Both sides will also face Slovakia, Slovenia, Lithuania and Malta in Group F.
Uefa has requested that England, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the Netherlands take part in six-team groups because of TV rights deals. Unlike previous qualifying tournaments where the fixtures were pre-determined, the fixtures were determined by draw. It’s never easy going to places like Moldova and Georgia and we know about the quality of Austria, Republic of Ireland and Serbia.
“The Scotland fixture really does excite people”.
In Group D, Spain and Italy meet in a repeat of the Euro 2012 final which Vicente del Bosque’s men won convincingly 4-0.
And, speaking in St Petersburg on Saturday, he revealed that he looked to Ireland and specifically Robbie Keane for inspiration when he started his journey with this group of players.
Barring any shock injury or slump, Wayne Rooney will likely be England’s record goalscorer by the time he faces Scotland again and will be a senior figure in a squad that is filled with emerging talent who will be battling to justify the hype. We have got recent experience of what the atmosphere will be like.
“All the matches will be exciting – we didn’t do very well against Azerbaijan the last time we came up against them so we will be looking to improve”.
Standing alone in a pub in the north of England, decked out in a tartan uniform that would make Harry Lauder look unpatriotic and having just made a 400-mile round trip on the bus to a match he was supposed to be nowhere near, Stuart McCall felt no guilt whatsoever over making the most of a rare moment of one-upmanship over the Auld Enemy.
Though there were bigger names in Pot Two of the qualifying draw, none were ranked higher than Slovakia, underlining their improvement in recent years.
“Wales, great credit to them, well done to them, to go from sixth to first, I would have thought that that would have been really hard to do but well done them”.
The Valleymen have only qualified for the World Cup, indeed any major competition, once in their history, the 1958 World Cup where they were quarter finalists.
Russian President Vladimir Putin opened the World Cup qualifying draw with a 3 1/2 -minute speech and promised fans with tickets will be able to enter the nation for the 2018 tournament without visas.
Last year three players with over a century of England caps – Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard and Ashley Cole – all played their final game for the Three Lions, allowing Hodgson to give a host of younger players their head at global level.
“I think it is a good draw”.
Although Hodgson’s contract lasts only until after the Euro 2016 finals next June and July, he has said he would like to lead the team into the World Cup qualifiers. McCall said: “It’s good there’s a freshness about the group and we avoided teams we’ve played recently”.
Germany coach Joachim Loew said he was happy with his Group C draw.
Meanwhile, there was a blow for Oceania favourites New Zealand as they will have to beat the fifth-best side in South America if they come through regional qualifying in the inter-continental playoffs.
“They were in Belgium’s group and I think they threw it away tight at the end”.