England v Scotland: Dour affair expected at Wembley
The oldest rivalry in international football is set for another instalment as England and Scotland clash in World Cup qualification.
The pre-match build up may have been dominated by whether the two neighbouring nations will wear the emblem of ap popy on their shirts to commemorate Armistice’s Day, defying FIFA’s wishes, but on the pitch England are expected to come out on top.
Paddy Power go just 4/11 (1.36) about Gareth Southgate’s men getting three points at Wembley while Scotland are the sizeable outsiders at 9/1 (10.0). The draw is a 7/2 (4.50) chance with the same firm.
Friday night’s game will be Southgate’s third game in charge of the Three Lions with next week’s friendly against Spain the final one of his interim spell. The performances to date have been somewhat underwhelming but the latest odds suggest that the FA will opt to make the former Middlesbrough boss a full time appointment at the end of his temporary tenure.
A 2-0 win over Malta and a 0-0 draw with Slovenia could give punters a decent clue on what to expect from the hosts, with the onus very much on defence against avoiding defeat rather than fireworks going forward. With that approach in mind the option of backing 4/5 (1.80) on under 2.5 goals paying out for the fourth England game in a row looks to be the best bet with Paddy Power.
The visitors have certainly not been prolific regularly of late, with a dismal 3-0 defeat against Slovakia last time out and a 1-1 stalemate with Lithuania preceding that.
There was something of a freak 5-1 win over Malta in their first Group F clash but in their previous six matches in all competitions excluding that victory, the Scots have only mustered three goals, failing to net on the other three occasions.
Wayne Rooney looks assured of a place in the starting line-up but doubts remain over whether Harry Kane, who only made his comeback from injury last weekend, is fit enough to play a role from the start. Even if he does take to the field it seems unlikely that the Tottenham man will complete anything close to 90 minutes and that too could play into the theory of a low-scoring encounter.
Unsurprisingly given neither side have shown much in the way of attacking intent of late, both teams to score is a 5/4 (2.25) chance with Paddy Power with just 4/7 (1.57) being offered on the alternative.
England should be able to edge out their neighbours in what could be a game filled with passion but lacking in quality and the Irish firm have cut England to win “to nil” into 10/11 (1.91) from Even money (2.0) earlier in the week.
That too looks a logical selection as an alternative to the unders while a correct score pick of England 2-0 pays an industry best 5/1 (6.0) the best option for those seeking much bigger returns.