Celtic captain Callum McGregor will go through excellent preparation for the Bhoys’ upcoming Champions League group stage with an appearance for Scotland on Tuesday night.
Scotland face off in a ‘friendly’ against England at Hampden Park but, as we know, it’s likely to be a fiercely contested battle between two teams eager to come out on top as victors.
England manager Gareth Southgate has promised he’ll be fielding a strong team for the encounter and so McGregor will be going up against some of the most expensive midfielders in world football.
Southgate said [BBC]: “The first thing is we can’t fiddle around with the team because we are playing a top-level team that will give us a high-level challenge. We can’t be experimental because that would be ridiculous. We have to find the right balance of physical freshness, finding out about some players, winning, playing well, the usual things we expect of us.
“It’s a really good test for us as a team and you learn a lot about the group and the individuals playing a high-level opponent in a really intimidating atmosphere.
“These are the sort of matches that have been important in our progress and it’s a challenge we have to head towards, walk into and relish the game. We have huge ambitions as a team but we have a lot of work to do. The tempo of the game will be high, we’re prepared for that and have to make sure we are very good versions of ourselves.”
Declan Rice, Jude Bellingham and Jordan Henderson were amongst the starters for England at the weekend, with Southgate also able to call on the likes of Conor Gallagher, James Maddison and Phil Foden.
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McGregor will have his work cut out and it’ll be a huge step up in competition from the teams he has played for club and country so far this season. But that could be exactly what he needs.
Celtic play Feyenoord in just over a week’s time and also have matches against Lazio and Atletico Madrid on the horizon. We need our players to be able to compete at that level, so tomorrow night will serve as a fine reminder for our captain.
The match is live on the free-to-air Channel 4 in the UK and will kick-off at 7:45pm on Tuesday 12th September.