Scotland v England Betting Predictions | Back England to win at 21/10 with Coral

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When it comes to football, England have a number of enemies. Relations with France, Germany and Argentina have been strained at times over the years, but there is no rivalry more pure than England vs Scotland. This is a game that will run a lot deeper than three points on the road to next summer’s World Cup in Russia.

But, in any case, England are huge favourites for this clash at Hampden Park. Scotland may be in a better situation than they were in the 3-0 defeat at Wembley back in November, having beaten Slovakia 1-0 in their last qualifier, but Gareth Southgate’s side are well clear at the top of the group on 13 points, five clear of their opponents, and unbeaten in qualification so far.

Southgate’s appointment, replacing Sam Allardyce earlier this year, has brought with it a breath of fresh air. One of the major criticisms of previous managers was their apparent tendency to shoehorn the biggest names into the squad regardless of their form, which had an adverse effect on performances. But the former under-21 boss has not closed the door on anyone, instead picking on how they play, and if they play.

Jermain Defoe, for example, scored 15 goals in the Premier League this season, and despite not being able to keep Sunderland up, he has been named in the last two squads. He scored a crucial goal against Lithuania in March and could have a similar impact at Hampden Park.

Captain and record goalscorer Wayne Rooney has not been included for a number of months now, with his replacement most likely to be Manchester United clubmate Marcus Rashford.

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For Scotland, the usual suspects in terms of attacking quality are Leigh Griffiths, the Celtic striker, and West Ham’s Robert Snodgrass. Manager Gordon Strachan will be without Newcastle winger Matt Ritchie, who is injured after a late-season operation.

All things considered, England will come into this game confident of taking the win, no matter how hostile the atmosphere will be in Glasgow. Our World Cup qualifier betting tip is England to win with a -1 handicap at 21/10 with a Coral free bet.

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If you want to back England, who are comfortably expected to win, but want value, then taking more risks with specific outcomes. Winning margin, for example, could be worth looking at, with the visitors 7/2 by exactly two goals on Skybet.

Scotland will look to start quickly to get the crowd going, putting England on the back foot. They are more likely to score earlier in the game, meaning the Skybet betting offer of 12/1 for an England win from behind could be sensible.

Key battle: Darren Fletcher vs Dele Alli

If Southgate wants his team to play with identity, he is best off looking to emulate Tottenham Hotspur, particularly in attack. Dele Alli has enjoyed a fantastic relationship with Harry Kane all season, scoring 18 Premier League goals. His positioning makes him extremely hard to pick up, because he often runs off the striker or pulls out wide, rarely dropping deep into midfield.

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But he still has to be picked up by the opposing midfielders, because defenders cannot afford to be dragged out of position. Darren Fletcher will likely sit deep and keep an eye on him, but Strachan could be best suited to play a double pivot with Fletcher alongside the returning Scott Brown.

That would reduce the space available to Alli and force him further away from goal. If he has to chase the space, he’ll be easier to contain. If not, it could be a long 90 minutes for the home side.

Predicted line ups for Scotland and England:

Scotland: Gordon, Tierney, Berra, Kingsley, Martin, Fletcher, Brown, Forrest, Cairney, Snodgrass, Griffiths.

England: Hart, Cresswell, Smalling, Cahill, Walker, Dier, Livermore, Lallana, Sterling, Alli, Kane

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England 21/10 Coral