Leading Article: A fine goal

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NOTHING LIKE it, is there? England against Scotland, the Island Derby, has always been, as we say in the beautiful game, a bit special. Each side has its memories: those three goals, say, from Greaves in the English total of nine in 1961; or, the year after England's 1966 triumph at Wembley, Slim Jim Baxter giving the world champions tremendous grief and the Scots almost as much pleasure as Diego Maradona's handy little goal in the 1986 World Cup, or David Batty's first-ever penalty attempt in July 1998. Only joking. We think.

Passions, as we also say a lot, have always run high. Tartan armies bravehearting, St George rampant, broken goalposts and assorted body parts. All these things, combined with a heavy fixture list and English hubris, ended the annual meeting 10 years ago, leaving a sense of frustration that led directly to the Tory debacle in the last election and devolution. Only joking. We think.

Now a little bit of luck, which should not detract from a tremendous Swedish performance, has brought us two games in five days, and great cross-border gaiety. So why not reinstate the fixture, subject to good behaviour today and next Wednesday?

As for the outcome of the titanic tussle, we will follow the excellent counsel of the great Paul "Gazza" Gascoigne: "I never predict anything and I never will do."

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