Last updated & checked: 10/08/2021
International football returns to the calendar this week, with Roberto Martinez’s Belgium making the trip to Glasgow to face Scotland in a friendly international. Belgium finished third at the World Cup over the summer, beating England twice along the way, much to the delight of many Scotland supporters.
McLeish’s original has been affected by injury, with the likes of Jack Hendry and Matt Phillips pulling out, and Scott McKenna and Christophe Berra not being available for selection. There are few specialist centre backs in the Scotland squad, and Heart of Midlothian’s John Souttar may well make his international debut.
Belgium may also field an experimental line-up, with Martinez well aware of what his established players are capable of. A touch of extra intrigue is added by the recent appointment of former Scotland and Celtic forward Shaun Maloney to the Belgian coaching team.
Scotland vs Belgium Prediction: Scotland 1-2 Belgium
Friendly internationals are often hard games to predict, given that managers often deploy experimental line-ups, and there isn’t really a lot to play for. Scotland have some serious issues with defensive absences, though, which will make them vulnerable to Belgium’s attacking power. The bookies have made Belgium clear favourites for the game, which is not surprising, given their performances at the World Cup.
The prediction is therefore that Belgium will win, but Scotland will put in a good performance and keep the scoreline down. The Scots may also score, but will lose the game narrowly in the end, with the score being 2-1.
Our recommended tip: Belgium to win, both teams to score
Our chosen tip for this game is to back Belgium to win and both teams to score. This ties in nicely with our prediction of a 2-1 win for the away side, and also offers decent odds. Betfred are offering a price of 3/1 on this bet, which could bring some decent returns for intelligent punters. Scotland have reinforced their strikeforce by calling up Hearts veteran Steven Naismith, and have enough attacking threat to puncture the Belgian defence. Belgium may also field an experimental line-up, but are likely to prove too for Scotland in the end.
These two sides last met back in the qualifying campaign for the 2014 World Cup. They played each other in Brussels and Glasgow. Both games, in 2012 and 2013, ended in 2-0 victories for the Belgians. Marc Wilmots was the Belgian manager at that time. Craig Levein was in charge of Scotland for the Brussels, which was in October 2012. By the time the second game rolled around in September 2013 in Glasgow, Gordon Strachan had taken over. Many of the Belgian personnel are the same, but the Scotland team will look very different from those two matches.
Top 3 Premier League Bookies
Players to watch: Leigh Griffiths & Eden Hazard
Celtic striker Leigh Griffiths is a player who is well worth keeping an eye on. The livewire forward has an eye for goal, and offers additional threat from set-pieces. His two goals from free kicks against England in World Cup qualifying confirm that the Belgian defence should be wary if Scotland are awarded any free kicks just outside the area. Griffiths recently scored his hundredth goal for Celtic, and is currently negotiating a new contract with the Glasgow club.
Chelsea attacking midfielder Eden Hazard played in a number of different roles in attack for Belgium at the World Cup. He can play out wide, or through the middle in support of the main striker. Blessed with all the attributes of a modern creative attacker, Hazard can beat players with his pace and skill, and also has an eye for the killer pass, wherever he is deployed on the pitch.