STEVE CLARKE has told fans: Don’t be fooled by England — they are as desperate to win as Scotland.
Gareth Southgate has warned England over the hostile Hampden Park atmosphere[/caption]
He declared: “England will want to beat us. Don’t make any mistake about that — don’t think this fixture is more important to Scotland.
“I’ve been living in England for a long time and it means a lot to them as well, but hopefully we can give our fans a few more memories.
“This fixture has been 150 years in the making. In my lifetime, England have moved a bit in front.
“But the neighbours have been pretty quiet and I don’t want them knocking at the door laughing at me!
“It’s a competitive friendly. We are trying to close the gap on them and we’ll find out how much we have at Hampden.”
The last Glasgow clash was a 2-2 World Cup qualifying draw in 2017, with Harry Kane, Marcus Rashford, Kyle Walker and Kieran Trippier the only Lions still in the squad.
Captain Kane grabbed a last-gasp leveller — but the Scots hope to extend their five-match winning run, which has put them on the verge of Euro 2024 qualification.
Southgate said: “For those who were not in the last England v Scotland encounter, this will be something different to what they will have faced.
“They’re a good team and it’s an environment where you have to have the personality to play.
“You’ve also got to find the balance and find out about certain players.”
Aaron Ramsdale could start in goal while full-back Trippier will come into the side. But Southgate is not making big changes from Saturday’s 1-1 draw against Ukraine.
Southgate said: “We cannot fiddle around as we are playing a top-level side, who are going to be at full tilt and giving us a high-level challenge.”
The Lions gaffer also admitted communication could be difficult due to noise from home fans.
And he said: “The players have to make all the important decisions.
“There is an element of you have got to trust the players sometimes.
“We prepare the team well. When we went a goal down the other day, I did not feel the need to come out on the touchline and make a load of fuss.”
Southgate also joked he SUPPORTED Scotland as a seven-year-old at the 1978 World Cup.
He said: “It was just because I love football and England hadn’t qualified. I didn’t realise it all then. But I soon saw the error of my ways!”
The Scots have not beaten the Auld Enemy at Hampden Park since 1985 — with the last clash between the sides a goalless draw at Wembley in the Euro 2020 group stages.
And Clarke added: “We have improved. Have England? That’s a good question. It’s difficult to say but they haven’t gone backwards.”