Bill Edgar: How England are on a 13-year winning run and why Scotland should be optimistic
Times journalist Bill Edgar returns for a statistical look at the upcoming Nations League matches alighting on England and Scotland with a look at Germany v France, too...
"England have won their first game in September for 13 years in a row, scoring 41 goals and conceding just once, the latter goal a late reply by Slovenia in a 2-1 victory at Wembley in 2009."
England's early-season excellence
Gareth Southgate's England face Spain in their opening Nations League match this Saturday having enjoyed remarkable success at this time of year in the recent past. England have won their first game in September for 13 years in a row, scoring 41 goals and conceding just once, the latter goal a late reply by Slovenia in a 2-1 victory at Wembley in 2009. However, the Spanish represent a big threat to that sequence, with Gareth Southgate's team [2.88] to win the match at Wembley.
Scots on the up
Scotland will play their first Nations Cup match against Albania on Monday hoping to continue their recent improvement. Their results in their past two qualifying campaigns have been a step up from their previous three efforts, as the graphic shows. The presence in their squad of a player each from Liverpool and Manchester United - Andy Robertson and Scott McTominay - is a good sign.
Managing to keep their jobs
Germany and France - the past two World Cup winners - will meet in the Nations League in Munich on Thursday night in a fixture that will pit the two countries' longest-serving managers against each other. Didier Deschamps has led France in 83 games since 2012 while Joachim Löw has recorded almost double that figure, 165, while in charge of Germany since 2006. France, playing their first match since their 4-2 triumph over Croatia in the World Cup final in Moscow, are [3.0] on the Betfair Exchange to win in Munich.