FOOTBALL matches don’t come much bigger than Scotland vs England. 

And with Steve Clarke’s Scots in desperate need of points in Group D of the European Championships, tonight’s game is set to be a cracker. 

England won their opening match 1-0 against Croatia, while Scotland lost 2-0 at Hampden to the Czech Republic. 

Scotland will need to avoid defeat to keep their hopes of a place in the knockout stages alive and ahead of the Wembley clash Herald and Times Sport have examined some of the key battles. 


Norwich captain Grant Hanley was one of Scotland’s top performers at Hampden in their Euro 2020 opener and he proved a lot of his doubters wrong with a polished defensive display. Steve Clarke is a huge fan of the 29-year-old, and he will likely start again in the middle of a back three. Hanley possesses a quick turn of pace and is also strong and powerful in the air and in the tackle. 

He will need to use all of these attributes to his advantage when he lines up against Harry Kane at Wembley tonight. The Tottenham striker was reasonably quiet by his standards in England’s opener against Croatia, but everyone knows what he is capable of when given a sight of goal. 

Scotland know all about Kane’s talents after he grabbed a last gasp equaliser at Hampden back in 2017. Hanley wasn’t involved that day, but he would have shared the hurt of the nation when Kane hit the back of the net following Leigh Griffiths’ two wonder freekicks. 


Stephen O’Donnell came in for plenty criticism for his performance against the Czech Republic, which Steve Clarke then came out and defended. O’Donnell offered little going forward, but he did stand strong and stuck to his defensive task well.  

Many have argued that Clarke should have opted for a more attacking option at right wingback for the Czech opener, but with England expected to have plenty of the ball this time round, expect O’Donnell to be given the nod. 

The Motherwell defender will likely be up against Raheem Sterling who bagged the only goal of England’s opening win against Croatia. The Manchester City winger was a constant threat and always looked keen to get on the ball and run at the opposition defence.  

O’Donnell will need to keep Sterling quiet if Scotland are to have any chance of picking up points on enemy soil. 


Lyndon Dykes led the line well for Scotland at Hampden on Monday, but he struggled to link play as much as he would have liked. Che Adams was introduced at the break for Ryan Christie and the pair appeared to form a decent strike partnership. 

It remains to be seen whether Steve Clarke will opt for two strikers at Wembley, but even if he goes for just one, expect Adams to be selected. He showed some nice touches in the group opener and helped the ball stick in the final third.  

Adams will have a tough job if given the lone striker role with England looking relatively tight and assured at the back. John Stones was restored to Gareth Southgate’s side against Croatia and he never gave Ante Rebic or Ivan Perisic a sniff of goal. 


Andy Robertson produced one of his best performances in a Scotland shirt against the Czech Republic. He was sound defensively but was a huge attacking threat going forward too. Robertson bombed forward down the left flank at every opportunity and fired countless balls into the opposition penalty area. 

Robertson will need to produce another performance of that quality when he and his teammates go up against England. The Liverpool man will likely be up against Kyle Walker, who looked a little shaky in possession against Croatia. On a number of occasions, the Manchester City defender gave away the ball and his positioning was suspect at times. 

His defending will be called into question if Robertson gets forward so expect a hotly contested battle between the two attack minded full-backs. Scotland may target Walker as a weak link in the England defensive line and most of their attacks came through Robertson in their first game. 


David Marshall is another who has been criticised after Scotland’s disappointing start to the tournament. The Derby County man was caught way off his line as Patrik Schick scored an outrageous goal from the halfway line to make it 2-0 at Hampden. 

Clarke again defended his player and suggested that Marshall was not at fault for the either of Scotland’s goals. If the 36-year-old is selected between the sticks again he could be in for a far busier 90 minutes than the group opener. He will have to be on top form against the countless attacking threats of England. 

It also must be remembered that Marshall pulled off a number of top saves during Scotland’s first game, so he will likely keep his place in the starting line-up. 

England’s goalkeeping situation has been a source of debate for years. Jordan Pickford is currently number one but he had little to do against a timid Croatia side and will hope he is similarly untroubled against the Scots.