Scotland will raise their game against England, says Paul Lambert

Paul Lambert
Paul Lambert won 40 caps for Scotland but never faced England
World Cup qualifying: England v Scotland
Date: Friday, 11 November Venue: Wembley Kick-off: 19:45 GMT
Coverage: Listen on BBC 5live and Radio Scotland; live text commentary on BBC Sport website

Former Scotland captain Paul Lambert expects the national team to rise to the occasion in Friday's meeting with England at Wembley.

The Scots trail leaders England by three points in their World Cup qualifying group.

Lambert believes the pressure is on the hosts in the "unpredictable" fixture.

"I guarantee their performance level will raise because of the atmosphere and because of the game that they're playing in," said Lambert.

"I think it's going to be a lot closer than what people think. Scotland-England, in any sport, you're never quite sure.

James Morrison and Ross Barkley
England have won the last two meetings of the sides

"It's unpredictable because of the nature of the two countries. It's a huge game for Scotland, huge game for England. Anything can happen.

"[England interim manager] Gareth [Southgate] will know he cannot afford for Scotland to go down there and win. The pressure's all on England for this one.

"I'd love to see Scotland qualify for a major tournament because our country needs it - sooner rather than later.

"We've got a chance going down there."

'No regrets' over missing England tie

Lambert, then of Celtic, was out with concussion when Craig Brown's Scotland lost a Euro 2000 play-off to England 2-1 on aggregate in 1999.

But the former midfielder, who played in Scotland's last major tournament at the France 1998 World Cup, insists: "I don't have any regrets from my football career. I never do.

"Craig always says if I had played maybe [England's] Paul Scholes wouldn't have scored the two goals [at Hampden], which was a nice compliment."

'Impossible' for Strachan to keep everyone happy

Stoke City midfielder Charlie Adam expressed his frustration that his "face does not fit" with current Scotland coach Gordon Strachan, with the 30-year-old having not featured for the national team since last year.

But Lambert said: "It's really difficult for any manager to pick a squad and try and keep everybody happy. It's nigh on impossible. He's picked what he thinks is the best squad.

"Charlie's playing well with Stoke at the minute and Gordon's got a difficult job picking a certain amount of guys to come in. Whatever team Gordon picks on that night, you're hoping the whole country get behind the team."

Charlie Adam
Adam has won 26 caps but none since last year

Burke needs time

One player who could face against England is RB Leipzig's Oliver Burke but Lambert attempted to temper the expectations being placed on the 19-year-old winger.

"I think he's at a fabulous football club," said former Borussia Dortmund player Lambert.

"I was there a few months ago, looking at it. He's at a great club who are absolutely flying in the Bundesliga.

"He hasn't probably played as many games or many minutes as what he would like but I guarantee he's learning every time, every training, every day of life over there he'll be learning.

"He's a terrific talent but you can't rest everything on that young kid's shoulders.

"I keep reading those comparisons with [Wales and Real Madrid forward] Gareth Bale. I think they're slightly inaccurate.

"He's got a fabulous chance to be a great player at a really good club and he's a threat because of his speed and his power.

"People have to remember he's only a young player still learning."

Oliver Burke playing for Scotland against Lithuania
Teenager Burke already has four Scotland caps

Return to management

Lambert is back in management as Wolves head coach, having finished last season with Blackburn Rovers.

"I'm looking forward to it," he said of his move to Molineux.

"I had opportunities but it just feels right. Great club, great history attached to it, terrific facilities. Big fan base, which is something I always think is important.

"I never put a target on anything. This is the right moment to come back in."

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