Today at UEFA Euro 2020, two crucial matches will take place in the tournament’s Group D.
In the first game, Croatia will take on the Czech Republic at Hampden Park in Glasgow. The Czech Republic currently top the group, while Croatia need to get on the board after losing their first match.
In the second match of the day, England will play host to Scotland at London’s Wembley Stadium. Coming into the tournament, this was the match that I was most excited for. Given the fierce rivalry between the two teams, it promises to be a memorable occasion regardless of the final result.
Local bragging rights are up for grabs today between the two sides. At the same time, so are three vital points. The atmosphere and the energy around the game should be very impressive. Both teams will need to stay focused on trying to get a result that would take them one step closer to the knockout stages of this tournament.
Keys to Success for England
We’ve got history.
Tonight, we meet again! pic.twitter.com/y2VIURR7zd
— England (@England) June 18, 2021
Make no mistake about it, England are the favorites for this match. They are the home team and have a squad filled with high profile talents.
The flip side of being the favorites is that England will also have to shoulder most of the pressure in this fixture. They will have the majority of possession, and it will be their responsibility to break down a Scotland team that will probably focus on defense first.
With this in mind, the number one change England should make is introducing Jack Grealish to the starting lineup.
When trying to break down a team that you know is going to defend deep, it helps to have a player who can pick up the ball and carry it into the penalty area. Nobody in the Premier League is better at this than Grealish. The 24-year-old recorded 80 carries into the 18 yard box in the 2020-21 season. Despite the fact that Grealish played the fewest minutes out of anyone in the top nine, this left him a whopping 18 CPAs clear at the top of the leaderboard.
Having won their first group game against Croatia, England is in a good spot entering this match. A result of any kind will propel them towards the knockouts. Given the rivalry storylines, England will badly want to win this one on home soil.
Keys to Success for Scotland
Tomorrow night, another chapter in the oldest international fixture in world football will be written.
— Scotland National Team (@ScotlandNT) June 17, 2021
Having lost their opening match to the Czech Republic, Scotland are in a vulnerable place ahead of today’s match. A defeat to England would leave them with little chance of advancing from Group D, especially considering they finish with a match against a tough Croatian side.
Scotland showed a willingness to attack against the Czech Republic. However, they were undone by two quality goals from Patrik Schick, including a ludicrous effort from just beyond the halfway line.
Scotland’s ability to have success against England may depend on how they are able to deploy Andy Robertson, Kieran Tierney and Scott McTominay. Tierney was unavailable against the Czech Republic. His presence today would help significantly with shoring up the Scottish defense.
Che Adams is another player who could make an impact for Scotland. He could provide a threat on any counter attacking opportunities that arise.
England are the favorites for this one, but they would be unwise to overlook Scotland. Their northern neighbors have the ability to push England all the way, which they demonstrated during the last meeting between the two teams back in 2017.
A more physical game could play into Scotland’s hands, so look for them to disrupt England’s rhythm as much as possible.
England vs Scotland Predictions
On paper, the most likely outcome of this one is an English victory. However, you just never know with these rivalry games.
Scotland badly need at least a draw to keep their hopes alive in Euro 2020. They may end up needing some luck for it to happen, but it is certainly not out of the realm of possibility.
The last time the two teams played at Wembley with Euro implications on the line was 1999. Scotland won that game 1-0 on a goal in the 39th minute from Don Hutchison.
No matter how the game plays out, it should be a great watch for neutrals because of how much is at stake for both sets of fans.
I think we’ll see a back and forth contest, ending in a 1-1 draw.
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– Andrew Fasciano (@afasc573)