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England vs Scotland: What to expect

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Having waited 14 years for this match - the oldest rivalry in international football - England and Scotland fans will relish Wednesday night's game at Wembley.

This will be Scotland's first visit to the new Wembley, having won 1-0 on their last visit to the old stadium. That win came in a Euro 2000 play-off which England eventually won and the Scots will be looking to earn the bragging rights this time around.

We'll see plenty of passion, especially from the visiting side, but what else can we expect on Wednesday night?

Well, here are a few possibilities: 

An experimental England XI

Roy Hodgson will be without several of his key players for this match, whereas Gordon Strachan has had only Liam Bridcutt pull out of his original squad in addition to long-term absentees Darren and Steven Fletcher.

Hodgson will, therefore, be forced to play a starting XI that could be very different from the one that lines up in England's remaining World Cup qualifiers.

Danny Welbeck is the only fully fit forward available, with Wayne Rooney recovering from a shoulder injury, but expected to play some part.

Ashley Young has this week joined the likes of Andy Carroll and Jermain Defoe on the injury list. These absentees in the striking department could see Hodgson experiment with Theo Walcott joining Welbeck up front, unless Rooney plays the full 90 minutes which is unlikely.

It could be interesting to watch these two quick players up front. But it's unlikely the starting line-up against Moldova will be the same.

Lots of empty red seats

There are still an estimated 10,000 tickets unsold before this match, meaning we could be seeing even more of those empty red seats that were clearly visible in Sunday's Community Shield match.

The FA did not allow tickets to be sold to the general public in an attempt to avoid Scottish fans buying tickets in the home sections. That has left a huge number of fans who wanted to attend disappointed, but the FA maintains it made the right call.

With a large travelling support expecting to be singing for the whole 90 minutes and 10,000 seats sitting empty, this may not feel like much of a home game for England.

A sighting of Wayne Rooney

Rooney is expected to play some part in this match, though how long he will get is unknown. Roy Hodgson has said that the striker is now fit enough for the match despite the troubled player sitting out Manchester United's Community Shield win with a shoulder problem.

David Moyes was hopeful that his player would get some playing time in the friendly and it would suit the new United boss perfectly if he can get his striker fit without having to put him in the United starting line-up - a move that would still be controversial at this time with the player yet to come out and commit to his current club.

A Scottish win?

Scotland have a great opportunity to take something away from this game, whether a draw or an away win. The England side they will face is not at its strongest and most players have yet to play a competitive match, while most of Scotland's squad already have a few weeks under their belts, either with Celtic's Champions League qualifiers or in the English Championship.

The Scots are well known, though, for shooting themselves in the foot and failing to make the most of good opportunities. That may well happen again on Wednesday should the game prove a step too much.

The Scots are also well known for giant-killing, having famously beaten France, Italy and Holland over the last decade. There is no scalp they'd love more than that of the English. And after beating Croatia in Zagreb earlier in the year, who's to say they can't?

 

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Topics:
England Football
Scotland Football
Football
Internationals

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This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeSport Writing Academy and does not represent the views of GiveMeSport.com or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. GiveMeSport.com and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.

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