England vs Scotland Preview: An intense rivalry resumed at Wembley

With only the group winners guaranteed to qualify, this is a big game for both sides as they try and take control of group F.

England vs Scotland Preview: An intense rivalry resumed at Wembley
Southgate looking relaxed during training ahead of the big game (Picture source: Laurence Griffiths / Getty Images)

On Friday evening, two of the home nations do battle in group F of their 2018 World Cup qualification campaigns as England welcome Scotland to Wembley, in what is sure to be a tasty encounter.

Important game in terms of qualification

It is an important game for both teams for more than one reason as they try and qualify from a highly competitive group.

England go into the game on top of the group after taking seven points from their opening three games including a 0-0 draw last time out away to Slovenia.

On the other hand, Scotland sit fourth in the group with four points from three games including a 3-0 defeat to Slovakia last time out.

Both managers need a win

It's a big game for both managers for different reasons. Gareth Southgate is in interim charge for the senior England squad with the chance to enhance his chances of getting the job on a full-time basis with a big win against the Scots.

Gordon Strachan, on their other hand, is under pressure to get a positive result as many people believe that if his team lose this game then he could be out of a job.

Hosts favourites for the game

In two previous World Cup qualifying meetings, England came out on top in 1950 and 1954 and they will be confident they can win the game again.

The side's last met back in 2014 in a friendly at Celtic Park when Wayne Rooney scored two goals in a 3-1 win for England.

Team news

In terms of team news for the game, Southgate has confirmed that Rooney will start the game as captain after starting last month's qualifier on the bench.

Harry Kane should be okay for the game but after a long time out he will have to have a late check to see if he has recovered fully from the game at the weekend. Other than that though every other player is fit and available.

Steven Fletcher is a doubt for the Scots with a knee injury but apart from that, they have a fully fit squad. 

Scott Brown, who retired from internationals a while back, returns to the squad after declaring his intention to play for his country again and should be fit after recovering from a dead leg he picked up at the weekend.

Predicted line-ups

England: (4-2-3-1) Hart, Walker, Stones, Cahill, Bertrand, Henderson, Dier, Sterling, Rooney, Lallana, Kane.

Scotland: (4-3-3) Marshall; Paterson, Martin, Hanley, Kingsley; McArthur, D. Fletcher, Brown, Snodgrass, Fletcher, Ritchie.

Referee: Cüneyt Çak─▒r (Turkey).