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Skipper wants favour from Auld Enemy to help Scots

By Ronnie Esplin

Scotland skipper Scott Brown "would love" England to give the Scots a helping World Cup hand by beating Slovakia. Gordon Strachan's side were given fresh hope of reaching Russia next summer with a convincing 3-0 win in Lithuania on Friday night.

With three Group F fixtures remaining, the third-placed Scots are six points behind leaders England and four behind Slovakia, with both those sides playing at Wembley tonight when Malta visit Hampden Park.

A win for the Auld Enemy against Slovakia, assuming Scotland take care of the group's bottom side, would leave Strachan's side relishing the visit of the Slovaks in October before the Scots go to Slovenia for the final game.

Asked if he expected England to win against Slovakia, the Celtic midfielder said: "I would love them to. If it helps us then I would definitely take that, yes.

"England are a great team, here's hoping they can do us a favour."

Meanwhile, Gordon Strachan believes he and his Scotland side have "dragged ourselves out of the bad place" as they battle with renewed hope for a place in the 2018 World Cup finals.

The Scots moved into third place in Group F on Friday evening with a convincing 3-0 win in Lithuania, ahead of their home game against minnows Malta on Monday night.

With three fixtures remaining, Strachan's side are six points behind England and four behind Slovakia, who meet at Wembley in their next fixture.

Scotland are unbeaten in their last three qualifiers and still probably need three wins from their last group games to grab a play-off spot.

  • Scotland v Malta, World Cup Group F qualifier, Hampden Park, Tonight, 7.45pm

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