The stage is set for a mammoth World Cup qualifier as England take on rivals Scotland at Wembley on Friday. Tickets for the tie have already been sold out, and the fans seated in the stadium could witness a classic encounter in the jam-packed stadium.
Both the teams will do whatever it takes to win the tie. England's interim manager Gareth Southgate, who has played in past England-Scotland ties, understands what it feels to play in such a match.
"Every time you play for England in a fixture like this you have an opportunity to be involved in a game people might remember for years to come, so that's exciting. It's why you're in the game – you want to be involved in night's like this," fa.com quoted Southgate as saying.
The England manager is unsure about his future, but a solid performance from his team against Scotland will improve his chances to take up the permanent role. His record as the manager of England has been decent, winning one and drawing one. Southgate has decided to name Manchester United star Wayne Rooney as the captain, who will need to be on top of his toes against the determined Scotland unit, believing that experience will be required in such encounters.
"He's played well in his last couple of games for Manchester United. He's someone who when he is in a rhythm of playing that helps. His experience of playing in games like this is important. In a team with lots of energy and potential, we need experienced players around that too."
England look a strong team, and Harry Kane is also expected to lead the line for the Three Lions, who currently stand on top of Group F with seven points. Scotland, on the other hand, have accumulated four, hence they will be looking to seal their second win in the qualifying stages. With stars like Gary Cahill, John Stones, Adam Lallana and Raheem Sterling they should take three points from the match.
But as one has witnessed in the past, favourites have lost some easy matches as well. Make no mistake, Scotland are not a weak team, though, they might have been poor in their last match, losing to Slovakia 0-3. They will make sure that England will not have it all easy.
Scotland manager Gordon Strachan will also be under pressure. Another heavy defeat to their neighbours could be disastrous. He is expected to make some changes from the team that lost to Slovakia. Strachan knows his players, who can play much better on a given day.
Strachan would have been relieved to see his forward Steven Fletcher train alongside his players after suffering from an injury earlier. However, it remains to be seen if the manager will also pick Celtic player Leigh Griffiths, who can trouble English defenders.
Skipper Fletcher will bring all his experience to play and make sure that they do not allow England an early goal, which can unsettle the fans at Wembley, and wants to use that in their favour.
"I've walked out here before and it's a fantastic place to play, definitely inspiring. I have watched England games in the past, and you hear the uncertainty if they've not scored after 15 or 20 minutes. Hopefully, that happens tomorrow because that will help us. It won't be a nice place to play if it's not going that well for England with that many people in the stadium. That's something we can use to our advantage," the Independent quoted Fletcher as saying.
Scotland cannot depend too much on the external factors, but concentrate on their game itself, score goals and thus win the crucial match.
Where to watch live
England vs Scotland will kick off 7:45 p.m. GMT (2:45 p.m. ET, 1:15 am IST [Thursday]) on November 9.
Where to watch live
India: Sony Six/HD. Live streaming: Sonyliv
UK: TV: ITV 1, STV Scotland. Live streaming: ITV Online
USA: TV – Fox Sports. Live streaming - Foxsoccer2go
UAE: Abu Dhabi Sports 6 HD
France: Tv: Foot+