Scotland v England Preview

  • Friendly, 18th November 2014, Celtic Park

  • The 112th meeting between the two oldest international sides, and the first on Scottish soil for 15 years. England were lucky, coming from behind twice when the two sides last met at Wembley in August 2013 and they will need to have guile to beat a confident Scottish side who recently dispatched Ireland 1-0.
    Indeed, albeit a friendly (can England v Scotland ever be a friendly?) this will probably be England’s toughest test until they go to France for Euro 2016.
    Only the sixth match to be played between the two sides at Celtic Park, the last being over 110 years ago, and despite the hostile atmosphere, England will be hopeful that they can match their last result there, a 1-0 win against the Auld Enemy.
  •   Posted: 17th November 2014 10:53pm

England v Slovenia Preview

  • Euro 2016 Qualifying Group E, 15th November 2014, Wembley Stadium, London

  • England face more than a rough pitch this Saturday when they face the potential banana skin that is Slovenia. On paper England should win comfortably at home despite the condition of the pitch following an NFL game on Sunday, however, Slovenia are a nifty little side and they responded very well from losing their opening group E match in Estonia to beat Lithuania away and top seed Switzerland at home. They are second in the group on six points. Those wins propelled Srečko Katanec’s side up 17 places to 36th in the FIFA World rankings. England meanwhile dropped 2 places to twentieth.
    The previous two meetings provided two wins for the Three Lions. A third on Saturday will see them sitting pretty at the top for the group. Barring injury, Saturday will also see Wayne Rooney reach his 100th cap, the 9th Englishman to do so. He also requires two more goals to overtake Jimmy Greaves on 44 to become England’s third highest goal scorer.
  •   Posted: 12th November 2014 4:07pm

England back to 20th in World rankings

  • Beating limited quality opposition reaps too few ranking points

  • England will slip back to twentieth in FIFA's World Rankings when they are published on 23rd October. San Marino and Estonia represented too few ranking points and therefore the Three Lions will be leapfrogged by Ukraine, Croatia and Algeria.
    There is little Roy Hodgson and his charges can do to stop England sliding even further during November as the two games scheduled are against Slovenia and Scotland, the latter being a friendly match. Once more, very few points available.
    It could be highly conceivable for England to waltz through their group with the best record of any team in the qualifying competition despite not being in the top twenty in the world and the top ten in UEFA. The price for such an easy group.
  •   Posted: 16th October 2014 1:17pm

England v Estonia Preview

  • Euro 2016 Qualifying Group E, 12th October 2014, A le Coq Arena, Tallin

  • Two games, six points, seven goals. Surely by the end of Sunday afternoon it will be three games and nine points. Estonia, ranked 81st in the world, will put up a better fight than that of San Marino but England should be very confident of coming away with a comfortable victory.
    The only previous meetings between the two sides was during qualfying for Euro 2008 and both games ended in 3-0 victories for Steve McClaren. Sadly, his team failed to qualify for that tournement. Roy Hodgson won't be losing too much sleep about that.
  •   Posted: 12th October 2014 12:08pm

England v San Marino Preview

  • Euro 2016 Qualifying Group E, 9th October 2014, Wembley Stadium, London

  • Like freshly prepared, washed and lightly salted Christians, San Marino come to the Lions den on Thursday night for their Euro 2016 qualifying game against England. Ranked dead last in FIFA’s ranking table along with Bhutan, the enclave state of San Marino finds itself once again making up the numbers in European qualifying. And my do they rack up the numbers!.
    Total record to date: won 1, drawn 3, lost 119. Goals for 20, goals against 531. Last time out against England they lost 5-0 and 8-0 during qualifying for the 2014 World Cup but in the first round of qualifying for Euro 16 they only managed to ship two goals to Lithuania.
    Three points to England. It’s just down to how many goals they feel they can score.
  •   Posted: 7th October 2014 1:38pm