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Old-fashioned ding-dong could have repeat result

SPICY summer internationals are few and far between in non-major finals years so Scotland against England at Hampden offers some good, old-fashioned, old-school hostility to take our minds off the tennis.

It’s not quite a must-win game for the Scots but it’s definitely a daren’t-lose one – five points off second spot with four games left would be pretty much curtains and they know that.

The Celtic effect might lift morale – the only problem there being that the pride of Scottish club football’s best players are English and French. Only half a dozen Bhoys get into Gordon Strachan’s squad.

The fact is that Scotland arrived at Wembley in November confident of dousing the English flame and were soundly battered, losing 3-0. It was a third defeat in a row against the auld enemy, who they haven’t beaten since 1999.

All four of England’s wins in the campaign have been to nil and they didn’t conceded in the other match, either.

England look to be the bet but I can make a case for a bolder stance and backing the England win to nil.

An all Home Nations shindig is going to prove unmissable, though tie of the weekend is probably the game involving Wales, who are in Serbia.

The Welsh have somehow managed to work their way out of the qualification picture despite being unbeaten and another draw – a fourth in a row – in Belgrade actually won’t do them much good. It’s not a result that will do the Serbs too many favours, either, especially as they still have to go to Dublin to take on Ireland.

The Serbs made hard work of beating Georgia last time out and I can see Wales giving them a few headaches with the pressure on. Back the Wales-draw double chance.

The Football Site

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Match in Focus

19:00 TODAY SKY

Villarreal v Espanyol

Home Win Draw Away Win
Key stats
  • Villarreal have scored exactly two or three goals in eight of their last nine home matches
Expert verdict
Having already played Sevilla and Barcelona in their first four matches, Espanyol are arguably in a false position in the table. Certainly the 2-1 win over Celta last time will have lifted morale, although it was a far from convincing success. However, Villarreal are strong at home and didn’t concede a goal against Espanyol over two games last term.