Scots are massive underdogs – Mulgrew

Charlie Mulgrew celebrates Scotland's win over Slovenia with James Forrest
World Cup qualifier: 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

Scotland defender Charlie Mulgrew says the hosts are ready to take on England despite being “massive underdogs” for Saturday’s World Cup qualifier.

The Scots have won only one of their last 10 meetings – and lost the return fixture 3-0 at Wembley in November.

But Mulgrew insists the Scots are “feeling good” after some hard training sessions before the Hampden Park match.

“It is a huge challenge ahead, England are a great team and we will be massive underdogs,” said the Blackburn player.

“They are a top side. Every one of their players are world class and it is going to be difficult for us, but we are up for it and we will be ready for it when the game comes.

“I think everyone in the squad has confidence in their ability and that shows out there in training.

“The standard is very high, the tempo is very high. Everyone is buzzing. It is going to be a very difficult game, but it is one as a player you want to be involved in.”

Scotland v England – last six meetings
Nov 2016: England 3-0 Scotland (WCQ) Nov 1999: England 0-1 Scotland (ECQ)
Nov 2014: Scotland 1-3 England (F) Nov 1999: Scotland 0-2 England (ECQ)
Aug 2013: England 3-2 Scotland (F) Jun 1996: England 2-0 Scotland (EC)

Scotland have not beaten England at home since 1985. Their only victory over the past 31 years was a 1-0 win at Wembley in 1999, which was not enough to overturn a 2-0 first-leg loss in a play-off for the 2000 European Championships.

“I remember Don Hutchison scoring at Wembley [in 1999] and I remember Euro 96 with Gazza [Paul Gascoigne] scoring that goal and doing the celebration,” said 31-year-old Mulgrew.

“It is something I have grown up thinking about, playing in these type of games. You probably never think it is going to happen, but I am delighted to be here and have a chance of being involved.”

Don Hutchison rises to head home Scotland's winner against England in 1999<!–

Mulgrew, who admits he is “not sure yet” if he will stay at Blackburn next season following their relegation from the English Championship, says Scotland were “very unlucky” in their 3-0 defeat at Wembley in November.

The former Celtic player returned to the side for their last qualifier, playing at centre-back alongside Russell Martin in the 1-0 win over Slovenia at Hampden.

He believes the presence of six of his old club-mates, including captain Scott Brown, is “really beneficial” to Scotland’s cause, fuelled by Celtic’s treble-winning campaign and a 47-match unbeaten domestic run.

“You could see it in their performances against Slovenia and the improvement Brendan Rodgers has made to a lot of their players,” Mulgrew noted.

“Scott’s a great player to have in the squad and gives everyone a lift. He is getting fitter all the time and he knows age is only a number. He is looking the best I have seen him.”

Scotland trail group leaders England by six points, and are two points adrift of second-placed Slovakia, with four more qualifiers left after Saturday’s game.

There are nine European qualifying groups with each winner reaching next year’s finals while the eight runners-up with the best record go into a play-off with the four victors also going to Russia.

World Cup Qualifying Group F<!–

Latest Stories, Video, and Commentary about England | BBC