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Despite plea to stay away, up to 20,000 Scotland fans set to go to London for England game tonight

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Up to 20,000 Scotland fans are expected to travel to London ahead of tonight’s crunch Euro 2020 match against England, despite pleas to stay away.

With no fan zones available due to COVID-19 restrictions, the city’s mayor Sadiq Khan asked supporters not to travel without a ticket or a “safe place” to watch the match.

Trafalgar Square, a traditional haunt for the Tartan Army on football trips to London, has been made available for key workers to watch the game.

Soccer Football - Euro 2020 - Group D - England v Croatia - Wembley Stadium, London, Britain - June 13, 2021 England's Raheem Sterling celebrates scoring their first goal Pool via REUTERS/Andy Rain
Image: Raheem Sterling scored England’s winner against Croatia

And with only 3,000 with tickets to the match, many will be left trying to find somewhere to catch the action on TV.

England head into the game knowing they will be through to the last 16 if they beat Scotland after their opening victory against Croatia.

Gareth Southgate’s side will be confirmed in the top two should they win and Croatia fail to beat the Czechs earlier in the day.

Meanwhile, Scotland will be looking to bounce back after their opening defeat against the Czech Republic in what was their first game in a major finals in 23 years.

More on Euro 2020

Anticipation has been building amongst fans of both sides ahead of just the second-ever major tournament meeting of international football’s oldest rivals.

Paul Gascoigne celebrates after scoring his famous goal against Scotland in Euro 96
Image: Paul Gascoigne celebrates after scoring his famous goal against Scotland in Euro 96

Southgate started in the other as Paul Gascoigne’s stunning goal wrapped up a 2-0 Wembley group win at Euro 96.

Sky News spoke to some Scotland fans in the Piper’s Rest pub, by Edinburgh’s Waverley Station, before their journey south – all had match tickets.

Martin Riddell said: “We’ve been following Scotland, near and far, and for the last 23 years and we’ve not had a lot of joy so, for us, this is the chance to play in a tournament and we have to be there.

“The Scotland-England game does get the hairs on the back of your neck moving, especially once you’re in that stadium.

“We have gone through a lot, as Scotland fans, and we deserve our day in the sun… or our night in the rain.”

Scotland fans show their support in Leicester Square
Image: Scotland fans show their support in Leicester Square

And while COVID restrictions have put a dampener on the occasion, it is estimated that 14.8 million pints will be sold across England and Scotland on match day, with over three million sales during the game itself.

However, the British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA) warned that due to restrictions, including social distancing, rule of six and no standing, beer sales will be reduced by almost 850,000 pints.

This would result in a revenue loss of around £3.2m for pubs across England and Scotland.

On the pitch, Southgate has confirmed Harry Maguire will be involved and could even start after recovering from an injury he picked up towards the end of the domestic season.

And Scotland have been handed a boost after Kieran Tierney was declared fit after missing the Group D opener with a niggle.