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WORLD CUP QUALIFYING - UEFA

Koning Boudewijn Stadion, Belgium

Referee: Morales Ovalle, Mauricio Rafael | Attendance: 44047

* Local time based on your geographic location.

Belgium

  • Christian Benteke 69'
  • Vincent Kompany 71'

2 - 0

FT

Watch Live on: ESPN(UK)

Scots look to raise hopes of 2007

Jon Carter
Scotland's players celebrate after James McFadden's goal in 2007

Scotland face an uphill struggle if they are to qualify for the 2014 World Cup as Friday's 2-1 loss in Cardiff leaves them next to bottom of Group A and in real trouble ahead of their trip to Belgium - live on ESPN UK on Tuesday.

In what has been described as a 'must-win' game, Scotland have their backs to the wall. A familiar position for those familiar with the history of Scottish football, and one which defender Christophe Berra hopes will be enough to spur his side on to another famous win.

"We're second-bottom. It's not a great position to be in," he said ahead of the game. "But we will look over the game and we will go to Belgium on Monday and prepare for the game. They are a top team, with world-class players, but we have done it before. We did in France [a 1–0 win in 2007]."

France 2007 was a seminal moment in the Scottish game and, although it was not enough to get them to Euro 2008, James McFadden's 30-yard strike gave them an incredible double over the French and hope for the future.

But the stats are not in their favour this time around. Indeed, Scotland have lost seven of their eight previous trips to Belgium in all competitions, winning the other 5-0 in May 1951, and Craig Levein's side have netted only one goal in five of their last six games on the road.

In contrast, the Red Devils have only lost one of their last 11 competitive fixtures - a 1-3 defeat in Germany in Euro 2012 qualifying - and boast some of the best young talent on the continent with Eden Hazard, Vincent Kompany and Axel Witsel all ensuring that the star of Belgian football is on the rise.

Importantly, no player is a guaranteed starter for coach Marc Wilmots and Chelsea star Hazard could well be left out after failing to impress with his defending against Serbia. However, there are plenty waiting in the wings to replace him and Scotland will struggle to compete if they do not bring the belief of 2007 with them in force.

Belgium player to watch - Mousa Dembele

The Belgian impressed at Fulham before making a reported £15 million move to Tottenham to replace Luka Modric this summer and he will be looking to have a similar impact to that of team-mate Gareth Bale who destroyed the Scots on Friday. A classy playmaker who can drop deep and influence the play, his skills will be equally valuable in attack and defence and the 25-year-old has a real chance to cement his place in the side with a good display.

Scotland player to watch - Darren Fletcher

A great time for the influential skipper to come back into the fray. Fletcher has been sidelined for almost a year with a chronic bowel complaint and returned to play a quiet role in the defeat to Wales last week. At his best, he is a tigerish midfielder with endless stamina who will hunt down the opposition until the last moment, but he will take some time to get back to 100%. Scotland need him to do quickly.

Key Battle: Vincent Kompany v Steven Fletcher

Kompany has been struggling with a calf injury which saw him miss Man City's 3-0 win over Fletcher's Sunderland, but returns to lead from the back. A powerful and commanding defender, he is surely one of the world's best now after much of his early career was hindered by injury and he finds himself up against one of the most in form strikers around. Fletcher's big money summer move to Sunderland has paid off and he has bagged a hatful of goals in the opening stages of the season. Now he has made his peace with the national team, both can benefit.

Trivia: Seven different Belgian players have found the net in the Premier League this season - only England (34) have had more different scorers.

Stats: Belgium are unbeaten in 10 home games in all competitions, winning five and drawing five. Scotland have only won one of their last five away games in all competitions, losing three and drawing one.

Odds: Belgium (1.33), the draw (4.50) and Scotland (11.00) are on offer with bet365 and 1-0 win (a la France 2007) for the away side comes in at 21.00.

Prediction: Too much for the Scots to take, it should be a relatively straightforward Belgian win.

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