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England v Scotland Bet Builder: Back Three Lions to keep things tight

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England take on Scotland at Wembley Stadium on Friday in a 8pm kick-off.

The Three Lions are in a strong position in Group D having beaten Croatia on Sunday, whereas the Tartan Army will be desperate to avoid another defeat having already lost to Czech Republic.

England are heavily odds-on 2/7 favourites to win the match, with the draw 19/4 and a Scotland win 10/1.

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Given that Gareth Southgate’s side have won seven matches in a row – conceding only one goal during that run – I can’t see beyond them beating Scotland.

England’s degree of control against Croatia was impressive, and while it may prove harder to continue that given the levels of hype around playing a British rival, I just think they’ve got too much quality.

Scotland weren’t bad at all against Czech Rep, in fairness, dominating the expected goals count, but they won’t find chances as easy to come by against England even if Kieran Tierney’s probable return will be a major boost for them.

You know cards have been hard to come by at this tournament when even Antonio Mateu Lahoz is dishing out none in his first game in charge (Belgium v Russia), but 13 of England’s last 14 opponents have received a card and I expect that trend to continue against the pumped up Scots.

Lastly, England have had 4+ corners in 11 of their last 12 matches and I expect them to dominate possession against Scotland, so this completes our Bet Builder.

Rumours are that Reece James and Luke Shaw will come into the side at full-back which should see them play with much more width than against Croatia, when Kyle Walker and Kieran Trippier were clearly instructed to stay deep.

If you’re looking for a bit more juice, England to win, BTTS – NO, 1+ card each team, 4+ England corners & Under 6 Goals for England is 3/1.

England only scored five against San Marino this recently so there’s no way they’re putting six past Scotland.

As you may have noticed from the above pictures, bet365 are offering another £5 free bet for this game (as are Paddy Power and Sky Bet, although you have to stake 5p or more on this game to receive the latter), so it would be rude not to have a few longshots.

With Paddy Power I’m opting for England to win and John McGinn & Kalvin Phillips to be carded at 20/1.

Phillips made three fouls against Croatia and was carded 10 times for Leeds last season, with McGinn and Stuart Armstrong likely to pose a threat in transition in the middle of the park.

No Premier League player was booked more times than McGinn’s tally of 12 for Aston Villa last season, meanwhile, and he’ll be fired up against his club team-mates Tyrone Mings and Jack Grealish.

I’d love to see Grealish start but I’m not convinced he will. If he does then Stephen O’Donnell looks a good price for a card at 7/2 with bet365 and will be worth chucking into a Bet Builder.

The Motherwell full-back looked out of his depth against the Czechs; even without Grealish on the pitch, he could still struggle to contain the likes of Raheem Sterling and Phil Foden, especially having received plenty of negative press in recent days.

I’m expecting McGinn and Scott McTominay to be fired up in the middle of the park and am quite keen on both making Over 1.5 Tackles. Both players averaged 1.6 in the PL last season, with McTominay making two against the Czechs and McGinn making one, but they’ll be off the ball more frequently here.

Lastly, Harry Kane will be desperate to open his account for the tournament after missing a couple of decent chances against Croatia, so backing him to score or have 2+ shots on target gives us a nice 22/1 shot. I’ll be waiting for team news before placing this bet, though, personally.

With Sky Bet, I’m delving into their combined player tackle multiples for the first time this tournament. There’s a few nice options so take your pick, really, but I like the look of McGinn, McTominay, Phillips and Declan Rice to make 18+ between them at 100/1.

Alternatively, John Stones to score a header as a 20/1 boost also looks good given the amount of set-pieces England are likely to have. He scored two at the last World Cup and four for Man City last season.

Selections:

England to win, 4+ England corners & 1+ Scotland card @ 4/5 (bet365)

England to win, BTTS No, 4+ England corners, 1+ card each & 8+ England free-kicks @ 3/1 (bet365)

Paddy Power £5 free bet: England to win, McGinn & Phillips to be carded @ 20/1

bet365 free 5 bet: O’Donnell to be booked, McTominay & McGinn 2+ tackles each & Kane 2+ shots on target @ 22/1

SkyBet £5 free bet: McGinn, McTominay, Rice & Phillips 18+ tackles combined @ 100/1

I'm a freelance sports journalist who has worked for Goal & Bleacher Report amongst others. Get in touch, you're more than welcome to do so via Twitter or contact me via email .

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