Scotland vs England: 150-year anniversary of football’s oldest rivalry
Scotland and England will meet at Hampden Park, Glasgow tonight for the latest international friendly.
It’s the oldest fixture in international football, marking 150 years since their first encounter.
This heritage match is likely to throw up all sorts of drama, as where this fixture is concerned, there’s a whole lot of history and passion.
The last time they met – Euro 2020, the game ended 0-0. England’s last game on Saturday ended 1-1 against Ukraine, but they look on course to book their spot in the 2024 Euro competition.
For Scotland, five wins from five games have them within touching distance of a second Euros in a row, with many fans eager to see if they can claim their first win over the Auld Enemy this century.
Scotland trying to ‘close the gap’
For Scotland, tonight’s friendly will serve as a great assessment of the progress of the team.
Under manager Steve Clarke they are on the brink of reaching Euro 2024 – having won all five qualifiers so far. They have also risen 20 places to 30th in the world since Clarke became boss.
“In my lifetime, England have moved a bit in front [of Scotland],” he said.
“We are trying to close the gap on them and we’ll find out on Tuesday how much we’ve closed that gap.”
Clarke expects “a competitive friendly if you can have such a thing”.
He also believes the run of matches that will see Scotland take on England, followed by a Spain qualifier and then a friendly against France in October will help accelerate the development of his players.
Scotland only need two pints from their final three qualifiers to book their Euro 2024 spot.
“The more you play against the top sides, the better you become,” said the former Scotland right-back.
“This is the evolution of a group of young men who’ve grown up together and we’ve kept them together. We’ve got better and better.
“I’ve got some things I want to see on the pitch against England, testing ourselves against top opposition, which we are going to come across more often in the next 12-18 months.”
When asked about England being keen to secure Elliot Anderson after the Newcastle United midfielder pulled out of Scotland’s squad for the qualifier with Cyprus and
Tuesday’s friendly, Clarke said “we like him too, so now he has a choice to make”.
‘Testing yourself, proving yourself
England’s Gareth Southgate has described the prospect of winning the international derby as an “old-fashioned statement.”
Meetings between Scotland and England were regular occurrences in previous decades, they have only met seven times since the turn of the century.
The last time England lost to Scotland was back in 1999 and there has been a historic gulf between the two teams due to England having far more developed football leagues, leading to more international experience for English players.
“You’re testing yourself, proving yourself, learning as a team and representing the nation,” said Southgate.
“We see it as a really good test of us as a team. You’re playing a high level opponent in a really intimidating atmosphere and they’re the nights that have been important in our growing process.
“It’s a challenge that we’ve got to head towards and relish. We have huge ambition as a team but also have a lot of work to do.”
England go into the game on the back of a disappointing 1-1 draw away to Ukraine on Saturday, but still sit top of Group C and on course for Euro 2024 qualification.
Clarke has no injury concerns after reporting “everyone is fit and available”.
Ryan Christie, Stuart Armstrong and Lyndon Dykes could come into the starting line-up after being substitutes for the win in Cyprus last Saturday.
Southgate is reluctant to disrupt the composition of his side and said he would not “over-experiment”, even with one day less to prepare for the fixture than their hosts.
“We’ve got to find the right balance of physical freshness as we’ve had a day less preparation, experience, as well as finding out about players,” he said.
“But I think the first thing is not fiddling around with the team because we’re playing a top level side who will be giving us a high level challenge. You can’t over-experiment as that would be ridiculous.”
When is Scotland vs England?
Scotland vs England is due to kick off at 7.45pm BST on Tuesday 12 September at Hampden Park in Glasgow.
How can I watch it?
Viewers in the United Kingdom can watch the game live on Channel 4, with coverage from 7pm BST. A free live stream will also be available on the Channel 4 website and app.
Scotland vs England 2023
- Friendlies 1
- Sep 12, 2023 at 7.45 pm
- Hampden Park, Glasgow
HEAD TO HEAD
Scotland friendly form: LDWDDL
Scotland form (all competitions): LWWWWW
England friendly form:
England form (all competitions):
Scotland win 7/2
England win 3/4
Scotland possible starting lineup:
Gunn; Porteous, Hendry, Tierney; Patterson, S Armstrong, McGregor, Robertson; McTominay, McGinn; Dykes
England possible starting lineup:
Pickford; Walker, Maguire, Colwill, Chilwell; Gallagher, Rice, Bellingham; Foden, Kane, Rashford
- This match is taking place to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the first meeting between the sides – a goalless draw – on 30 November 1872. This is the 116th meeting, with England winning 48 and Scotland 41.
- England have lost just one of the past 12 meetings (W8 D3), a 1-0 home defeat in the Euro 2000 play-off. They are unbeaten in four games at Hampden (W2 D2) since a 1-0 defeat in May 1985.
- Scotland have lost just one of their past 19 home games in all competitions (W14 D4), winning the past six in a row. They last had a longer home winning run between August 1995 and April 1997, a seven-game streak.
- England have only conceded a first-half goal in two of their past 12 matches, although one of these was the 1-1 draw against Ukraine in their last game. They last conceded in the opening 45 minutes in back-to-back matches in October 2020 (v Belgium and Denmark).
- Scotland have won 15 of their past 21 games (D3 L3), winning the past five in a row while scoring at least two goals each time.
- England have failed to win four of their past six away games (W2 D2 L2), as many as they had in their previous 13 on the road (W9 D2 L2).
- Scott McTominay has scored in his past three home appearances for Scotland, netting five goals. The last player to score in four consecutive home games was Kris Boyd in September 2007, who netted in each of his first four caps on home soil.
- Harry Kane has been involved in 30 goals in his past 28 appearances for England, scoring 24 and assisting six. He could become the first starting England captain to score in more than one game against Scotland, having previously netted against them in June 2017.
WTX Sport predicts: England 3-2 Scotland
Scotland are flying at the moment, and with a home crowd on side, we imagine this game will see a lot of high drama and goals.
We expect England to click in this match following a lacklustre draw against Ukraine and expect the Three Lions to nab the win in the end.
Mirror predicts: Scotland 2 England 2