Four Celtic Stars Who Could Help Scotland Beat England
This Saturday, we will witness the 114th incarnation of the oldest football fixture in the world. Scotland host England at Hampden Park and are looking for an upturn in fortunes.
The home side will be looking to end a very barren run in the clash of the football world’s oldest enemies, with only one win coming for the Scots in the last ten clashes and that one was not good enough for them to win their Euro 2000 play-off tie, with England having won the first leg 2-0 at Hampden.
England have a good recent record in the fixture, winning each of the last three since the 14-year gap following Scotland’s win at Wembley and scoring three goals on each occasion. Scotland will take hope from the fact that (in manager Gordon Strachan’s view at least), the ‘keeper had very little to do on their visit to Wembley, despite the 3-0 score line.
England will be without Leicester City striker Jamie Vardy who has pulled out with injury, though Gareth Southgate has decided not to replace the forward, with Harry Kane, Jermain Defoe and Marcus Rashford still in the squad providing what should be more than enough firepower.
For their part, Scotland will do well to hope for the Celtic connection to come good for them. The Scottish champions went through the domestic season unbeaten and their representatives in this game are rightfully full of confidence. Here are four of them who may hold the key for the home side to come out on top:
The goalkeeper is approaching 50 caps for his country and this is despite him having had a career break lasting two years following his spell with Sunderland. Gordon kept 28 clean sheets during what was a breeze of a season for Celtic and he’ll be hoping for a quiet day again when England come to town.
It remains to be seen whether or not he’ll get into the side at left-back ahead of Andy Robertson. But there is little doubt that he is a major talent. Tierney is just the type of player to be subconsciously underestimated by the England side and his forays while going forward could give Scotland a good attacking outlet.
The 25-year-old from Inverness has been a star in Celtic’s midfield, producing a goal or an assist once in every 103 minutes in the Scottish Premiership. The problem in Armstrong’s profile is that he didn’t produce any goals or assists in the Champions League and it’s this sort of quality he’ll be up against on Saturday. This game is his chance to prove that he is capable of performing on the big stage.
The skipper can be a divisive character in the game as a whole, but there is no doubting his experience and quality. Once again, a solid midfield performance is on the cards. Brown is somewhat of a lynchpin for his side and England would be wise to bypass him, hoping to win the game with their pace out wide.