Hello, and welcome to Sports Mole
's live coverage of the World Cup
qualifying fixture between Scotland and England.
England's qualification for the 2018 World Cup is generally regarded as a foregone conclusion and after coming through their first five games with 13 points and without conceding a goal, it is a fair enough assumption. However, fixtures such as the one which will take place at Hampden Park today can act as great levellers, with the underdogs believing that they are capable of recording a surprise result. Make no mistake about it, Scotland beating this England side would be up there with Northern Ireland's famous win when Sven-Goran Eriksson was the manager but the Three Lions still have a professional job to undertake in Glasgow.
We will continue with the pre-match rambling in a little while but for now, let's take a look at the two teams, starting with the Tartan Army.
SCOTLAND XI: Gordon, Tierney, Berra, Mulgrew, Robertson, Brown, Morrison, Anya, Armstrong, Snodgrass, Griffiths
ENGLAND XI: Hart, Walker, Cahill, Smalling, Bertrand, Dier, Livermore, Rashford, Dele, Lallana, Kane
Scotland boss Gordon Strachan
has decided to make two alterations to the side which got the better of Slovenia in their last match. Christophe Berra comes in for Russell Martin in the centre of defence, while Ikechi Anya gets the nod in place of James Forrest.
As for England, Gareth Southgate
has decided to ring the changes with as many as five being made. The big surprise is Jake Livermore, who lines up in the centre of midfield with Eric Dier, while there is a new centre-back pairing in Chris Smalling and Gary Cahill
. Further forward, both Marcus Rashford and Harry Kane
, with Adam Lallana
and Dele Alli
featuring in a lively-looking front four.
So then, what do we make of it?
From Scotland's perspective, it comes as a bit of a surprise that Chris Martin is not preferred in attack after he netted a dramatic winner against Slovenia. It was a game where his introduction was booed, too. There was an opportunity for a passionate home crowd to get behind him today but instead, Strachan has gone with Griffiths, who has been carrying an injury.
As far as England are concerned, their defensive pairing suggests that Southgate may have also expected Martin to start. John Stones may have been better equipped to deal with the pacey Griffiths. Rashford over Raheem Sterling was another 50-50 call but either player would have been able to test the Scotland full-backs with their pace.
HEAD TO HEAD! Today's fixture represents the 114th time in which these two nations have faced each other in an international match, with England possessing 48 wins in comparison to 41 victories for Scotland. There have only been three encounters since the turn of the Millennium, but they have all taken place since 2013, with England winning each of them and scoring three times in each match. Scotland have not defeated their rivals on their home patch since 1985 when Richard Gough's goal gave them a 1-0 success.
The most recent meeting between the nations came in November at Wembley Stadium. On that occasion, England ran out convincing 3-0 winners as Daniel Sturridge
, Adam Lallana
and Gary Cahill
all got on the scoresheet. That said, Scotland had their own chances in the match and could, and perhaps should, have been at least level before England netted their second goal. Click here
to read back on that game.
Want to read up on plenty of statistics from Group F? Of course you do. Click here
to find out various offensive and defensive stats from this group, as well as who tops the goalscoring charts. It may not be who you would expect.
On Friday, Southgate revealed that Harry Kane had been handed the captaincy for this game, rather than the likes of Joe Hart or Gary Cahill. It did not come as that much of a shock given Kane's leadership of Spurs, but it will be a big deal to the 23-year-old who is making just his 18th appearance for the Three Lions. That said, there are only five players who are more experienced than the forward.
Elsewhere in Group F, Slovenia are in action against Malta while Lithuania host Slovakia. Slovenia are practically certainties to beat Malta but England will be hoping that Lithuania can do them a favour in the other match. A draw or a win for the minnows could make all the difference if England wanted to enjoy a stress-free final two games.
PREDICTION! Without being overly patriotic, we think this will be one-way traffic in England's favour today. The kind of players they possess suits away-day football and with Scotland having to press the action at some stage, we are predicting England to capitalise on the space left at the back. England to win 3-0.
Before the teams come out, let me point you in the direction of another game we are covering right now in Azerbaijan and Northern Ireland. Michael O'Neill's men can take another giant step towards the playoffs if they can win on their travels. Click here
to keep up-to-date with that contest.
Here comes the two teams to a sea of flags, both Scottish and English. It's national anthem time, along with a few boos...
England get us underway.
Plenty of England possession in these early stages but Scotland are pressurising them at every given opportunity. The home side have lined up with three at the back.
BOOKING! Scotland are trying to be aggressive but Brown has just gone straight through the back of Alli and deservedly goes into the book.
SHOT! This has been an high octane start from Scotland. They are pressing England back into their own final third and eventually win a corner. The set piece is only half-cleared and Griffiths is able to shoot straight at Hart from 20 yards. Well dealt with by the goalkeeper.
England come back into it a little bit but it is another corner for Scotland, this time on the left. A miscued clearance from Smalling results in a second, but Kane is able to clear.
A fourth corner for Scotland after a cross from Anya is chested behind by Walker. Griffiths's delivery almost finds one of two Scotland players who are free at the back but they are unable to make contact. It's all Scotland at the moment.
Aside from that Griffiths shot, neither goalkeeper has had much work to do. That will suit Scotland more so than England. For all the talent that England have in attack, they have made no impact whatsoever.
CHANCE! England should be ahead. Dier plays a wonderful floated pass into Kane, who chests the ball down to wrong-foot Mulgrew before shooting over from no more than eight yards out. He will be disappointed with that.
Slowly but surely, England are starting to gain a stranglehold on this match. No more chances to speak of, but it is Scotland's turn to do some chasing.
More good play from England, who win a corner after neat work from Livermore and Walker. The delivery to the near post almost finds an England player but the ball misses everyone.
CHANCES! You get that feeling it is only a matter of time before England go ahead. Gordon comes out and heads the ball clear but it goes straight to Kane, whose attempted lob is cleared off the line. Scotland fail to get the ball away and Rashford sees a half-volley superbly diverted behind by the goalkeeper.
To give you a greater idea of the pattern of this game, Scotland are now defending like they are in the final five minutes and are clinging onto a point. They are sitting so deep and it is only encouraging England.
For those of you interested, Slovenia are still being held by Malta, and the same can be said of Azerbaijan and Northern Ireland. Not too many goals about in the World Cup qualifiers which are taking place at the moment.
Scotland are still having to do all of the defending, but there have been no more chances for England. Rashford has been very hit and miss so far. I'm not entirely convinced that this is the right fixture for him to showcase his strengths.
SHOT! A bit of frustration is starting to creep in with Eng,and and that is shown by Lallana lashing a shot into the side-netting from a difficult angle. It got a slight deflection but that was never going in.
SHOT! I'm not sure why this proved so difficult for Gordon to deal with but he punches an innocuous shot from Livermore over the crossbar for a corner. The set piece is over-hit and Scotland are able to clear.
BOOKING! Livermore is in the thick of the action and now goes into the book for halting a counter-attack.
HALF TIME: Scotland 0-0 England
The half-time whistle goes at Hampden Park and we remain goalless. It hasn't been a bad game but after a fast start from Scotland, it has been all England, who will probably feel that they should be ahead.
Scotland are making a change ahead of the second half. James McCarthur has been introduced in place of James Morrison.
Scotland get us back underway.
Unlike the first half, it has been a very slow start to the second. England are being allowed to have possession in the middle of the pitch without any pressure being applied.
WOODWORK! England hit the woodwork. The initial shot was from Livermore but a massive deflection off his former Hull City teammate Robertson diverted the ball onto the post. England have other opportunities to take advantage of the rebound but Scotland survived, just.
England are back into their groove but should Scotland have been awarded a penalty? Griffiths got in front of Walker and went down, maybe a little too easily. Fortunately for England, the referee was in a good position to decide that it would have been harsh on the full-back.
CHANCE! A mistake at the back from England allows Griffiths to tee up Robertson on the edge of the penalty area. He should probably hit it first time but he decides to take a touch before lashing the ball over the crossbar. Big chance for Scotland.
SHOT! Another long-range effort for Scotland but Armstrong's shot goes the same way as Robertson's. Before that, Dier committed a late challenge up the other end of the pitch and is booked.
Without going over the top, England are on the rack here. The Scotland supporters have been encouraged by this spell from their side. Maybe they won't be content with a draw after all.
SUBSTITUTION! Southgate has seen enough. On comes Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain for Rashford, who hasn't had a great game.
SUBSTITUTION! Scotland follow suit with a change of their own with Ryan Fraser taking the place of Snodgrass.
CHANCE! Out of nothing, England almost take the lead. An excellent cross from Bertrand finds the head of Kane, but his header is superbly saved by Gordon.
GOAL! Scotland 0-1 England (Oxlade-Chamberlain)
England lead and it is the substitute Oxlade-Chamberlain! He makes the goal all on his own, cutting inside from the right, biding his time before finding the back of the net from 14 yards. However, it is a bad mistake from Gordon, who parried the ball into the roof of the net.
Based on the game in general, England probably deserve that. The goal came in fortuitous circumstances but England had improved after the winger's introduction. Scotland need to throw caution to the wind now.
CHANCE! Scotland look there for the taking. Oxlade-Chamberlain breezes past Brown before finding Lallana at the back post. Despite having a free header, he sent it over the crossbar. Big chance and big let-off for the home side.
Griffiths has just attempt a pot shot from distance but it was never going to trouble Hart. Scotland are going to need something special to get back into this match, you would think.
Final change for Scotland, with Chris Martin
coming on for Anya.
SUBSTITUTION! Southgate decides to inject even more pace in attack with Raheem Sterling coming on for Alli.
GOAL! Scotland 1-1 England (Griffiths)
Wow! What a way to score your first goal for your country. Scotland win a free kick around 25 yards out and Griffiths steps up to curl it into the corner. It wasn't right in the corner, but it was enough to beat Hart.
Scotland win another free kick in pretty much the same position...
GOAL! Scotland 2-1 England (Griffiths)
Same position. Different corner. Unbelievable. Hampden Park is rocking. There will be four minutes of added-on time.
GOAL! Scotland 2-2 England (Kane)
My word. I have few words. Dier sees a free kick saved by Gordon. Scotland fail to break. Sterling plays the most delicious of crosses to Kane at the back post and he volleys in. An outrageous finish to this match.
FULL TIME: Scotland 2-2 England
The full-time whistle goes at Hampden Park and we have ended on level terms. I'm not quite sure I have ever seen a conclusion like that. England will be relieved. Scotland and Gordon Strachan
will be heartbroken.
That will be all from Sports Mole for this game. We need some time to catch our breath! Thank you for joining us and we hope to see you again soon. Goodbye for now.