England and Scotland meet on Friday for the first time in 25 years in a major tournament at Wembley in a match with huge implications for both countries’ hopes for Euro 2020.
Gareth Southgate’s England will qualify for the knockout stage with a victory, as Scotland tries to keep their hopes of progress alive. England defeated Croatia 1-0 in their Group D opener on Sunday.
Steve Clarke’s Scotland was beaten 2-0 by the Czech Republic a day later.
Up to 22,500 fans will be at Wembley for kick-off at 8pm BST – 25% capacity – to witness the 115th England v Scotland encounter, and their 100th in a competitive match.
Their previous meeting at a major tournament took place in the Euro 96 group stage, when Alan Shearer and Paul Gascoigne scored in a famous 2-0 win for England at Wembley – a match that current England boss Southgate played in.
What are the permutations? It’s not really a must-win for Scotland, but a defeat at Wembley would put them in a dangerous position.
The top two teams in each of the six groups, along with the top four third-placed teams, advance to the last 16.
Scotland won’t be able to finish in the top two if they lose to England and the Czech Republic scores a result against Croatia.
For England, a further three points will secure a place in the knockout stage – and the Three Lions would be guaranteed a place in the top two if they win and Croatia fail to beat the Czech Republic.
What are the major selection dilemmas for both managers? Will Southgate stick to its winning formula – and what changes will Clarke make in response to defeat?
Manchester United centre-back Harry Maguire has confirmed he is available for Friday’s game after missing the game against Croatia with an ankle ligament injury sustained in May.
Aston Villa’s Tyrone Mings started alongside John Stones in Maguire’s absence and right-footed Kieran Trippier was brought in at left-back, ahead of Luke Shaw and Ben Chilwell, the latter not even in the squad.
Leeds United midfielder Kalvin Phillips, dubbed ‘The Yorkshire Pirlo’ by his club supporters, delivered a stellar performance against Croatia as he started in midfield three alongside Declan Rice and Mason Mount.
But Villa playmaker Jack Grealish and Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson are among those battling for a start against Scotland, while Marcus Rashford and Jadon Sancho offer attacking alternatives.
Meanwhile, Clarke must find a way to motivate his players to come back from a disappointing performance in their first major final in 23 years.
Scotland will be given a boost with the return of Arsenal defender Kieran Tierney, who will be fit to play against England after joining training this week.
Meanwhile, goalkeeper David Marshall was criticized after Patrik Schick’s second goal at Hampden Park on Monday – an incredible shot from just inside the halfway line that sailed over the retreating goalkeeper.
Craig Gordon would be the alternative option. Scotland failed to score despite 19 shots on target – compared to the Czechs’ number of 10 – and that debauchery allowed Southampton’s Che Adams an attacking start after a promising substitution appearance on Monday. ‘
They don’t come much bigger than this’ – what did the managers say? England manager Gareth Southgate: “We know we have to compete because otherwise you could be overrun in every game. Our focus has to be on performance that gets better with every game we play.
“For the fans and for us it’s a great opportunity, but it’s another chance for three points and our goal is qualification. That’s what we need to focus on.” “We’ve done that very well in the past. We did that on Sunday and it was a big party for everyone and we handled it very well.” Scotland manager Steve Clark:
“We have good professionals in the squad who are used to playing in big games. They don’t come much bigger than this. “The goal at the start of the tournament was to get enough points to get out of the group stage and into the knockout stage for the first time in our history as a men’s team.
“We still have that ahead of us, so we’ll try something out of the game against England and we will also have to get something out of the game against Croatia.”
Who will win?
9breaking Sport football pundit Mark Lawrenson will compete against 9breaking Radio 5 Live’s pundits, presenters and commentators to predict the outcome of every match at Euro 2020.
The former Republic of Ireland international predicts a 2-0 win for England against Scotland. None of the pundits have predicted that Scotland will get a result at Wembley.
Jermaine Jenas has secured England’s biggest margin of victory with a 4-0 win, while Chris Sutton expects a 3-0 deficit. Simon Gleave, head of English sports analysis, said:
“Our simulations gave England a 97% chance of making it to the knockout stage for the opening match and the win there almost made the team (99.6%) confident of going through.
“England (13% chance) are the third favorite to win Euro 2020 behind France and Belgium and will have a 78% chance of beating Scotland – the highest chance of winning of any group stage match at this tournament.
“The defeat to the Czech Republic has reduced Scotland’s chances of reaching the last 16 from 57% to 20%.” How can I follow the game? Friday’s match will be shown on ITV and you can listen to the full commentary on 9breaking Radio 5 Live and follow live text coverage on the 9breaking Sport website and app.
The 9breaking will be showing the highlights of the game on 9nreaking One at 11:30pm, following Crouchy’s Year-Late Euros: Live. The football association has asked fans attending the game to show respect and to behave in their best manner.
In England, visitors to indoor pubs must do so in groups of up to six – or two households of any size – while groups sitting outside are allowed to have up to 30 people. In Scotland, restrictions vary by region, from level zero to level two.
Groups of up to six of three households can meet indoors and up to eight of eight separate households can meet outdoors in level two areas.
In level zero areas, groups of up to 10 from three households can meet indoors and up to 15 people from 15 households can meet outside.