England face Scotland in an international friendly at Wembley. The fixture comes ahead of crucial World Cup qualifiers for Roy Hodgson's men, who face European minnows Moldova on 6 September and Euro 2012 co-hosts Ukraine on 10 September.

England are in a spot of bother in Group H, with a two point gap to leaders Montenegro. Hodgson does have a game in hand but needs results from his players, particularly with games against toppers Montenegro and Poland still left.

Michael Owen (R)

Where to Watch Live

Kick-off is scheduled for 8pm BST. Live coverage is on ITV and ITV HD, with a build-up from 7.30pm BST. Radio commentary starts at 7pm BST on BBC Radio 5 live.


The England-Scotland rivalry is among the most historic in the beautiful game; it was the first ever international football match (held in 1872). However, over the years the relationship has led a quiet life, largely as a consequence of differing levels of achievement between the two nations.

Overall, the last time Scotland made it to an international event was the 1998 World Cup in France, where they officially placed 27th. England have obviously fared much better, making it to the quarter-final of Euro 2012 and Round of 16 at the 2012 FIFA World Cup in South Africa.

The last time these two sides faced off was in 1999, in a qualifying play-off for the 2000 European Championships. Scotland won 1-0 on the night but lost 1-2 on aggregate.

Time has not dimmed the players' anticipation though, with England No 1 Joe Hart eager to renew rivalries. Speaking ahead of the game, the Manchester City goalkeeper said, "Scotland are a team we want to beat. You can't get away from that fact. It is good to have rivalry. I enjoy rivalry. And there is definitely rivalry between England and Scotland."

England v Scotland, 1999

For his part, Scotland boss Gordon Strachan is equally keen to go up against the Auld Enemy. The former Southampton manager told BBC, "There is pressure there. If there wasn't, it would be one of those run-of-the-mill friendlies."

On the pitch, Hodgson will hope for two things. The first is a confident and goal scoring performance from his charges, particularly with those crunch games in September and October. The second will be that the fuss surrounding the future of Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney does not invade his preparations.

The former Everton forward is attempting to force a summer transfer to the Premier League champions' direct rivals Chelsea. And there is considerable pressure on the player and the clubs involved as the transfer window winds down.

Rooney could well start this game and if he does, a strong showing will boost the Blues' interest in his services. Conversely, a strong showing will likely persuade David Moyes all the more that the 27-year-old has a future at Old Trafford.

Meanwhile, the Scots are fifth in Group A and have been eliminated from the race for the World Cup in Brazil next year. Strachan's men have only five points from seven games and with only nine points left on the board for them, even Croatia (in second with 16 points) is a bridge too far.

Interestingly, the Scots come into this game with a superb recent record. Strachan has won four of his last five games, although three of those were against Australia (3-1), Luxembourg (2-0) and Estonia (1-0).

Team Form


  • Last Five (all competitions, most recent first): D D D L W
  • Last Match: Brazil 2 - 2 England
Roy Hodgson leads an England team against Scotland for the first time since 1999. (Reuters)


  • Last Five (all competitions, most recent first): W W W W L
  • Last Match: Croatia 0 -1 Scotland

Team News

Hodgson can call on Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere and new United player Wilfried Zaha could also be in line for an appearance. The latter's club team mate, Ashley Young, is the only major absentee. The focus, though, is likely to be on Rooney. The striker did not play the weekend's Community Shield match because of injury problems suffered in pre-season but will probably play some part in this game.

Probable Line-Up: Hart; Walker, Cahill, Jones, Baines; Wilshere, Gerrard, Cleverly; Walcott, Rooney, Welbeck

Strachan will be without Brighton midfielder Liam Bridcutt, who has a groin problem. Other absentees include captain Gary Caldwell and Darren and Steven Fletcher.

Probable Line-Up: McGregor; Hutton, Martin, Hanley, Mulgrew; McArthur, Brown; Snodgrass, Morrison, Maloney; Griffiths