It’s almost 14 years since England – or the Auld Enemy as they’re know north of the border – last faced Scotland and although there’s nothing but pride and bragging rights at stake when the two renew hostilities you can guarantee that there’ll be no quarter given by either side.
Aided by home advantage Roy Hodgson’s men will kick-off as emphatic 4/9 favourites with BetVictor while Skybet offer a Scotland success at 8/1, however, when you consider that the majority of those playing for the hosts will potentially have half an eye on the start of their domestic season at the weekend, there’s a chance that England won’t be entirely focused on the task at hand.
Moreover, the Scots actually nicked it when they last visited Wembley, in that Euro 2000 qualifying play-off back in 1999 and they’ll be fired up tonight, so it’s fair to say that the Three Lions aren’t the safest bet at such a short price, especially as it could be something of a scrappy disjointed affair given the passion on show.
Indeed one or two punters might even fancy bet365’s 7/2 marked against the stalemate, although ultimately it’s the England squad possesses the most quality and it’s right that they’re favourites, they simply don’t particularly appeal at a best price of 4/9 in the match betting.
Instead, in what should be a close contest, Ladbrokes’ 13/5 for Hodgson’s side to sneak it by a one-goal margin represents decent value and BetVictor offer 17/2 about the hosts finishing on the right side of a 2-1 scoreline.
Picking a first scorer isn’t the most straightforward task in light of Wayne Rooney’s injury problems and the need to predict who will be in the starting line-ups for both teams. Rickie Lambert’s call-up means he might attract cash at 6/1 via betway to break the deadlock on his debut but at 11/2 (William Hill), Jermain Defoe looks a marginally better bet albeit in a market that punters should approach with caution.
England to beat Scotland by one – 13/5 (Ladbrokes)