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Whereas England took their winning streak to seven games with their opening day win over Croatia, also conceding just a solitary goal over this period, Scotland were left to rue what might have been.
Steve Clarke’s men wasted numerous chances to get a goal as they went down 2-0 to the Czech Republic, but a lack of clinical finishers was widely cited as their core weakness ahead of the tournament and they’ll find it even more difficult to fashion chances here.
Scotland actually managed a 2-2 draw when they last faced England, though that was four years ago in World Cup qualification at Hampden Park and they were easily swatted aside 3-0 at Wembley during the same campaign.
The Three Lions have now won 16 of their last 17 on home turf and although the last four have all come by one-goal margins, the floodgates could well open should they find that early breakthrough.
That’s especially the case given that after the defeat to the Czech Republic, Scotland realistically need to get something here if they’re to qualify for the knockout rounds. Unless Scotland can take a shock lead, they will have to open up at some point and that will only play into England’s hands.
Gareth Southgate has plenty of options from the bench if things aren’t going quite to plan, whether it’s speedsters that can run in behind or creative players that can unlock a defence with a dribble or a pass, should Scottish resistance prove strong.
England To Win To Nil
The Tartan Army have only had two clean sheets to celebrate in nine appearances now, picked up against the Faroe Islands and Luxembourg, so there appears little prospect of shutting out an England side that are top heavy in attacking talent.
Those encounters with the minnows were the only games Scotland won over this period as well, going W2-D4-L3 over 90 minutes, as they failed to score in all three losses.
In fact, Scotland have scored just one goal across their eight defeats since the start of 2019, and while an embarrassing 3-0 result in Kazakhstan came under previous management, it’s hard to see them breaching England’s backline.
Scotland did score twice in a recent warm-up friendly with the Netherlands, though as Frank De Boer’s side demonstrated in their opening game against Ukraine, they’re not exactly the most watertight defence around in the absence of Virgil van Dijk.
England -1 Handicap
Harry Maguire will surely be held back, particularly with Tyrone Mings performing well against Croatia, but Scotland have their own injury concern as there are doubts surrounding Kieran Tierney.
England also benefit from the extra day to recover, and should absolutely be the fresher side with Southgate likely to tweak his starting line-up here and there.
With that in mind, the Three Lions should cover the handicap, as Scotland will inevitably be a bit leggy as the game wears on having spent most of it chasing the ball.