Roy Hodgson will take the English national team north of the border for the first time in 15 years this fall.
After the roaring success of England’s 3-2 friendly win over Scotland at Wembley last August, the two oldest national teams in world soccer will square off on November 18 at Celtic Park in Glasgow.
Passion. Pride. Rivalry. This will not be a friendly by any stretch of the imagination.
England and Scotland had gone 14 years without playing each other up until last August with the two neighbors battled it out at Wembley. Scotland took shock leads as thousands of the Tartan Army sensed an upset in the air. However Gordon Strachan’s men succumbed to Rickie Lambert’s late header which gave England the win. The friendly turned out to be a great occasion as the intensity of a tournament game made it into a real spectacle.
Fans in both nations will be looking forward to this latest friendly, as the oldest international rivalry in history (they first played in 1872, the first official match between two different countries) is renewed.
The last time England traveled to Scotland they played the ‘Auld Enemy’ at Hampden Park where Paul Scholes scored twice in a 2-0 win for the English back in 1999. That was a European Championship play off match, but expect this friendly in November to be just as rowdy.
With the U.S. set to travel to Ireland and play the Republic on the same day, there will be plenty of top international soccer on show in the UK and Ireland in November. It’s like the World Cup all over again.
Also, the fact that this match will be played on November 18 is huge. Exactly two months before that, on September 18, Scotland will go to referendum and vote on whether or not to end a 300-year union with England and become an independent nation.
Depending on the outcome, that should add some extra spice to this already feisty friendly.