England can book their place in the Euro 2020 knockouts with a victory at Wembley on Friday night, while Scotland know they must get result to keep their own hopes alive
England face Scotland at Wembley on Friday night in one of the most anticipated clashes of the Euro 2020 group stage.
Gareth Southgate’s side rightly go into the game as overwhelming favourites, with the Tartan Army arriving as a lowly No.44 in the world rankings.
But that hasn’t stopped a huge section of supporters making a trip to the English capital as they plot a famous victory against their oldest rivals.
The Three Lions can book a place in the last-16 with a win, while Scotland know they must get a positive result to keep their own ambitions alive.
All eyes will be on Southgate’s starting line-up after he sprang a surprise ahead of the opener with Croatia on Sunday.
The Atletico Madrid star was preferred over his left footed rivals due to his defensive discipline and experience in tournaments, with Southgate heaping praise on him following the 1-0 win.
“People are still seeing the lad that was at Spurs a couple of years ago and not the defensive animal that has grown at Atlético Madrid, trusted by one of the best and most successful coaches in the world,” he explained.
“He gets his distances right on cover, he’s good one-v-one to stop crosses and his talking is really good.
“There was always going to be changes to our back four and we felt that communication and organisation was an important part.”
Kyle Walker was given the nod at right-back and although he was solid defensively, he did struggle in possession, particularly in the opening 45 of the tournament.
How many changes would you make to England’s starting XI vs Scotland? Let us know in the comments
England earned a clean sheet against the World Cup finalists on Sunday, but Sky Sports report that Southgate is strongly considering changing both full-backs for a very different type of game vs Scotland.
The hosts will expect to dominate possession against Steve Clarke’s men and it is claimed that James could come in at right-back, while Shaw could be handed a start on the opposite flank.
The other major dilemma at the back is whether Harry Maguire is placed immediately back into the starting line-up following his recovery from injury.
The United skipper is in contention for Scotland, after recovering from the ankle injury which ended his Premier League season.
But after a week of training with the main group, Southgate confirmed that he is back in the mix: “Harry will be involved tomorrow. The decision we’ve got to make is whether he is ready to start, but we’re really pleased with his progress.
“He’s trained with the team for four or five days now and had no reaction. Of course each session he’s involved with he gets more confident. I think he’s on a really good path.”