Scotland v Belgium Predictions, Betting Tips and Previews
September 03, 2018
Hampden Park - International Friendly
Having picked up the bronze medal in this summer's World Cup, Belgium look to start again with a friendly against Scotland. Alex McLeish's side were bitterly disappointed to have missed out on the competition, and will be keen to impress on their home turf.
Scotland have failed to beat Belgium since 1987 with the Red Devils winning 2-0 in the sides' last three meetings. The most recent, in a World Cup qualifier, saw goals from Kevin Mirallas and Steven Defour do the trick for the away side.
Alex McLeish has had to cope with a number of injuries after Matt Philips, Tom Cairney and Jack Hendry all pulling out of the Scotland squad. As a result, the manager has called up West Ham's Robert Snodgrass who hasn't played under the current manager, but has 25 caps to his name, as well as Ranger's Jack Ryan.
For Roberto Martinez it is a case of more of the same, having named a largely similar squad to his World Cup 23. There may be starts however, for Wolves' Leander Dendoncker as the manager looks to experiment with young players.
Scotland v Belgium Preview and Predictions
Scotland's failure to qualify for the World Cup due to a poor 2-2 draw with Slovenia saw the manager, Gordon Strachan, replaced by Alex Mcleish for his second spell in charge of the national side. With the former Rangers and Birmingham coach was unable to secure qualification to the Euros back in 2007, and it will be interesting to see how he fares with a more time at his disposal.
Roberto Martinez has a very different job ahead over him, having seen his side progress to the penultimate hurdle over the summer, only to be knocked out by eventual champions France. It is not unreasonable to claim that Belgium were unlucky, having looked on equal footing with Les Blues for much of the match, they may well have beaten Croatia, had the draw fallen that way. Irregardless the manager must look forward to the future, and the prime years of his star players such as Eden Hazard, Kevin De Brunye and Romelu Lukaku. The trio played well together throughout the competition, although often at the expense of midfield strength.
Against Scotland, there is a good chance that Martinez will look to experiment, bringing in a number of youth players, much as he did in the group stage game against England. For Belgium, therefore, this may give a glimpse of the future plans, whilst, for Scotland, it will provide a slightly easier opposition for McLeish to acid test his side. With little to play for, the friendly will be a testing ground, and an opportunity for evaluation for coaches and fans alike.
Belgium to win to nil at 7/5
Scotland may be at home but should struggle to score against a highly competent back line.
Mertens to score anytime at 5/2
The Napoli forward struggles to break into Belgium's first xI but should get a run out on Friday.