ROBERT Snodgrass has turned up the heat ahead of tonight’s long-awaited clash between Scotland and England, declaring: “There’s no such thing as a friendly against the Auld Enemy.”
More than 20,000 Scots are expected to descend on Wembley for the first meeting between the sides in 14 years and the Norwich forward is determined to make it a night to remember. And, while there are no points to be played for, Snodgrass is adamant both sides will be desperate to win the latest encounter between international football’s oldest rivals.
“There is a great buzz ahead of the game,” enthused the 25-year-old. “It is good to see the boys after the summer and you can see straight away that the boys are fit, sharp and ready for action.
“They say it is a friendly game, but I think everyone knows that the match between Scotland and England is never a friendly. It will be interesting – I play against some of these boys in the Premier League so I’m really looking forward to it and hopefully we get a good result.”
Snodgrass is still buoyant after netting the only goal against Croatia as Gordon Strachan’s men claimed a stunning 1-0 win in Zagreb in June. The Croats were ranked fourth in the world ahead of that clash and victory has infused the current Scotland squad with the belief that they can beat the best. So there will be no inferiority complex at Wembley tonight.
“Getting on the scoresheet in that game was a bonus but the main objective was always to get three points,” said Snodgrass.
“We went about that well and got some national pride back among the squad and among the fans. It was a great day out for the supporters and we now have the belief that we can go and beat these teams.”
Meanwhile, Kenny Miller’s Scottish-born Vancouver Whitecaps boss Martin Rennie hopes the striker nets a hat-trick at Wembley tonight.
That would take the 33-year-old onto the 20-goal mark – still 10 short of the record held jointly by legendary marksmen Denis Law and Kenny Dalglish.
Law hit 30 in only 55 games while it took Dalglish 102 games to draw level with the Manchester United icon.
Miller has been Scotland’s most consistent hitman in recent years, netting 17 in 68 appearances since his debut in the 1-1 draw against Poland in 2001.
The former Old Firm star kicked off his scoring account with the opening goal in the 2-1 win over Iceland in March 2003. His last strike came in the 1-1 stalemate with Macedonia in Glasgow in September last year. Remarkably, he has never scored more than one goal in a game, taking 17 matches to reach his tally.
Intriguingly, though, the Scots have lost only once when he was on the scoresheet – the 3-1 defeat to Switzerland at Hampden in March 2006. There have been 10 wins and six draws.