Scotland defender Russell Martin isn’t holding out much hope ahead of Belgium’s visit to Hampden Park tomorrow and he expects the Belgian ‘Golden Generation’ to be a major force in forthcoming major tournaments.
With a host of huge names to choose from including new Manchester United signing Marouane Fellaini and Aston Villa hitman Christian Benteke to name two, Belgium have built a side with masses of potential and currently looking certain in the Unibet betting odds to qualify for the World Cup from Group A. For Martin, Belgium’s riches on the field are all down to hard work and preparation. “It’s their golden generation coming through. It’s no coincidence, they work extremely hard on their youth set-up. It’s about identity as a nation and they’ve got that,” the Norwich man said.
Scotland’s trip to Belgium earlier in the qualifying campaign ended in a 2-0 defeat and saw Craig Levein relieved of his duties as the Tartan Army’s 2014 World Cup dreams ended. Russell Martin was an unused substitute that night but from the sidelines he saw what Belgium were capable of and he expects them to be amongst the favourites for the World Cup next year. “If you are looking at the World Cup – if they qualify from this group, which I’m sure they will – they will be right up there. And in the Euros after that they are going to be a force,” the 27 year old said.
Whilst it is difficult to argue with Martin’s assessment of Belgium’s chances, Scotland fans must surely hope to see one of the Premier League stars speaking a little more highly of his own team rather than worrying about the opposition. If Scotland are to have any chances of overcoming the odds and taking anything from tomorrow night’s game then they must be much more positive on the field. If they go into the game in awe of their opposition then they will come away with nothing and another miserable night could be on the cards in Glasgow.