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Soccer-Hoddle expects open and feisty clash between England and Scotland

LONDON: Whenever England and Scotland lock horns on a football pitch the cagey approach associated with international football often goes out of the window and Friday's Euro 2020 clash at Wembley will be no different, according to former England boss Glenn Hoddle.

Victory for England in the Group D clash would seal their place in the last 16 of the tournament with one game to spare, while defeat for Scotland would leave their hopes in tatters.

Hoddle, who played in several editions of the world's oldest international fixture, says underdogs Scotland will arrive under pressure to play a more offensive style after their opening loss against the Czech Republic.

"I think that changes the dynamic of this England game," Hoddle said in an interview with Betfair. "If they'd have won (against the Czechs) I'd have fancied Scotland to draw, but now they'll have to take risks and I think England will win.

"The pressure's on Scotland to open up more. If they get a draw they'll really be under pressure against Croatia in the last game."

England were calm and composed as they avenged their 2018 World Cup semi-final defeat by Croatia in their opening match as Raheem Sterling scored the only goal.

That match hardly got the pulse racing, even if England impressed, but Hoddle says Scotland provide a different dynamic.

"It will get a bit feisty, if you're playing tiddlywinks against Scotland it gets feisty, that's the combative energy this fixture brings up," Hoddle said.

"The team that controls their emotion will end up playing better and winning."

Former Scotland midfielder Gordan Strachan, who was in charge of the Scots when they lost 3-0 in their last visit to Wembley in a World Cup qualifier in 2016, said England's opening win over Croatia was not as good as is being made out.

"I don't think England were that good. When I tuned in I thought 'have I watched the wrong game here'", he said.

"It was just okay, and the only real bit of class was (midfielder) Kalvin Phillips."

Strachan said England manager Gareth Southgate will be wary of a Scotland side who played well in parts against the Czechs but were undone by two high-quality goals.

"Gareth and his team will be wary, just as they were of Croatia," he told Betfair. "England have got that superiority complex in basically everything. I don't know if it adds an extra stride to the players. It will make for a good game."

Hoddle said there is "more to come" from England after a solid start.

"England did what they had to do against an aging Croatia side," he said. "I didn't want us to win 4-0. Getting the points was the main thing. If you win a tournament you've got to peak at the right times, and you can peak too early."

Hoddle also tipped Aston Villa playmaker Jack Grealish to make an impact, most probably from the bench.

"Scotland will be deep so we might need someone to run at people and draw fouls. If he plays, he's the man," Hoddle said.

(Reporting by Martyn Herman; Editing by Christian Radnedge)

Source: Reuters

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