Scotland vs England Preview: An Auld Enemy clash under the lights at Hampden awaits - just don't mention the Olympics

Kirsty Hanson celebrates scoring for Scotland against England in September. Cr. SNS GroupKirsty Hanson celebrates scoring for Scotland against England in September. Cr. SNS Group
Kirsty Hanson celebrates scoring for Scotland against England in September. Cr. SNS Group
It has been a toiling few months for Scotland in the Nations League but as they prepare to face England in their final group game at Hampden Park on Tuesday night, they could end it in the most unforgettable fashion.

A result is much needed for Pedro Martinez Losa and Scotland after a five game winless run and, while beating England on Tuesday would not alter their position in the Nations League, this is England under the lights at Hampden Park afterall. No introduction is needed. No extra motivation is required.

"For us the England game is always special, different. It would be fantastic for us to beat England tomorrow," admitted the Scotland head coach.

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At the outset of the campaign, the Spanish boss had targeted a minimum of two wins from Scotland's six Nations League games but, so far, however, following their 1-1 draw against Belgium on Friday, only two draws have mustered. Would victory over England flip the script on how their Nations League campaign will be viewed?

"We still wanted to win two games but even Sarina (Wiegman) discussed today the difficulty of the group and all the teams that are competing. It's small margins. We thought we deserved more from the Belgium and that is the frustration. Those little details that we still have to do better.

"What we can do is finish on a high and take the positives from it and win against a big rival in front of our crowd" said the Spanish boss.

The first meeting women's international fixture between the sides to take place at Hampden, Scotland will take heart from the fact that they came within a width of a post from holding the Lionesses to a draw during their narrow 2-1 loss at the Stadium of Light September. Despite some sketchy form since, they ultimately know they have enough to trouble enough England when they take to the field tomorrow night - if they can perform to the same level.

There were murmurs of discontent amongst fans over Scotland's lack of progress under the Spanish head coach following their dismal 1-0 World Cup play off defeat to Republic of Ireland in October 2022. However, the new year ushered in a six game unbeaten run, which included an impressive victory over Australia in April.

The prize if they they can rediscover their early 2023 form? Immortalisation in the women's game and a genuine hope that Scottish women's football is on the right path.

Scotland captain Rachel Corsie was bullish ahead of the game, echoing the sentiments of her boss as she opened up on what the game means to her and her team mates.

"I think the emotion is a good part. Sometimes we can demand more of that from one another. You want to feel that energy. Obviously you don't it if it's something that may make a player feel more nervous than usual but that energy brings a good side to the game.

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"You have to be competitive and understand what it means to be in amongst it - that is a part of who we are and, at times, we could even show more of that so I would love to see that come out in as many people as possible" said the skipper.

As for the Lionesses, they enter the game knowing that they may require a big win at Hampden Park if they're to have a chance of topping the group and sending Team GB to next year's Olympics.

In a strange turn of events, a number of Scottish players will enter the game knowing if they are to win, it would end their own chances of competing at the Olympics as part of that Team GB squad. But don't ask the Scotland captain if that matters more than getting one over the Auld Enemy...

When Corsie was asked if she felt that it would in any way effect the game, she was passionate and direct, calling the notion "disrespectful".

"It's outrageous to question anyone's integrity and it's a huge insult to us" blasted the Aston Villa defender.

"It's a game that we absolutely look forward to. The position we're in within the group is difficult but at the same time we have the opportunity to finish the year against a team that's one of the best but also one that, in the history of our country and in sport, there's a huge rivalry.

"To get the chance to play them here at Hampden Park is one I know that everyone here is definitely relishing" added the defender.

Lionesses boss Sarina Wiegman also dismissed suggestions it will have any effect on the game, insisting the rivalry between the sides is too great for it to have any effect on the game.

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"This is football. It is competitive, we have professional players here who really want to show up - English players and Scottish players. I think it is going to be a good game where everyone wants to perform at the highest level," explained Wiegman.

"I understand the conversation around it but if you have seen our group and you know the history of Scotland vs England, then there is no way they are going to give away this game. Scotland really want to want beat England and we want to beat them of course. There's such a rivalry that this would never be the case" added the Dutch head coach.

Barcelona midfielder Keira Walsh echoed her manager's sentiments, adding: "You definitely do feel it (the rivalry). It's almost a derby game, we are aware of Scotland's attacking threats and what they will bring to the game.

"Hopefully it will be an exciting one for the fans and showcase where women's football is coming to in these two countries. I am looking forward to it" explained Walsh.

Scotland take on England at Hampden Park on Tuesday night with kick off scheduled for 7.45pm and live TV coverage on BBC One.



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