Raheem Sterling says England vs Scotland is just 'another game'

The Group D rivals meet at Wembley as England aim to follow up their win over Croatia with another three points; Scotland look to recover from a 2-0 loss to the Czech Republic; despite being the oldest international rivalry, Raheem Sterling is keen to focus on the present

Raheem Sterling is trying not to get caught up in the international rivalry England have with Scotland
Image: Raheem Sterling is trying not to get caught up in the international rivalry England have with Scotland

Anticipation may be building ahead of England's Euro 2020 clash with Scotland on Friday night but for Raheem Sterling, the fixture is just "another game".

The Group D rivals meet at Wembley as England aim to follow up their win over Croatia with another three points, while Scotland look to recover from a 2-0 loss to the Czech Republic.

While the match will have ramifications for the hopes of both nations at the finals, it is also a contest steeped in the context of being the oldest international rivalry.

But Sterling, who scored the only goal of the game as England secured victory over Croatia on Sunday, is keen to focus on the present.

"For me, it is going to be another game," he told the Official England Podcast.

"Of course, there is history but at the same time, in football you can't get too drawn into the history, you have got to be focused on the task ahead and the task ahead is to get three points.

"We can't be going in there fighting old battles, we've got to be really concentrated. We know it's going to be a difficult one but we can't get drawn into what the outside world is making of it."

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England captain Harry Kane

Why Kane's role is perfect for England

By Adam Bate

Two games into the World Cup in 2018, Harry Kane had scored five goals and picked up the man of the match award in both games. It transpired that he could have packed his bags and taken the next flight out of Russia and still won the Golden Boot as top scorer.

Three years on and England are celebrating their first-ever win in the opening game of a European Championships, after doing what they failed to do in Moscow by beating Croatia. But the acclaim is heading in the direction of everyone other than the England captain.

There can be no denying that Kane was quiet on Sunday. That is the view here and on the continent - La Gazzetta dello Sport claiming that he was not at his usual standard. One attempt and 26 touches - the fewest of any England starter - supports that argument.

There was even a strange passage of play in the second half when Kane seemed set to shoot from the edge of the box only to go for an ambitious pass instead. In that moment, the striker sometimes styled as selfish seemed set on a very different role.

As Jamie Carragher puts it, Kane wants to be Teddy Sheringham not Alan Shearer. He has scored only twice in 10 England games.

Perhaps it is unfashionable to take the view that Gareth Southgate knows best, particularly in the frenzied atmosphere that surrounds a major tournament, when the scrutiny is at its height. But it might just be true to say that Kane understands his role in this team.

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