England v Scotland
Live on ITV
Disastrous start for Scotland
After a 23-year wait, the Tartan Army watched Scotland return to a major international tournament. The Scots had snuck in through the backdoor via the Nations League playoff route, but supporters held the kind of unrelenting optimism they are famous for.
It was to prove a disastrous start, losing their opening Group D match to the Czech Republic at Hampden. Despite holding the home advantage with thousands of fans in attendance for the first time in well over a year, Steve Clarke’s men were shot down by a deadly double from Czech star Patrik Schick. The match winner found the net against the run of play twice, one near the end of the first half and the other from the halfway line soon after the re-start.
With zero points gained from the first three available, Scotland’s long-awaited return to the European Championships might be embarrassingly short-lived. To have any chance of avoiding an early exit, the dark blues must defeat Gareth Southgate’s men on their patch.
That’s a long shot, of course, but not impossible. So to help stir up some much-needed hope amongst the Tartan Army, we provide three ways to back Scotland inspired by past heroics against the Auld Enemy.
Shot at glory
Clarke’s side may have passed up a host of scoring opportunities against the Czechs at Hampden, but the stats attached to this fixture suggest they will, at least, find the net. The teams played out a four-goal draw when last meeting in a World Cup qualifier in 2017. Leigh Griffiths bagged a double that day before Harry Kane snatched a late equaliser.
Going back further, we notice the underdogs have been on the scoresheet in four of their last five versus England. That includes the famous 1-0 win inspired by Don Hutchinson’s goal at Wembley in 1999, the last time Scotland defeated their noisy neighbours.
Both teams to score in this match is 2.568/5 on the Betfair Exchange
Use the handicap
It has been a 22-year drought for supporters from north of the border to see their team win on English soil, but backers can take advantage of the handicap betting available on the Exchange. The stats tell us it’s worth considering.
England have been dominant over their opponents, both in recent years and on the head-to-head figures. They haven’t enjoyed a landslide victory over them in some time, however. The Three Lions famously thrashed the Scots 5-1 at Wembley in a friendly match in 1975. In the 21 renewals of this fixture since, there have been no more than two goals between the pair in all but one of the matches.
Scotland +2 on the handicap @ 1.89
Dare to dream
If England win this match, they will secure their place in the next round and probably as group winners. That result would also send Scotland out of the competition. So all the pressure is on the visitors to keep things tight. They must avoid conceding an early goal and would, ideally, go into the break level or competitive.
Supporting Scotland is challenging at times. Scratch that. Supporting Scotland is challenging all the time. But what good is sport if we can’t dream? The pre-match odds may tell us the England win is a foregone conclusion, but football fans know that will never be the case in this fixture.
The history books are littered with memorable Scottish wins at Wembley. The most famous came in 1967 in the European Championships when beating the newly crowned world champions 3-2 in front of their own support. Can it be done? Followers of the Scotland national team dare to dream and why not?
Scotland to win @ 12.011/1