Next Game

Georgia v Scotland

Friday, 04 September 2015, 17:00

European Qualifiers Group D

Aviva Stadium

Last Game

Rep Ire 1 - 1 Scotland

Saturday, 13 June 2015, 17:00

European Qualifiers Group D

Belgian tussle

Considering how well we played in June away to Croatia, it's no surprise that expectations among Scotland supporters have been lifted ahead of the clash against the classy Belgians at Hampden on Friday night.

Last Updated: 04/09/13 at 15:46 Post Comment

Benteke: Aston Villa man is one of Belgium's many threats

Benteke: Aston Villa man is one of Belgium's many threats

But we should be realistic and exercise a little caution against a Belgian side that is packed with quality and tipped to get to the latter stages of the World Cup next year in Brazil.

In truth, our 1-0 win in Croatia could not have been predicted by anyone, but we caught them on an off night and played well enough to win through a solitary Robert Snodgrass goal.

On Friday, in front of a passionate crowd and a live TV audience, another positive performance should ensure that we are heading in the right direction under Gordon Strachan, Mark McGhee and Stuart McCall, but we can't escape the fact that this has been one more painful World Cup qualifying campaign.

Confident

We've yet to win at home whereas Belgium have won six and drawn one in their seven qualifying games to date, and just as it was against Croatia in Skopje, it's hard to predict a win against a Belgium side that will travel to Glasgow looking to secure all three points.

No wonder they'll be confident.

Thibaut Courtois of Athletico Madrid and new Liverpool signing Simon Mignolet compete for the keeper's jersey with class players such as Jan Vertonghen of Spurs and the injured Vincent Kompany at the heart of a solid defence.

Chelsea's Eden Hazard and Kevin de Bruyne strut their stuff in midfield, while Moussa Dembele, Romelu Lukaku, Christian Benteke and new £28million Manchester United signing Marouane Fellaini making all the difference at the business end of the pitch.

It's a remarkable array of talent for a nation that, like us, have been in the doldrums for too long.

Influence

On the plus side, Gordon Strachan can also turn to a number of our own players who are in good form, albeit with some performing in the lower leagues.

Alan McGregor has had plenty of action in the Barclays Premier League with Hull City and looks as though he'll thrive in that company, while Russell Martin and Grant Hanley played well as a defensive partnership against England at Wembley.

Robert Snodgrass is fast becoming a big influence on how Scotland play and in the absence of the now retired Kenny Miller, it'll be interesting to see who gets the nod up front from Gordon Strachan.

Watford's wing-back Ikechi Anya may well make his debut at some point after impressing with his pace and crossing ability under the guidance of Gianfranco Zola.

Whoever is chosen to start the game on Friday night and whatever happens in terms of the result, our focus now has to be on getting prepared to qualify for the European Championships in France 2016.

Now that Gordon Strachan has the players believing they can play and compete against the best players in Europe, it's a realistic aim.

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

D

on't go to England at your age, you'll either be mugged or not appreciated. Or made to lump the ball long to a bloke who looks like a mascot.

megabrow (cufc)
Beckenbauer warns Schweinsteiger

F

rom the headline I presumed he meant boots, pants, jim-jams, toothbrush and paste, passport, tickets, premier inn long-term package, Scouse-English-Portuguese-German dictionary, 'How to be a 9 and 3/4' by B. Rodgers, few dozen tins of food and Evian because you can never be sure about the local food/water...

KevinBoatang
Firmino has 'everything' for PL - Willian

H

e looked like he was playing with a plastic pound shop ball in the wind against Juve, his passing was so bad.

paddy7s
Sergio Ramos: Exactly What United Need

Footer 365

Matej Vydra joins Watford on five-year deal after two loan spells

Striker Matej Vydra is back with Watford, this time on a permanent basis after signing a five-year deal to join the club from Udinese.

Cech thanks Roman for overruling Jose

Petr Cech has thanked Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich for allowing him to join Arsenal against Jose Mourinho's wishes.

Sporting Braga striker Eder completes medical for Swansea transfer

Striker Eder has undergone a medical at Swansea as his transfer from Sporting Braga nears completion, Sky sources say.

Mail Box

Liverpool Are Attractive To Strikers

You've got little competition and bags of service from midfield, so surely strikers would love to join Liverpool? Plus England's future, Callum Wilson handshakes and...

Arsenal Only Need Two More (As Ever)

One Chelsea fan still doesn't see Arsenal as title contenders, plus we have thoughts on Petr Cech, Sergio Ramos, Heurelho Gomes, Paulinho and Arsenal Denilson...

© 2015 Sky Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media company