Scotland midfielder Matt Ritchie has relished his role of underdog in the Premier League with Bournemouth this season and will do it all again with the national in World Cup qualifying.
Gordon Strachan’s side, who defeated Denmark 1-0 in a friendly on Tuesday, have been drawn in a qualification group that includes England, Slovakia, Slovenia, Lithuania and Malta.
The Scots will have to watch on as the European Championship finals takes place in France this summer before kicking off their campaign in Malta on September 4.
Ritchie, who has scored three goals in eight caps for Scotland after netting the winner against the Danes, believes his country’s players can head into the campaign feeling confident.
He said: “It is a great opportunity. England will be favourites and we will probably be written off as underdogs, but I think that is a good position to be.
“We believe we have enough quality to qualify and we will be trying to do that.
“It is similar to my situation at Bournemouth. We go into games and everybody writes us off and that gives us an extra grit to go out and do that bit better.”
Scotland will meet England at Wembley on November 11 and Ritchie is keen to erase the memories of his previous visit to the stadium when he was part of a Swindon team beaten 2-0 by Chesterfield in the 2012 Football League Trophy final.
England qualified for Euro 2016 with a flawless record with 10 wins out of 10 and Saturday’s 3-2 win in Germany has generated optimism south of the border Roy Hodgson’s team improve on the dismal showing in the World Cup finals in Brazil in 2014.
Ritchie said: “They have good young players but we showed against Denmark that we also have good young players coming through as well. I am sure it will be a fantastic occasion.
“I played at Wembley a few years back with Swindon but I don’t really want to talk about that because it was a bad day at the office.”
Ritchie was pleased to see Scotland captain Scott Brown make his 50th appearance for his country in the victory against Denmark and paid tribute to the manner in which the Celtic player helped him adjust to international football.
He said: “He is a top captain. He was the first person I saw when I turned up at Mar Hall. He couldn’t have made me feel more welcome, from day one he was lively and helped me settle.
“He also helped me on the pitch and he is an excellent player who has done it at the highest level for so long and I am delighted he has won his 50th cap. It shows what a great professional he has been.”