James Morrison: Scotland can 'capitalise' on England's weight of expectation

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James Morrison: Scotland can capitalise on England pressure
World Cup qualifying: Scotland v England
Venue: Hampden Park, Glasgow Date: Saturday, 10 June Kick-off: 17:00 BST
Coverage: Listen on BBC Radio Scotland, live text commentary on BBC Sport website

James Morrison believes Scotland can "capitalise" on England bearing the weight of expectation when the two sides meet at Hampden on Saturday.

England have not lost a qualifying match since 2009, but Morrison insists that record can work in Scotland's favour because they can play with freedom as underdogs.

"They expect to beat everyone, England," Morrison said.

"So maybe there's not that much pressure on us."

Scotland lost 3-0 at Wembley last November, but they won their last outing against Slovenia thanks to a late Chris Martin goal.

That win kept their slim qualifying hopes alive - with eight of the second-placed teams taking part in two-legged play-offs - and Morrison says the mood among the players is optimistic.

Scotland midfielder James Morrison
James Morrison scored the opening goal when Scotland lost 3-2 to England at Wembley in August 2013

"We're very confident," the 31-year-old midfielder said. "It's a game that we need to get a result out of.

"England are favourites, they've had terrific group stages of late. We'll just go about our business and take confidence from playing under pressure against Slovenia.

"We've got a record of putting on a performance against good teams at Hampden, [like] Spain, Germany, so that's another positive that we can take into it. You've got to put the work in, take the chances when they come and have the belief that we can do it.

"We saw in the last home fixture, the [fans] followed us right to the end and if you keep plugging away, it will come. Chris Martin showed that."

World Cup Qualifying Group F

Morrison says the players are becoming accustomed to playing an international fixture several weeks after the domestic campaign ended and that fitness and match sharpness will not be an issue.

"Our main focus is to start the week right, have a good week's training, get to know everybody again and go into the game full of confidence and looking forward to it," Morrison added.

"We've had a nice week's rest, so we're all raring to go. It's now back to business.

"It's always a massive fixture, it's always talked about. One of the highlights of my career [was scoring against England at Wembley in 2013], the ultimate buzz, and I'm looking forward to trying to emulate that."

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