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Scotland v England preview: In-form hosts ready for Three Lions test

Tuesday night sees a celebration of the 150th anniversary of the oldest international fixture in world football as Scotland take on the "Auld Enemy", England, at Hampden Park.

While England may appear to have the greater standing in the game due to a better record at major championships, there is not too much to choose between the two sides going head to head, with the Three Lions holding 48 victories to Scotland's 41, while there have been 26 draws.

Two of those stalemates have come in the last two meetings between the two, including a goalless draw at Wembley in the group stage of Euro 2020.

An injury-time strike from Harry Kane rescued a 2-2 draw for England in a World Cup qualifier in their previous clash at Hampden in 2017, although Tuesday's encounter is, of course, billed as a friendly with less riding on the outcome.

WhatScotland v England - 150th Anniversary Heritage Match
WhereHampden Park, Glasgow
When19:45, Tuesday 12th September
How to watchChannel 4
OddsScotland 10/3, Draw 14/5, England 3/4

Clarke revolution in full effect

Although this may be a friendly, there is always a little more to a game between fierce rivals, particularly when the chance to play each other is not as frequent as it once was.

England have been knocking on the door of championship success in the last few years under Gareth Southgate, but the Qatar World Cup may have seen something of a regression. 

They have bounced back to be in a good position to qualify for next year's Euros in Germany though, and are still fourth in the FIFA world rankings.

However, England had endured a dismal Nations League campaign only last summer that saw them demoted to League B after finishing bottom of Group A3 behind Italy, Hungary and Germany.

Scotland's progress under Steve Clarke has been mightily impressive, ending their wait for a major tournament experience by qualifying for Euro 2020, and although they failed to follow that up by qualifying for Qatar, they topped Group B1 to earn promotion in the Nations League - and will be playing at a higher level than England in 2024/25.

There is arguably no team in better form right now than the Tartan Army, having rattled off five straight victories in Euro 2024 Group A qualifying - which included beating Spain 2-0 at Hampden - to put themselves on the verge of successive appearances at the Euros needing just two points from their final three games to make sure of their place.

England are in control of Group C of course, having won four and drawn one of their five games, but their performance in the 1-1 stalemate against Ukraine in Poland on Saturday left a lot to be desired and they look a little vulnerable as odds-on favourites, particularly with notable absentees.

Scotland are on offer at 10/3 to chalk up a famous win, while England are 3/4 favourites with the draw at 14/5.

As is often the case, England are not as dominant on the road as they are at Wembley and have won only four of their last nine away matches outside of the World Cup finals - losing in Hungary and Italy while they have been held by Poland, Germany and Ukraine.

Scotland have won their last six games on home soil, five without conceding, and a home win or Draw in the Double Chance market is worth considering at 1/1, while backing the hosts with Draw No Bet is an alternative safety-net option for a little more return at 9/4.

Fireworks likely at Hampden

Although the last meeting between the two ended 0-0, it seems unlikely to think that there will be a struggle for goals on Tuesday night.

Levi Colwill is hoping for a first international start and Conor Gallagher is pushing for a place in midfield, but such changes don't necessarily hint at greater defensive solidity from an England standpoint, particularly against a well drilled and in-form Scotland unit.

Marcus Rashford and Phil Foden are expected also to come in, and that is hardly a downgrade from an attacking stance, so the threat of goals is obvious.

Scotland have scored in each of their last six matches, notching at least twice in their last five, and have been shut out in only one of their last 10. England have not been kept quiet in any of their last eight.

This is also a non-competitive fixture with nothing but pride riding on the result, making it less likely that either side will shut up shop. Over 2.5 goals is on offer at 19/20, with Over 3.5 goals available at 12/5, while both teams to score is 5/6 either way.

It might also be worth backing a fast start to the match with Over 1.5 First Half Goals on offer at 7/4. Both goals in England's 1-1 draw with Ukraine came before the break, while Southgate's men had scored at least two goals before half time in their previous four wins. 

Scotland wrapped up their latest Euro qualifier with the third and final goal coming in the 30th minute against Cyprus on Friday. 

Big price for man on fire

Gareth Southgate has come under scrutiny for keeping faith with the likes of Harry Maguire and Kalvin Phillips, two players who have been struggling for game time at club level.

However, Scotland have depended on such a player of late with Scott McTominay arguably an unlikely hero in their perfect start to their qualifying campaign.

The Manchester United midfielder has got to at least figure in goalscorer market reckoning having scored six goals in his last five games, and is available at appealing odds of 13/2 to score an Tuesday, while he is 18/1 to score first, having done so twice in his recent hot streak.

John McGinn is given a more advanced role for Scotland than he adopts at Aston Villa and has scored twice in the same time frame, although his price of 15/4 to get on the scoresheet is perhaps not quite as tempting. 

However, it won't be for a lack of trying and odds of 5/6 for McGinn to register at least one shot on target is tempting, while it is 9/2 he has two or more.

As far as England are concerned, captain Harry Kane is an obvious but reliable candidate and the fact he is odds-against at 5/4 to register a goal on Tuesday should be considered, given he has scored five goals in five qualifying games so far.

There is more to his game than just scoring though, and he can be backed at 5/2 to provide at least one assist, having done so expertly for England's equaliser against Ukraine on Saturday.

This article was written by a partner sports writer via Spotlight Sports Group. All odds displayed on this page were correct at the time of writing and are subject to withdrawal or change at any time.

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