Euro 2020: England arrogance could play into Scotland's hands, claims Kevin Gallacher

Former Scotland striker Kevin Gallacher believes England’s arrogance could play into Scotland’s hands as the two nations gear up for their Euro 2020 group D encounter at Wembley on Friday.

Kevin Gallacher in action for Scotland
Kevin Gallacher in action for Scotland

Gallacher, who won 53 caps for Scotland was an unused substitute and was forced to watch on from the bench during the 2-0 defeat by England at the old Wembley in Euro 96 but the former Blackburn and Newcastle forward believes form goes out of the window when the two countries play – with the most recent meeting in 2017 a clear example.

The Clydebank-born hitman, who bagged nine goals for his country, lives in England and claims it’s not unusual for Scotland's players to be “belittled”.

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“England will believe that they can go and walk all over Scotland,” Gallacher told BETDAQ.

Gallacher (second left) training at Wembley with Scotland ahead of the Euro 96 clash

“I think that’s the way that their players will approach it. They’ll think, ‘This will be easy, it’s only Scotland.’

“Living down in England, it’s almost like sometimes they belittle the Scottish players playing in the Scottish league. We’ve got a few players now playing in the Premier League and they’re playing regularly.

“For me, in Scotland-England games, form goes out the window. It’s who wants it more. We’ve seen that not so long ago in 2017 when Scotland played England, and unfortunately Harry Kane scored right after a couple of Leigh Griffiths free-kicks, it was 2-2 at Hampden.

"Nobody would have ever gone for 2-2 at Hampden and that’s the way it ended.”

Gallacher is hopeful that England may get complacent following their win against Croatia and the Scots’ 2-0 defeat by Czech Republic at Hampden.

“I hope England are thinking that they can walk all over Scotland, and hopefully that’ll do Scotland some favours,” he admitted.

“It’s definitely a game where legends can be made for Scotland. You look back at when Don Hutchison scored at Wembley in the Euro 2000 play-offs. People remember that, even though we were knocked out. Scoring a goal against England is a big, big thing.

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“Playing against them is a big thing, but if you score against them, it’s even bigger. If you score and you win against them then the fans will never ever forget about it. And that’s what the Tartan Army are all about. They follow you everywhere through thick and thin, highs and lows. They follow you, they back you and they’ll never forget you.”

Gallacher has also urged Scotland to perform as a unit will be key on Friday night.

“We’ve got decent individuals, but we’ve got to collectively play together,” he said. “We’re not about individuals. It’s that old cliché, ‘there’s no I in team’, and there’s certainly not in the Scotland team. It’s about the squad, the players and the 11 that start that game against England.”

Gallacher added: “Scotland need to believe in themselves. We’re hardworking, we play together. We’re not individual world-class players. We are a very good squad side that when we’re all playing together, we can win together. Steve Clarke has got that in the players, a belief that it’s a team.”

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