International Football Friendlies

Image courtesy of www1.skysports.com
Wayne Rooney has been included in the England squad to face Scotland. Image courtesy of skysports.com
Traditional rivals England  and Scotland  will lock horns for the first time since 1999 when they do battle in an international friendly at Wembley on Thursday morning (AEST). With the match scheduled to take place less than 72 hours before the start of the English Premier League season, neither side is likely to go into the match with all guns blazing.

Manchester United winger Ashley Young has withdrawn from the England squad after missing Manchester United’s 2-0 victory over Wigan in the Community Shield on the weekend with an ankle, but several of his Red Devils teammates will figure for the Three Lions. Phil Jones, Michael Carrick, Tom Cleverley and Wilfried Zaha all started for United against the FA Cup winners and are part of the squad, as is Wayne Rooney. Rooney has figured just once in the pre-season under David Moyes but remains an integral part of Roy Hodgson’s England plans with the veteran manager having few options up front.

Scotland is out of contention for a place at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil having accrued just five points from seven qualifying matches, but will be up for this fixture against their fiercest rivals. Veteran striker Kenny Miller returns after missing his sides shock 1-0  victory against Croatia in June, but skipper Darren Fletcher and Sunderland striker Steven Fletcher are both unavailable through injury.

England is unbeaten in its past five matches and registered a draw  in Brazil the last time it was in action, while Frank Lampard struck the winner in his side’s 2-1  win over Brazil the last time they played at Wembley.

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