After taking a huge win over Cyprus in Steve Clarke’s first game as manager on Saturday, Scotland now face a tough away test to Belgium at the King Baudouin Stadium in their latest Euro 2020 qualifier.
Belgium are currently top of Group I by three points from Russia, who are ahead of Scotland on goal difference therefore making this a key clash for the Tartan Army’s hopes of automatic qualification.
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Belgium have no fresh injury concerns after thrashing Kazakhstan at the weekend.
Scotland are without a few players who haven’t travelled with the squad to Brussels.
Tom Cairney, Mikey Devlin, Liam Kelly and Lewis Morgan are all absent but other than those four, Steve Clarke has a full squad to choose from.
- Belgium are unbeaten in last five meetings with Scotland and won three of last four clashes by 2-0 results (W4, D1).
- Scotland have lost three of their last seven Euro qualifiers (W3, D1, L3).
- Scotland have won and lost two of their last four away matches (W2, L2) in all competitions.
- Out of the 11 Belgium players who started their last competitive meeting with Scotland in September 2013, six are in the current squad (Courtois, Alderweireld, Vertonghen, Witsel, De Bruyne and Benteke).
- Six of Belgium’s eight goals so far from three qualifiers have come in the first half, with five of those coming between the 10th and 18th minutes.
Given Belgium’s superior head to head record, this is going to be a tough ask for Scotland who could only scrape past Cyprus on Saturday.
I therefore am expecting Clarke to employ different tactics here and perhaps go for a counter attack approach, even if Belgium do eventually win as will surely happen.
Prediction: Belgium 2-1 Scotland
Result: Belgium 3-0 Scotland