World Antagonism and conflict fuel England's rivalry with Scotland
GORDON STRACHAN: Scotland won't blink...this team is full of gems
GORDON STRACHAN: One of my most interesting international memories comes from the Mexico World Cup of 1986 when I scored a goal in what turned out to be a narrow 2-1 defeat.As I made my way back to the centre circle for the game to kick off again, I suddenly found I had an image in my mind of my dad dancing around the clubhouse of his golf club in Edinburgh with all of his mates.
When England face Scotland in Friday's Euro 2020 clash at Wembley, the first meeting between the rivals in four years will renew a bitter feud stoked by centuries of antagonism and conflict.
From Scottish fans swinging triumphantly on the Wembley crossbar in 1977 to Paul Gascoigne's virtuoso goal at Euro 96, the volatile relationship between England and Scotland has produced moments of anarchy and beauty in equal measure.
First officially played in Glasgow in 1872, the clash is international football's oldest fixture, but meetings between the neighbouring nations have always been more than just a game.
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Queen Elizabeth II's almost 70-year reign has been spent in sumptuous state rooms with grand art and high ceilings across castles and palaces.The Royal Family have numerous grand homes across the four corners of mainland Britain some in the heart of London, others surrounded by thousands of acres of private countryside.
The enmity on both sides of Hadrian's Wall is fuelled by political posturing and ancient tales of William Wallace leading the Scots in the First War of Independence against England in the 13th Century.
The desire of many in Scotland to regain independence from British governance remains an emotional issue in the post-Brexit era.
Despite Scots choosing to remain part of the United Kingdom in an independence referendum in 2014, pro-nationalist parties won a majority in Scottish parliament elections in May.
Friday's showdown will be the 115th between the countries and despite England's superior talent pool, Scotland have managed 41 wins compared to 48 for the Auld Enemy.
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On late Friday evening, the group D leads to the island duel between England and Scotland. The World Champion from 1966 decided the last seven international matches all for themselves and started with a 1-0 success against Croatia in the European Championship. The Scots, on the other hand, left the prelocer blank and had to give the Czech national team with 0: 2 beaten . All information about the game is summarized here at a glance.
"Historically, we've not always been the best of friends. They were great games to play in," former Scotland captain Graeme Souness said.
"You could never play at Wembley enough and Hampden was a special occasion as well because you had over 100,000 people who were going crazy for it."
Iconic moments abound in the ancient rivalry, with one of the first coming in 1928 when Scotland's 'Wembley Wizards' thrashed England 5-1.
Arguably, Scotland's greatest victory came in 1967 when Denis Law inspired a 3-2 success that handed England their first defeat since Bobby Moore lifted the World Cup a year earlier.
Scotland mischievously crowned themselves unofficial world champions that day.
But they last dominated the rivalry back in the 1970s when the Tartan Army would descend on London en masse, taking over Trafalgar Square in a bellicose display of jingoism.
A 2-1 victory at Wembley in 1977 triggered a pitch invasion from thousands of Scottish fans who broke the goalposts and crossbars in the ensuing chaos.
Mark Wright vows to STREAK if England beat Scotland at Euro 2020
The former TOWIE star, 34, who has landed a Sky Sports Euro presenting role, has revealed he is considering stripping off if England win. And Mark said there is fierce rivalry between himself and wife Michelle Keegan's dad Michael, who is Scottish, and said if Scotland win, her father will be blocked from his phone 'for at least a month'. © Provided by Daily Mail ( Mark told The Sun: 'I'm going to the game at Wembley... I watched the 1996 fixture at Wembley when Gazza scored that goal in the Euros. It was a moment I'll never forget.
- 'It's like no other' -
England supporters grew tired of the invading hordes running riot and the annual end of season meeting between the countries became friendly in name only.
Matches were often ruined as hooligan gangs clashed in the blood-splattered streets around Wembley and Hampden Park.
The violence became so spiteful and the number of arrests so high that by 1989 football authorities decided to abandon the fixture.
They didn't play again for seven years until England won 2-0 in a Euro 96 group game at Wembley.
Gascoigne's sublime goal and 'Dentist's Chair' celebration remains one of England's iconic moments, while Scots still rue David Seaman's save from Gary McAllister's penalty moments earlier.
"I've never felt a buzz like it because it's England-Scotland. What I'll always remember is the atmosphere," said Jamie Redknapp, who came on for England at half-time.
"The fixture is like no other. It's just the fierceness of the rivalry."
That was their only major tournament meeting until this week.
After 23 years in the international wilderness, Scotland fans -- forced to support 'Anyone but England' at tournaments since 1998 -- finally have a chance to turn the tables.
But ominously for Steve Clarke's side, England have lost only one of the last 11 encounters over a 35-year period.
Even that 1-0 defeat in a European Championship play-off second leg in 1999 wasn't enough to stop England qualifying on aggregate.
England also took four points from Scotland in their two most recent games as they reached the 2018 World Cup, while their rivals stayed home.
Gareth Southgate's men go into Friday's game with the momentum after beating Croatia in their Group D opener, while Scotland lost to the Czech Republic.
An attendance of only 22,500 due to coronavirus restrictions, just 2,500 of which will be supporting Scotland, won't stop the volume being cranked up and sparks are sure to fly on the pitch as the fierce rivalry resumes.
Gilmour to miss Croatia game after positive Covid-19 test .
Billy Gilmour will isolate for 10 days after testing positive for coronavirus.Billy Gilmour will isolate for 10 days after testing positive for coronavirus and will miss Scotland's crucial Euro 2020 game against Croatia on Tuesday.