England has scheduled a friendly against Scotland to be played in Celtic Park on November 18. It’s the first time England will play Scotland north of the border in 15 years.
The last time these teams met in Scotland, Paul Scholes scored two goals at Hampden Park to defeat the Scots in a Euro 2000 qualifier play-off first leg. England held on to qualify despite losing the second leg 1-0.
This time, the Hampden Park national stadium is unable to host the friendly since it will be under refurbishment following this summer’s Commonwealth Games where it is being used as a venue for athletics. So Celtic Park proudly offers its service to the oldest international footballing fixture, which debuted in 1872.
Scotland came to Wembley last year and gave England a stern test, taking the lead twice from a couple of excellently executed goals by James Morrison and veteran front-man Kenny Miller. England debutant Rickie Lambert then stole the show with a Shearer style header from a corner with his first contribution to the game. England held on for a 3-2 win on their own turf and a trip to Celtic Park later in the year will see another locally produced international contest. Following a disappointing World Cup, England will face a revitalized Scotland side under Strachan, whose boys will go with real belief into the friendly. Taking heart from their increasing quality of performance and results.
Since giving England a fright, Scotland have had some impressive displays under Gordon Strachan and have shown glimpses of being a revived national side. The results have followed and wins against Macedonia, Croatia, Norway and Poland, along with draws against impressive World Cup participants Nigeria and USA, arguably makes the Tartan Army favorites against England in November. Since Wembley, Scotland have only lost once and that was against Belgium in September of last year.
Scotland have a point to prove. It will be a good chance to show England that despite the downfalls in the Scottish game, the Scots are still producing players that can rival their neighbors.
The game itself will be England’s final senior fixture of the year, coming three days after an away qualifier for Euro 2016 against Slovenia.
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