This month, the oldest fixture in international football will see Scotland and England clash for the 114th time. Following a humiliating 3-0 defeat against England at Wembley, Scotland will be seeking revenge when the sides meet in the crucial World Cup 2018 qualifier, kicking off at 5pm on 10 June at Hampden Park, Glasgow.
When it comes to outright winning the match, Betfair sportsbook currently has England as strong 4/6 favourites, with Scotland 9/2 underdogs and 5/2 on a draw. But do the form and stats give punters any betting clues in what's sure to be a thunderous encounter? This betting preview weighs it up ahead of the weekend's big game!
England and Scotland have played 113 internationals against each other, with fairly level statistics:
|Games Played||England Wins||Scotland Wins||Draws|
However, the stats in recent times strongly favour England, with the three lions having won seven of their last eight meetings and only one Scottish victory at Wembley in 1999 (when the England line up included Gareth Southgate). The Scots haven't tasted victory against their bitter enemy on home soil since 1985.
They were comprehensively beaten 3-0 at Wembley in November during the current qualifying campaign, with headed goals from Daniel Sturridge, Adam Lallana and Gary Cahill. You can get some attractive odds of 18/1 at William Hill for Cahill to score a header on Saturday, while a 3-0 repeat performance by England is an enticing 12-1.
While head-to-head statistics strongly favour a result for England and bearing in mind that Scotland have not beaten them on home soil since May 1985, punting data suggests it's going to be a tight game. Although it's a new campaign and Scotland are dreaming of making it to the World Cup (as opposed to sitting on the beach during Euro 2016), it's worth considering their admirable home form during the Euro qualifiers:
|Games Played||Games Won||Games Drawn||Games Lost||Goals For||Goals Against|
These results included a 6-1 hammering of Gibraltar – the group's whipping boys – but they also collected a solid win against the Republic of Ireland, drew against the tough Poles and went down fighting to none other than Germany in a 2-3 thriller. Taken literally, this line of form suggests that this game's going to be very competitive, making bet365's 17/4 Scotland win or 9/2 draw interesting if you take this punting perspective.
While the Scots' home record looks solid, they face an England side who, despite serial failings at major finals, have a formidable qualifying record in recent years. England are undefeated in 34 tournament qualifiers, having last tasted defeat against Ukraine in a World Cup qualifier in 2009.
What's more, the Scots have the task of scoring against a defence that hasn't conceded a goal during the last nine qualifiers (816 minutes). Punters at William Hill can get 19/20 for England's defence to remain watertight and for Scotland not to score, with England 9/2 to nick it with a 1-0 scoreline.
Of course, you could argue that it's about time England slipped up – a cauldron atmosphere against the Scots would be an acid test. It's worth pointing out that thanks to their higher UEFA and FIFA ranking, England are fortunate enough to avoid any team of the calibre of Germany during the qualification stages.
In March, England played with three at the back in a 1-0 friendly defeat versus Germany, so a literal reading of Scotland's tight game against them during the last Euro campaign tends to suggest this match will be close fought. Leading online bookies are offering some decent online betting odds in the football markets when it comes to draw variations.
Betfair sportsbook is going 7/1 for 0-0, 6-1 for 1-1 and 20/1 for a 2-2 thriller. Remember the Scots almost drew 2-2 with Germany in Euro qualifiers. Scotland to scrape a 1-0 victory at 10/1 looks another interesting bet in a game they desperately need to win to boost qualification chances.
With Jamie Vardy withdrawing through injury and Wayne Rooney not in the squad, reports suggest that Marcus Rashford is highly likely to start up front for England, alongside Harry Kane. Predicting man of the match is a very speculative strategy, but should Rashford score and thrill with his pace, then he could be a value tip at 7/1 with the major online betting sites, including Paddy Power.
TV audiences and commentators love a golden boy and he only needs to shine a little to be just that. England are placed 13th in FIFA world rankings, with the Scots languishing in position 61. The three lions will be bitterly disappointed to taste defeat on Saturday evening against the Tartan Army, but taking a point won't be a disaster.
Hampden Park is a tough place to visit and home points are crucial if Scotland are to have any hope of making it to the 2017 World Cup. It makes for an intriguing match when it comes to having a punt, so head to Betfair Sports today to starting wagering on the match!