As soon as the fixtures of the 2018 FIFA World Cup 2018 qualifiers (Europe) were announced, England and Scotland fans had marked November 11 on their calendars. Then, it seemed a long way to go, but now, the much-anticipated England-Scotland fixture is just one day away as the two teams are set for a massive encounter at Wembley on Friday.
The atmosphere is expected to be brilliant in the 90,000-seater Wembley, which will witness England fans in numbers. Around 10,000 fans from Scotland could be present at the venue. The tickets for the mammoth encounter are already sold out. No surprises there.
However, the focus will be on the players, who will have a huge role to play. They might not mind losing in some fixtures, but this England-Scotland tie is one, which they will not want to lose at any cost. Hence, one can expect players from both sides to play their A game in search of three points.
England have been decent in the qualifying stages, with two wins and one draw, and are yet to lose. They stay top of the Group F while Scotland are fourth. This match is going to be important for both the managers – Gareth Southgate (England) and Gordon Strachan (Scotland) for different reasons.
The England manager is searching for his second win as England manager, and an impressive performance from his players in this match could help him inch closer to the permanent role as well. Strachan will hope that his team delivers against England, and failure of which will only put further pressure on the manager.
Both the managers have picked the best squad available, looking at injuries issues and form of the players. Danny Drinkwater and Fraser Forster will miss the match for England due to injuries while Scotland could miss their key player Steven Fletcher due to knee injury.
England have always been a strong team, and this squad is no different with all bases covered. However, it remains to be seen if Southgate gives Harry Kane a start as the player has just come back from injury and his movement was not top class, despite converting a goal in the his last Premier league match as well. One should not be too surprised if Theo Walcott or Daniel Sturridge leads the team up front. For Scotland, with Fletcher doubtful, Steven Naismith or Leigh Griffiths could take up the striker's role.
England vs Scotland football schedule
Date: November 11
Time: 7:45 local time (1:15 am IST, 2:45 pm ET)
Venue: Wembley Stadium
TV listings: India: Sony Six. UK: ITV1, STV Scotland. US: Fox Sports. UAE: Abu Dhabi Sports 6 HD. Spain: Movistar+.