England overwhelming favourites to beat Scotland at Wembley

England versus Scotland evokes classic memories of Euro 1996. That group stage clash from 25 years ago was also the second game for both countries as they aimed to progress through to the knockout stages.

By Sports reporter
Thursday, 17th June 2021, 4:00 pm
Updated Thursday, 17th June 2021, 4:03 pm
England goalscorer Paul Gascoigne celebrates in the 'Dentists Chair' with Steve McManaman, Alan Shearer and Jamie Redknapp during the 1996 European Championships group stage win over Scotland at Wembley
England goalscorer Paul Gascoigne celebrates in the 'Dentists Chair' with Steve McManaman, Alan Shearer and Jamie Redknapp during the 1996 European Championships group stage win over Scotland at Wembley

An Alan Shearer header and a piece of Paul Gascoigne brilliance saw England win 2-0, with a repeat scoreline in this tournament valued at 5/1 by bookmakers. That day, Scotland had the chance to pull level after Gordon Durie was brought down in the box by Tony Adams. Gary McAllister had his penalty saved by David Seaman and within moments, Gascoigne had lobbed the ball over Colin Hendry and made it 2-0.

Scotland are in a more precarious position now after losing 2-0 to the Czech Republic in their opener. They conceded to Patrik Schick’s header in the 42nd minute and were stunned by his second from near the half-way line that has already ended any goal of the tournament contest.

England will be quietly confident after winning their first ever Euros opener with a controlled 1-0 victory against Croatia on Sunday. Gareth Southgate has hinted that he could stay with the same eleven but will be prepared for an altogether different game as the Scots know their reputations are on the line.

Scotland manager Steve Clarke will certainly look to change his team and potentially introduce the likes of Che Adams, Billy Gilmour and even James Forrest who looked bright when he came on against the Czechs.

The Scots started the game aggressively enough and even had good chances to go in front, with Andrew Robertson forcing goalkeeper Tomas Vaclik to tip over the bar. Their performance was arguably worse on paper as the Scots had a superior expected goals than the opposition over the 90 minutes and with a more clinical finisher in Adams, could pose a significant threat.

Kieran Tierney is 50-50 to start at Wembley and will certainly give Scotland more of a defensive structure down the left-hand side. His relationship with Andrew Robertson is crucial in allowing the Liverpool man to push forward with a creative licence.

This wasn’t a particular issue against the Czech Republic but with Phil Foden’s dribbling ability and passes into the box from England’s right, both Tierney and Robertson will have to be switched on to block any danger.

England are overwhelming favourites at 3/10 with Scotland 9/1 with bookmakers. Southgate’s front three of Harry Kane, Raheem Sterling and Foden will be looking to take advantage of a Scotland defence low on confidence after Schick’s brace.

Kane is favourite to open his Euros account after failing to score five years ago and 8/11 to score anytime. Sterling can follow up his well taken finish on Sunday and is 7/4 to strike over the course of the game. Foden came so close against Croatia, hitting the post in the opening exchanges and is 7/4 as well to find the back of the net this time around.

Scotland will almost certainly start Adams after he came on for Ryan Christie at half time in their first game. The Southampton striker offers a distinguished first touch as well as strength to give John Stones, Tyrone Mings or potentially Harry Maguire some trouble.

He’s 15/4 to score anytime and it will be interesting to see whether Clarke will continue to start Lyndon Dykes after he struggled in front of goal against the Czechs. Dykes is 5/1 anytime but there have even been calls for Kevin Nisbet to start with Adams with the Hibs striker also at 5/1.

Odds and Euros tips via bettingexpert.com