England have star quality from Chelsea to Liverpool at their disposal – but it all goes out the window when they meet Scotland according to Emile Heskey.
The English football legend appeared at several major tournaments for England during a playing career that had him turn out for the likes of Liverpool in the Premier League. He’ll be cheering on ‘The Auld Enemy’ on Friday as England face Scotland at Wembley in the second Group D match at Euro 2020.
Scotland need a positive result after an opening 2-0 defeat to Czech Republic. Speaking to NTOF, Heskey believes Scotland have to take care of England’s right-back slot to increase chances of victory, Liverpool star Trent Alexander-Arnold’s miss covered by Chelsea man Reece James, Manchester City’s Kyle Walker and Atletico Madrid’s Kieran Trippier.
The 62-cap former striker said: “We are so blessed at right-back. We have Trent Alexander-Arnold but then you have Kyle Walker, who has won the Premier League with Man City. Then you look at Kieran Trippier, who has won La Liga in Madrid. Then you have Reece James, who has won the Champions League with Chelsea.
“Walker can play centre-back and Reece James can play centre-back and midfield. That versatility puts them ahead of everyone else. Sometimes people forget that as a manager, you can have problems in the one position.
“Someone had to miss out and sadly it’s Trent. I think Reece James is ahead of him. Kyle Walker is ahead of him too because you can then pick more players going forward.”
Heskey featured the last time Scotland won on English soil, A 1-0 win in 1999 under Craig Brown. The former Liverpool and England striker knows it’ll be intense on Friday: “I think it is going to be a huge game. I played in the game against Scotland where we lost 1-0 because of Don Hutchinson’s header.
“They are fierce games and they are the ones you want to play in. There is a lot riding on the game. You need to thrive off the pressure. There’s no bigger game than England v Scotland. Regardless of tactics, stats etc, it all goes out the window. It’s pride at stake. When we played Scotland at Wembley, we thought we would outrun Scotland.
“We lost 1-0. You can’t be complacent. Scotland will come out and fight, play their skins out, and want to win the game. It means so much, and regardless of who the best players are, Scotland will play their skins out. I think Scotland can build on Steve Clarke’s rigid system. I am all for that at times.”
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