Match Preview: Belgium vs Scotland

Belgium will take on Scotland at the King Baudouin Stadium in the most attractive game of tonight’s 2020 UEFA Euro qualifiers.

Real Madrid’s new signing Eden Hazard will be looking to captain Belgium to another European Qualifiers victory when they host Scotland at the King Baudouin Stadium in Brussels tonight.

The host are top of the table, with three wins out of three games in their EURO 2020 qualifying campaign, beating Russia, Cyprus and Kazakhstan respectively.

Scotland travel to the Capital of Europe on the back of a narrow 2-1 victory against Cyprus on Saturday night. It was their second win in the European Qualifiers, after starting the campaign with an embarrassing 3-0 defeat to Kazakhstan back in March.

Team news

Roberto Martinez has a wealth of options at his disposal as he looks to preserve his side’s perfect start of the qualifying campaign.

Belgium captain Eden Hazard played his 101th game for the national team last Saturday, noting his 27th assist for the Red Devils. He will lead the team in the encounter against Scotland tonight.

Tom Cairney, Mikey Devlin, Liam Kelly and Lewis Morgan, who were all in the original Scotland squad for the matches against Cyprus and Belgium, have not travelled to Brussels.

Champions League winner Andy Robertson will captain the Scots as they will be looking to level themselves with Belgium on the Group I table, while Saturday’s heroic match-winner Oliver Burke is expected to start the clash with the Red Devils.

What did the managers say

Belgium boss spoke about his Scottish wife and her family before the game against their homeland.

“She’s no problem, it’s more my father-in-law,” said Martinez, via BBC. “We put a ban up at home so we aren’t speaking about football since the Kazakhstan game, but I hope that everyone is very upset when I get home.”

“This Scotland team are going to get stronger and better, there a lot of talent, players that have had a very good season, [Ryan] Fraser at Bournemouth who ended just behind Eden Hazard in assists in the league.

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“We know the threat that these players can give in the final third. Andrew Robertson has just won the Champions League, McGinn has just been promoted to the Premier League, Burke, Forrest has won the treble again this season, so they have a winning mentality. This a young, but very talented Scotland team, so we’re going to see a really good game.”

Steve Clarke, the manager of the Scottish national team, said his players have to play a perfect game to stop Belgium.

“We can’t make too many mistakes defensively because we know we’ll be punished,” said Clarke via BBC. “Shape and tactics are important but also the character of the players as well, the personality of the players.

“We’ve got good players in our squad, players who play at a really good level and they have to relish the challenge that faces us tomorrow. I always say to the players that you have to let the opposition know that you have the capability to hurt them.

“So it’s important to get the defensive side right, but if you go through the game and try to play 97 minutes with no attacking threat then it’s going to be a really long night, so you have to get the balance right.”

Stats

Belgium and Scotland have played 12 official games in history, with a head to head score of eight wins for the Red Devils and only two for the Scots.

Both sides last met at Hampden Park in September, where Belgium thumped the host side with a 4-0 victory in a friendly encounter.

The Red Devils are unbeaten at home since September 2016, noting 17 wins and four draws in the process.

Scotland is yet to win in Brussels, having suffered six defeats in six games with a goal difference of 13-3 away at Belgium.

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