By Ben Browning
Published: June 18, 2021 8:28 am
Last Updated: June 18, 2021 8:53 am
England Daily: June 18, 2021
England play their second game of Group D this evening, as they host Scotland at Wembley.
On the back of the 1-0 victory against Croatia, the Three Lions will be looking to ensure qualification with all three points against the Scots.
Here are the five England stories you need ahead of the big game.
1) All 26 England players fit
Perhaps the most pleasing news that could have come out of the England camp ahead of their second group game was that everyone is fit for Friday’s fixture.
This means that Harry Maguire has recovered from the ankle ligament injuries that kept him out of Manchester United’s end-of-season commitments, as well as the opening group game against Croatia.
Harry Maguire is ready to return for England. Southgate to decide whether he starts or comes in from the bench or not at all. All 26 players are available. Grealish is also fine. #ThreeLions #Euro2020
— Nizaar Kinsella (@NizaarKinsella) June 17, 2021
It is also welcome news regarding duo Jordan Henderson and Jack Grealish, both of whom had been doubts earlier in the week.
Grealish was not spotted in Wednesday’s training session, whilst Henderson has not played more than 45 minutes since February.
Now with a full squad at his disposal for the first time, it will be fascinating to see how Southgate shuffles his pack across the next two fixtures.
2) Kieran Tierney “Fit and available”
Scotland full-back Kieran Tierney missed Scotland’s opening game against the Czech Republic with what was described as a “little niggle”. The Scots missed him, slipping to a 2-0 defeat, courtesy of a Patrik Schik double.
However, Scottish fans will be relieved to see Tierney back in full training and “fit and available” for selection for Friday night’s encounter, which could see him slot back into the left-side of Scotland’s back three.
Kieran Tierney is “fit and available” to face England on Friday night, Scotland head coach Steve Clarke has confirmed.
— Sky Sports News (@SkySportsNews) June 17, 2021
3) England travel to London ahead of clash
England travelled from their base at St George’s park to a hotel in London ahead of their Wembley clash with the Scots.
A warm welcome 👋 pic.twitter.com/VjuH6W8cO0
— England (@England) June 17, 2021
As mentioned above, all 26 players were fit to travel, and all 26 will make the trip down to London before Southgate chooses three to leave out of his matchday squad. The England boss caused some controversy by leaving out Jadon Sancho against Croatia, but was proved vindicated as the Three Lions kicked off their campaign with a 1-0 win.
Whoever he leaves out tomorrow is sure to cause controversy once again, with all 26 players staking a claim to a position in the squad.
4) Harry Kane’s warning: I’m better than before
England captain Harry Kane joined manager Gareth Southgate for the pre-match media duties ahead of the Scotland tie.
— England (@England) June 17, 2021
The pair fielded questions on the difference the change in temperature may make against Scotland, the fitness of Harry Maguire and how the players will need to deal with the pressure of an England vs Scotland match, without letting it get to them.
“Our focus has got to be on performance and getting better with every game that we play [instead of the passion of the fixture].”
Meanwhile, Harry Kane sent out a warning to Scotland about how he’s improved as a player since the 2018 World Cup:
“I’ve got a lot more experience, my game understanding is a lot better I feel like I’ve got better at knowing when to drop deep, when to run in behind using that to my advantage. It’s not so easy for defenders — sometimes they don’t know whether to come all the way or stay back and you saw that this season at club level. It worked well.”
“For sure, over the last few years, I’ve definitely become a better player and I’ll hopefully continue to do that over the next three years as well.”
5) Jose Mourinho: Scotland need a miracle
Finally, in the Times on Friday, Jose Mourinho has offered his insight ahead of the England versus Scotland match.
For Mourinho, Scotland need a miracle to get anything out of the game at Wembley. The Special One wrote:
“I know Scotland will be super-motivated, that Braveheart spirit, but it’s very rare that miracles happen. And I say miracle because it’s a huge difference in quality. Can Scotland go to Wembley and win? Yes, it’s one football match. But, no, because England are a much better team with much better players. Any player in England’s 26-man squad would start for Scotland.”
José Mourinho says that all his former Chelsea No 2 Steve Clarke can ask of his side is to fight, compete and survive. And that the only thing England must do is respect their opponents #EURO2020 https://t.co/dJ7AqWfrXp
— Times Sport (@TimesSport) June 18, 2021
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