Scotland vs England Prediction: Ford to keep England in the hunt

 | February 24 | 

3 mins read

Alex Cox Rugby Union

This afternoon Scotland ‘welcome’ their English rivals to Murrayfield, as they attempt to make it four wins a row against England. But for a stray French boot, this game could well have been played by two unbeaten sides in their Six Nations campaign, but instead it’s England that have won both their games and are still in the hunt for an unlikely Grand Slam.

Scotland have certainly played well at times in both of their games against Wales and Scotland but they have also demonstrated they can go missing and mentally switch-off. They will be keen to answer their critics at Murrayfield this week and get back on track in this Six Nations campaign.

Standing in their way, however, is an England side that have won eight of their last nine Test matches, with their only loss being the narrow loss to the Springboks in the World Cup Semi-Final. At times under Borthwick, England’s playing style has been questioned, but one cannot deny that England have found ways of winning when their backs have been against the wall.

Scotland vs England Tips

  • England +4.5 @ 4/5

Team News

Townsend has made three changes to the side that faced France two weeks ago – one in the forwards and two in the backs. Up front for the Scot’s will be Schoeman, Turner and Fagerson, with Gilchrist and Cummings rounding off the front 5. Ritchie is the only change to the pack, who returns to the starting XV after being dropped vs France. He will be partnered in the back row by co-captain Darge and Dempsey.

Out in the backs, White and Russell continue as the half backs, with Tuipolutu and Jones continuing their impressive partnership in midfield. There are two changes to the back-three, with Steyn replacing Rowe on the right wing and Kinghorn starts instead of youngster Patterson at full-back. Finally Van de Merwe will be on the left wing and England will certainly want to restrict his time on the ball.

Borthwick has made a few more changes than the Scot’s – with 5 changes from their win vs Wales. There are two changes to the front row with Genge and Cole named as props, with captain George in at Hooker between them. Chessum and Itoje continue at Lock, with George Martin back on the bench ready to make an impact in the second half. Roots, Underhill and Earl are the back row once again.

With Mitchell injured, Danny Care starts at nine with Ford outside him. Dingwall, despite impressing in his first two Test starts, falls out of the 23 to make way for the returning cannonball Lawrence, with Slade joining him in the midfield. Daly and Freeman are on the wings again, but the most controversial change is Furbank at full-back over the aerially dominant Steward. Perhaps a sign of attacking intent from Borthwick..

England +4.5 @ 4/5

Scotland are breathtaking to watch when they are in full-flow and Russell has quick ball, but their lack of composure in big moments have cost them and I think we could well see a repeat of that at Murrayfield today.

As an underdog – which England are today – Borthwick’s team seem to thrive and find another gear. I think they will frustrate Scotland and be competitive right up to the final stages, and in those big moments George Ford is someone that has produced time and again.

England +4.5 v Scotland at 4-5

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