of half-time with a fine finish after getting on the end of Harry Kane’s superb diagonal ball to maintain the Three Lions’ near-perfect record in Group C (W4, D1).
Six points clear of runners-up Ukraine, Gareth Southgate’s men have put one foot in their fourth consecutive Euro finals and should use this encounter as a welcome distraction after a poor result in Wroclaw.
Scotland’s outrageous form in 2023 puts them on the cusp of successive Euro finals appearances, while an eye-catching 12-1 aggregate score from five matches this calendar year speaks highly of their chances here.
Hampden Park witnessed a standout success last March as McTominay netted on either side of half-time to inspire the Tartan Army to a 2-0 win over Spain in a Euro 2024 qualifier.
After finding the net in their last 15 friendly meetings with England since their famous first-ever meeting in 1872, Scotland should be confident about claiming the bragging rights here.
Since a 3-1 defeat to Ukraine in the 2022 World Cup play-off semi-finals last summer, Clarke’s side have won six home internationals on the trot, highlighting the potential for a derby win.
Except for a 2-1 loss to France in the 2022 World Cup quarter-finals, Southgate’s team have gone unbeaten in ten of their last 11 outings (W7, D3), including four wins in five post-tournament games.
But England’s pedestrian performance against Ukraine has brought Southgate under scrutiny again, even though his side humbled North Macedonia 7-0 in their previous Euro 2024 qualifier.
This match-up could be a perfect opportunity for the England gaffer to silence his critics, with the Three Lions winning their last ten international friendlies, including eight without conceding.
Adding to England’s status as pre-match favourites, they’ve not lost any of their five encounters against Scotland in the 21st century (W3, D2) since a 1-0 defeat towards the end of the last millennium.
Since none of Clarke’s men have picked up any injury concerns since their landslide victory in Larnaca, Scotland will come at England at full bore.
Five Premier League stars – Nathan Patterson, John McGinn, Kieran Tierney, McTominay and Andrew Robertson – should form the spine of Clarke’s starting line-up.
As for England, Marcus Rashford and Phil Foden could return to the starting XI after coming on as late substitutes against Ukraine, with Chelsea’s Levi Colwill expected to make his international debut.
It won’t be surprising to see Crystal Palace’s Eberechi Eze from the first minute. But Southgate will more likely stick with new Real Madrid talisman Jude Bellingham as England’s midfield architect.
Scotland potential starting line-up:
(3-4-2-1): Angus Gunn; Ryan Porteous, Jack Hendry, Kieran Tierney; Nathan Patterson, Stuart Armstrong, Callum McGregor, Andy Robertson; Scott McTominay, John McGinn; Che Adams.
England potential starting line-up:
(4-3-3): Jordan Pickford; Kyle Walker, Harry Maguire, Levi Colwill, Ben Chilwell; Conor Gallagher, Declan Rice, Jude Bellingham; Phil Foden, Harry Kane, Marcus Rashford.
We Say: Scotland 2-2 England
The last meeting between Scotland and England at Hampden Park produced a 2-2 draw in 2017.
Given the home side’s new-found scoring prowess and the visitors’ star-studded frontline, we expect another goal-glutted affair.
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