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Summary

  1. World Cup qualifying Group F
  2. England v Scotland (19:45 GMT)
  3. England top table, Scotland are fourth
  4. 'The focus has been tremendous' - Gordon Strachan

Live Reporting

By Keir Murray and Thomas McGuigan

All times stated are UK

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Griffiths and Anya to start?

Former Scotland striker Steven Thompson has speaking live on our Facebook page from Wembley and expects that Celtic's Leigh Griffiths will be preferred up front to Chris Martin up front, despite the latter scoring four goals in the last six games for Fulham.

He also would not be surprised if Ikechi Anya is a surprise pick at right-back to negate the pace of Rahim Sterling, while Lee Wallace getting the nod on the left.

Leigh Griffiths celebrates with Celtic
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Leigh Griffiths is a favourite to start for Scotland

Thompson thinks Robert Snodgrass will be on the wing for Scotland after his return from injury with Hull City, but he doubts that Oliver Burke will start.

The striker, unfortunately for us, predicts a 3-1 win for England.

Scotland's Ikechi Anya
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Ikechi Anya is in line for a surprise start at Wembley

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Murray expects 'exciting' England-Scotland match
World number one tennis player Andy Murray expects an "exciting match" when England play Scotland at Wembley in Friday's 2018 World Cup qualifier.

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England captain Wayne Rooney and interim manager Gareth Southgate

Alan Shearer

Match of the Day pundit

Former Three Lions captain and MOTD pundit Alan Shearer on why he stopped presuming England will win games a long time ago.

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Murray's fears for Wembley

The Scotland camp had been hopeful that Andy Murray would be at Wembley tonight, with some calling for him to even be given the job of making the team talk.

But the Scot's presence was always unlikely considering he is preparing for the ATP World Tour Finals, which start on Sunday, when he will be battling to protect his new status as world number one.

He will be there in spirit, though, and brother Jamie and their dad will be at the match.

"It should be a good atmosphere," said Andy. "I'd imagine it will be a pretty exciting match.

"It would be a great effort if Scotland won, but I don't see it.

“I mean - England at home, especially England at qualifiers tend to be very strong.

"They've not even conceded a goal yet and Scotland haven't been playing that well.

"But, if they can get a win, that maybe changes their fortunes around and maybe they can go on a run after that." 

Andy Murray at the World Tour Finals media conference
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Choose your Scotland XI

Trafalgar Square 1977

Scotland fans gather at Trafalgar Square in 1977 ahead of the 2-1 win over England
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Scotland fans gather at Trafalgar Square in 1977 ahead of the 2-1 win over England

Who will line up for Scotland?

Richard Wilson

BBC Scotland in London

The squad that Gordon Strachan selected for the visit to Wembley was typically familiar. The return from a brief international retirement of Scott Brown was the standout inclusion, and his place in the starting line-up is all but guaranteed.

There are other players more than likely to start, since Strachan has shown faith in David Marshall, Russell Martin, Grant Hanley, Darren Fletcher and Robert Snodgrass. All would be expected to take to the field against England, but there are other areas where decisions need to be made.

Callum Paterson has become the starting right-back, although defensively he can be suspect at times, but at left back Strachan must choose between the experience of Lee Wallace and the fact that Stephen Kingsley plays in the Premier League for Swansea. It is a tough call, but Wallace’s cool head may see him chosen ahead of Kingsley

In central midfield, the obvious trio is Brown, Fletcher and James McArthur, who has been in such impressive, and goalscoring, form for Crystal Palace.

With Snodgrass on one flank, Strachan must choose between the passing guile of Matt Ritchie, the pace of James Forrest and the clever movement of James Morrison for the other wing. Ritchie has been in fine form in the Championship for Newcastle, both in terms of scoring and creating goals, and may well be chosen ahead of the rest with the challenge of atoning for his poor displays against Lithuania and Slovakia.

Up front, the decision is to be made between the strength and hold-up play of Chris Martin or Steven Fletcher and the goalscoring instincts of Leigh Griffiths. Scotland will sit deep against England, so Griffiths’ pace would be an asset in pushing the England backline deeper, but Strachan has always tended towards a physical centre-forward, and Martin has been scoring recently for Fulham.

So a likely line-up is: Marshall; Paterson, R Martin, Hanley, Wallace; Brown, McArthur, Fletcher; Ritchie, Snodgrass; C Martin. 

Otherwise, Strachan would be using this vital game to suddenly become radical.

Choose your Scotland starting XI.

James McArthur celebrates scoring for Scotland against Lithuania in last month's World Cup qualifier
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James McArthur celebrates scoring for Scotland against Lithuania in last month's World Cup qualifier

What's Kieran's Scotland score prediction?

Scotland's pink kit and other unlucky strips
Scotland have to play in their pink away strip against England on Friday, which many have labelled as unlucky, but is there really such a thing as an cursed kit?

Can Scotland scale their Everest?

Tom English

BBC Sport Scotland in London

Scotland desperately need a win tonight - to revive the qualification campaign, to save the manager's bacon, to bring back some long-lost feelgood to the national team.

The chances? Scotland are friendless in the betting market. The bookmakers have them at 10-1 to win and it's fair to say that none of the odds-layers are being knocked over in a rush of punters wanting to lump on Gordon Strachan's team. If you fancy a repeat of Wembley 1999 - 1-0 Scotland - you can have 20-1. Generous odds, but business is not exactly brisk.

It's not hard to see why. Scotland's last truly meaningful win away from home in a qualifying campaign was against France in September 2007 - the James McFadden game. Sure, they beat Croatia in Croatia in 2013 but the campaign was already a busted flush by then. It was a terrific victory, but it didn't mean anything in a wider sense. So it's nine years since they pulled off of a howitzer result of the kind they're looking for this evening.

Since that famous night in Paris? Forty one qualifying games - home and away - and only 14 wins. Twenty one of the 41 were away from home and Scotland won only six of them - against Iceland, Liechtenstein, Croatia, Macedonia, Gibraltar and Malta.

That's not what you might call stellar. Factor in that England have not lost a home qualifier in nine years and you appreciate what kind of challenge is facing Scotland at Wembley. To borrow a line from the great Scottish rugby coach, Jim Telfer: This is your Everest, boys.

James McFadden celebrates his stunning winning goal against France in 2007
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James McFadden celebrates his stunning winning goal against France in 2007

Doo boy at Trafalgar Square, 1981

This fan was photographed before Scotland's 1-0 win over England in May 1981. We think he might have been supporting Scotland.

May 1981: Scotland fan at Trafalgar Square
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It's an omen, surely

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