IT’S easy to look back at previous Scotland v England meetings at Hampden Park and be swept away on a tide of nostalgia.
You can’t blame the Tartan Army for loving tales of swashbuckling teams in dark blue that swept aside the Auld Enemy.
There have been some fantastic games between the great rivals over the years – but I won’t mind if Saturday’s World Cup qualifier is far from a classic.
This is a game where the result is the be-all and end-all for Scotland.
It isn’t a game where you go out and try to entertain.
It’s a game where you go out to win, and to do that you have to get things right tactically.
Gordon Strachan’s future as Scotland manager will be decided by the outcome.
He needs a victory to keep his job.
That certainly won’t be easy because, although England don’t always perform as well as they should, they have a better squad than Scotland.
They will look at this as a chance to get their form going by using the intense rivalry that exists between the countries.
I’ve had another look at the Scotland squad and I’m still surprised that Celtic’s Callum McGregor isn’t there.
After the outstanding domestic season Celtic have had, I’d have picked as many of their players as possible.
The strange thing is that he appeared to be left out in favour of Kenny McLean of Aberdeen – who was subsequently cut from the group.
In addition to that, Steven Fletcher dropped out through injury.
That was disappointing as he was in his best form for some time and had previously been picked to play when he wasn’t performing too well.
I always believe it’s crucial to have a goalscorer who is on from. I know from my own career that players tend to get goals in patches.
You feel supremely confident of scoring during those periods, so Fletcher will be missed.
But, those misgivings aside, here’s how I think Scotland can pull off a famous victory.
They have to respect the talent at Gareth Southgate’s disposal and field three centre-backs.
I would play Stephen Kingsley, Russell Martin and Charlie Mulgrew.
Kieran Tierney, assuming he is fit, would again occupy the right wing-back role, with Andy Robertson on the left.
Then I’d like to see a midfield three of Stuart Armstrong, Scott Brown and James Morrison.
Further forward, Robert Snodgrass should get a free role playing just behind Leigh Griffiths.
First and foremost, I would be looking to keep things tight at the start of the match.
We need the three centre-backs to cope with the threat of Vardy and Kane, supported by Dele Alli bursting through from midfield.
The team I’ve selected would be able to attack on the break, with the two full-backs playing like wingers.
We have midfield players who are capable of getting goals, and livewire attackers in Snodgrass and Griffiths.
The system gives defensive strength to counteract England, combined with good attacking options.
Some people will baulk at the idea of playing in manner you would normally associate with an away performance.
They would rather see Scotland seizing the initiative at home and getting stuck into the visitors.
Sadly, those days are gone.
These days we need to be pragmatic and patient when playing major nations.
I feel that if Gordon Strachan gets the tactics right, then he can get the victory that could transform his future.