Football

The ideal Scotland XI to face England

Who should start for Scotland next month? (©GettyImages)
Who should start for Scotland next month? (©GettyImages).

Having just announced his 29-man squad for Scotland's upcoming visit to Wembley, manager Gordon Strachan must now decide on the 11 who should start on August 14.

Here below is one man's suggestion of the 11 men most likely to provide a historic triumph using the 4-5-1 formation from the recent Scotland win in Zagreb.

Goalkeeper - Allan McGregor

Selecting Scotland's number 1 goalie is the easiest choice for Strachan's teamsheet. With the former Rangers and Besiktas man now training with Premier League newboys Hull, McGregor should be well ready to repeat his heroics of the recent win in Croatia.

Left-back - Steven Whittaker

29 year-old Whittaker put in a performance of real maturity and experience in the 1-0 win in Zagreb, slowing down the play when his side was in front and leading by example as part of an inexperienced back four.

Centre-backs - Charlie Mulgrew & Russell Martin

Despite a season that failed to live up to expectations personally, Charlie Mulgrew is certainly worth including in a game as big as this one. He proved he is a man for the big occasion in Celtic's victory over Barcelona when playing out of position in midfield and could be a star again in a more familiar centre-back role.

Russell Martin should also earn a spot after his man of the match performance in Zagreb. He made several crucial interceptions in that match and deserves to join his Norwich teammate Whittaker in the Scotland defence.

Right-back - Alan Hutton

Despite several recent poor performances in a Scotland top, Hutton is the only choice at right-back and the result could be decided by whether the Aston Villa man has a good game or not. He'll certainly hope to play better than he did in Zagreb where he consistently lost possession in his own half.

Left midfield - Robert Snodgrass

Snodgrass played on the left in the Croatia win and was able to pounce on the poor Croatian clearance that led to his goal. Playing just in front of fellow Norwich man Whittaker, this could be a comfortable and lethal pairing on the left side of the pitch.

Central midfield - Scott Brown, James Morrison & Shaun Maloney

Scott Brown is exactly the kind of man you want in the centre of your midfield for such an occasion. He will be asked to lead from the middle of the action and won't be afraid to do the dirty and hard work in disrupting England's talented midfield.

James Morrison should play alongside Brown and will be very confident after his brilliant performance as captain in the Croatia win. He effectively cancelled out Croatian attacks before they even passed the half-way line as well as setting up moves for Scotland as he smartly distributed the ball to his forwards.

Shaun Maloney could play just in front of the midfield as he did in Wigan's FA Cup final win at Wembley. He should be a threat from that position as he was against Manchester City.

Right midfield - Gary Mackay-Steven

Although having never played for the senior side, the lively Dundee United winger has been included in the squad and would certainly provide a spark in midfield that could be key to picking up a result. It would be a risk to give the pacy winger his first cap in such a big match, but if it pays off both he and Strachan will be hailed as heroes.

Centre forward - Kenny Miller

Strachan will likely only play with one out-and-out striker, as he did in Zagreb. With Steven Fletcher still recovering from an ankle injury, that leaves Kenny Miller as the obvious choice. Although now 33 years old, the man has scored many memorable goals in a Scotland shirt and one more wouldn't be a surprise.

 

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Topics:
Kenny Miller
Football
Scotland Football
Gordon Strachan

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