Scotland vs England: greatest-ever starting line-up
Frank Monkhouse | 12 June 2017
Coral pick the best combined XI of all time
It’s no secret that England and Scotland are not exactly friends, with the two sharing a healthy rivalry stretching back over a century. The lastest clash saw the Auld Enemies draw 2-2 at Hampden Park to keep things interesting in World Cup 2018 Qualifying Group F, with an adrenaline-filled last 10 minutes which will be remembered for some time.
Scotland look to be reducing the gap in quality between themselves and England and that got us thinking – what would a combined XI look like?
Coral’s football team look back on some of the greatest players ever to represent the rivals. Below you’ll find our combined XI, mixing the best talent from north and south of the border. It was no easy task, and is sure to cause debate on both sides. Let us know in the comments section at the bottom of this page if we’ve got it right, or who you believe deserves a place.
Goalkeeper: Gordon Banks (England)
The toughest part about filling the number one jersey was picking which England player to do it. The Three Lions have had an abundance of talent between the sticks over the years, and we start off with a bold call, but Banks deserves his spot. We’re going with the World Cup winner.
Defender: Sandy Jardine (Scotland)
A regular, reliable and supremely talented right back, Jardine was a permanent fixture for the Scots in the 1970s and a star of the show at the World Cup in West Germany. Part of one of the most exciting Scotland sides there has been.
Defender: Bobby Moore (England)
We don’t need to explain this one to any football fan with knowledge of the game. Moore was a legend, and could walk into any England team throughout history. The London-born defender was captain of the 66 World Cup winning team, and would wear the armband for us here.
Defender: Terry Butcher (England)
An old-fashioned defender, Butcher was as brave as they come, putting his body on the line for the cause. There’s no lack of competition for the CB spot alongside Moore, but we love Butcher’s fighting spirit and the footballing hard man completes a fearsome pair at the back.
Defender: Danny McGrain (Scotland)
From the guts of Butcher to the class of McGrain. Like Jardine on the other side, McGrain was a joy for the Tartan Army during the 70s, and also made a major impression in West Germany. Takes pride of place in the Scotland team hall of fame, and those who saw the Celtic man play wouldn’t argue.
Midfielder: Jimmy Johnstone (Scotland)
Jinky strolls into this team as one of the most talented players ever to come out of football in Britain. Didn’t play as much for Scotland as he would’ve liked, but was a European Cup winner with Celtic. A scoring midfielder who could open-up defences, he made as many headlines off the park as on it.
Midfielder: Bobby Charlton (England)
Another for England who needs no introduction, and although competition for places in our three-man midfield is tight, it’s a battle for two spots, as there’s no denying Charlton. Another World Cup winner, he was a leading scorer for both club and country.
Midfielder: Paul Gascoigne (England)
A flawed genius, on the field of play there really is no doubt Gazza could’ve held his own in any era. Fans loved him, he could turn a game on its head in the blink of an eye, and scored some memorable goals too, not least that stunner against Scotland in Euro ’96. What a player!
Forward: Kenny Dalglish (Scotland)
If the midfield had us scratching our heads, the attack was nigh on impossible, although King Kenny was the first name on the team sheet. Scored the winning goal against England at Hampden, and rates as, arguably, Scotland’s top boy. The Tartan Army could do with a man of his quality on Saturday.
Forward: Denis Law (Scotland)
An out-and-out goal scorer for club and country, Law gets the nod ahead of some famous faces. He goes as a legend north of the border for that winning goal against the World Cup champions at Wembley. Crossed the Manchester divide at club level, but The Lawman was a great at United, winning the Ballon d’Or in 1964.
Forward: Wayne Rooney (England)
Sure to cause an uproar, we chopped and changed between Rooney and Lineker, but in the end you’ve got to have a record goal scorer in your team. Sets the bar for both Man Utd and England, and after knocking back Ireland – calling himself English through and through – he became the youngest man ever to play for England. One of many records set during his career.
Let us know who YOU think should be in the line-up by leaving a comment, or tweet us @Coral.