It’s not an impossible task, though it’s certainly much easier said than done to beat the Scots at Murrayfield, especially with how far the hosts have now come under Gregor Townsend in recent years.
Eddie Jones’ side are looking to bounce back from their joint worst ever finish of fifth last year where they lost three of their five outings, though they’ve bounced back with five successive wins since, including their most recent over World Champions South Africa, so they’ll be buoyed heading into what promises to be a tournament of fine margins.
Scotland managed a rare win at Twickenham last year in the competition opener, though defeats to Wales and Ireland ended any hopes of lifting a first Six Nations crown.
They went on to win three of their four Autumn Internationals, beating all of Tonga, Australia and Japan and losing only to South Africa, so this will be a clash of two sides full of confidence.
In the absence of Owen Farrell and Courtney Lawes, Tom Curry steps in as captain in what is a refreshingly young England side. The electric Marcus Smith starts at 10, with Henry Slade shifting in to 12 and Elliot Daly coming into outside centre.
Last year’s side had vastly more experience, and the poor showing means it’s an easy transition for Jones to make as they look to get this younger squad up to speed ahead of the World Cup next year.
Scotland To Win
Scotland have shown great consistency in their squad selection over the last year, with Stuart Hogg unsurprisingly retained as captain at 15, with Ali Price and Finn Russell resuming their partnership at half back, and that level of consistency may just work in their favour against this youthful England side.
England won eight successive matches against the Scots between 2011 and 2017, though in the four meetings since then it’s W2-D1-L1 in favour of Townsend’s men.
Scotland have won four of their last five matches at Murrayfield with that defeat to the World Champions the only exception, and we wouldn’t be surprised if they caused another upset here, especially with a full crowd back.
SCOTLAND TO WIN