In-form Belgium will fancy their chances at home to struggling Scotland and Adam Bate expects the hosts to expose the lack of confidence in Craig Levein's side early onThere was a time in the summer when talk of Belgium’s golden generation was threatening to become a tag that weighed heavily on the players.
The likes of Vincent Kompany, Marouane Fellaini (injured for this game) and Eden Hazard may have big reputations but the team hardly showed it last season in draws against Slovenia, Azerbaijan, Greece and Montenegro.
But this season has been different – a 4-2 win over rivals Holland was followed by impressive away triumphs over Wales and Serbia and a draw against Croatia.
A win here against a Scotland side without a victory in their opening three Group A qualifiers would keep the pressure on Croatia. Belgium are 19/50 (1.38) with Marathon Bet to take three points.
But while Craig Levein is undoubtedly under pressure, this Scotland side isn’t that bad on paper and has been bolstered by the return of the Fletchers, Steven and Darren. James Morrison is also on good form and Charlie Adam has quality.
Scotland could well have clung on against Wales and there would then be a different atmosphere surrounding this clash but as it is, Levein is the one clinging onto his job and it will take a spirited effort from his players in Brussels.
Scotland are 19/2 (10.50) with Marathon Bet to claim an unexpected three points. The draw is available at 77/20 (4.85).
The most important thing for the visitors is not to concede early. Scotland have gone behind inside the first 20 minutes in four of their last eight games.
Belgium are 69/20 (4.45) with Marathon Bet to lead after 15 minutes and that’s the value bet against a side so low on confidence.
Scotland have the goal threat now that could see them get back into it with on-form Sunderland man Fletcher likely to be a worry for Belgium – the Scots are evens (2.00) to score here.
But do not expect them to keep Belgium out. Marc Wilmots’ side have scored in 11 of their last 13 – only failing to find the net at Stade de France and Wembley.
That, when combined with Scotland’s fragile form, means that the pick of the bets is to back Belgium to find the net in the first half at 8/15 (1.53) with Marathon Bet.
|Belgium to score 1st half at 8/15 (1.53) with Marathon
||Belgium to lead at 15 minutes at 69/20 (4.45) with Marathon|
Sign up with Marathon Bet for a 10% price boost on winning accumulators and back Adam's tips for this game
Adam Bate is a professional freelance journalist who specialises in football and betting. He is editor of GhostGoal which can be found here - you can also follow Adam on