BETTING: England backed to score first against Scotland, but a draw could be on the cards

England manager Gareth Southgate.

England manager Gareth Southgate.

According to Graeme Souness, who played in six such fixtures, matches between England and Scotland resemble fierce league derbies with neither side having much time on the ball and space being at a premium.

This would suggest that they produce plenty of stalemates and while historically they have, according to the match stats team at bettingexpert.com only one of the pair’s last ten meetings has ended with honours even.

Taking note of this tendency for this fixture to yield decisive results, Bwin chalk a massive 4/1 against tonight’s World Cup qualifier ending all-square; the Scots are 19/2 to win (Unibet), while England are best-priced at 2/5 (Betway) to secure three points.

England came from behind to win 3-2 the last time the teams met at Wembley in August 2013, and punters anticipating a similar scenario tonight can get an attractive 11/1 (Coral) against the home side going behind but eventually securing a maximum haul.

However, most backers expect Gareth Southgate’s charges to open the scoring (4/11, Marathonbet), although as it’s likely to be very tight, William Hill’s 13/2 for the game’s first goal to arrive between the 46th and 60th minute is attractive enough to warrant a modest punt. Less precise folks may prefer 888sport’s 21/20 for the second period to be the contest’s highest-scoring half.

All nations raise their game when playing England, but none more so than the Scots, so punters expecting a close encounter might be surprised to see Gordon Strachan’s men priced at 11/5 to win (Matchbook.com) when handed the benefit of a one-goal start. In other markets, England are 8/11 (10bet) to retain a clean sheet and 13/5 (Skybet) to emerge victorious following a drawn first period.

The pair’s first duel took place almost 144 years ago, a match that ended goalless and backing a 0-0 in any derby fixture, especially one likely to be quite feisty, always makes good sense. 188bet offer 10/1 against it finishing goalless tonight, although the two most popular results in the correct score markets are a 1-0 home win (5/1, Ladbrokes) and a 2-0 England victory (also 5/1, Paddy Power).

Odds supplied by www.smartbets.com, the customisable odds comparison site.