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Jun 18, 2021 at 8pm UK

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Preview: England vs. Scotland - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: England vs. Scotland - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Friday's European Championship clash between England and Scotland, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

England will be looking to make it two wins from two matches at this summer's European Championship when they welcome Scotland to Wembley on Friday night for a mouthwatering contest.

The Three Lions opened their Euro 2020 campaign with a 1-0 win over Croatia on Sunday, while Scotland suffered a 2-0 loss to the Czech Republic, with Steve Clarke's side now having ground to make up in Group D.

Match preview

Raheem Sterling scored the only goal of the contest against Croatia on Sunday, as England started their Group D challenge with an important victory at Wembley. In truth, it was a relatively comfortable match for the Three Lions against a Croatia side that struggled for inspiration in the final third.

There were plenty of positives aside from the result, though, with Kalvin Phillips excelling in the middle of the park and Sterling finding the back of the net despite his inconsistent form for Manchester City last term.

Gareth Southgate's side will now be eyeing a second successive win at Euro 2020, which would take the pressure off ahead of their final Group D fixture against the Czech Republic on June 22.

England have actually now been victorious in their last seven matches in all competitions, conceding just once during that run, and the fact that Ben Chilwell and Jadon Sancho did not even make the bench against Croatia is an indication of the strength present in the current squad.

The Three Lions, who have not made it past the quarter-finals of the European Championship since reaching the final four in 1996, are unbeaten in their last four games with Scotland, although the two nations played out a 2-2 draw when they last locked horns in 2017 during qualification for the 2018 World Cup.

There is no firm pressure on England to pick up a win on Friday, but the same cannot be said for Scotland, who are in a tough position due to their disappointing two-goal defeat to the Czech Republic on Monday.

The Scots had their moments in Glasgow but conceded late in the first period to Patrik Schick, before the Bayer Leverkusen attacker scored a stunning long-range effort to make it 2-0 early in the second half, and Clarke's team just could not respond at Hampden Park.

Scotland, who finish their Group D campaign against Croatia on June 22, are playing in their first European Championship since 1996, when they also famously took on England in the group stage, and first major tournament since the 1998 World Cup.

Clarke's team were always outsiders when it came to claiming a top-two spot in this group, but a positive result on Friday would leave them in the mix, for second or third, ahead of their final game with Croatia.

The Scots will unquestionably be fired up to take on their rivals on Friday evening, but it remains to be seen whether they have enough quality across the park to upset an England side that might actually be wary of topping the section, considering that Portugal, France or Germany could be waiting in the round of 16.

England European Championship form:
  • W

England form (all competitions):
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • W

Scotland European Championship form:
  • L

Scotland form (all competitions):
  • D
  • D
  • W
  • D
  • W
  • L

Team News

Dean Henderson has been forced to withdraw from the England squad due to a hip problem, with Aaron Ramsdale his replacement, but there are no other fresh concerns from the win over Croatia, at least not from the starting XI.

Harry Maguire is making huge steps forward in his recovery from an ankle injury and has now declared himself fit, but it seems unlikely that the Manchester United captain will be risked from the start against Scotland, while Jordan Henderson is still working his way back from a groin problem and is not expected to be in the first XI.

Jack Grealish missed training on Tuesday due to an unspecified issue; the Aston Villa captain will be in the squad against Scotland but could ultimately start on the bench, with Sterling and Phil Foden potentially again joining Harry Kane in attack.

Southgate will certainly consider naming the side that started against Croatia, but there might be a change at left-back, with Luke Shaw coming in for Kieran Trippier, while Reece James is pushing for a spot on the opposite side.

As for Scotland, Kieran Tierney was a huge miss against the Czech Republic, with the Arsenal defender battling a calf problem, but he has now been declared fit for Friday's encounter at Wembley.

Clarke is expected to make a couple of changes from the side that started on Monday, and it would not be a surprise to see Southampton's Che Adams come in for a start in the final third of the field.

Stephen O'Donnell found it difficult to impress in Scotland's group opener but could keep his spot, while Stuart Armstrong should again feature alongside Scott McTominay and John McGinn in midfield.

England possible starting lineup:
Pickford; Walker, Stones, Mings, Shaw; Phillips, Rice, Mount; Sterling, Kane, Foden

Scotland possible starting lineup:
Marshall; Hendry, Hanley, Tierney; O'Donnell, McTominay, Armstrong, McGinn, Robertson; Dykes, Adams

We say: England 2-0 Scotland

Scotland desperately need to avoid defeat on Friday night, but we are finding it tough to predict anything other than a routine victory for Southgate's side. The Three Lions were defensively impressive against Croatia, and we fancy them to keep another clean sheet in a comfortable success in the English capital.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting over 1.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Over 1.5:data

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