Belgium’s quality is not lost on McGregor

Scotland midfielder Callum McGregor saluted the quality of Belgium ahead of their Euro 2020 qualifier in Brussels on Tuesday night.

Steve Clarke began his tenure as national team boss with a nervy 2-1 qualifying win over Cyprus at Hampden Park on Saturday night, with substitute Oliver Burke providing a late winner after captain Andy Robertson’s opener was cancelled out by Ioannis Kousoulos.

However, McGregor and company face an obvious step up in quality against the team ranked number one in the world and who have won all three Group I fixtures so far.


The midfielder has played against top club sides like Barcelona, Paris St Germain and Bayern Munich with Celtic – suffering the occasional big loss – and was part of the Scotland side which lost 4-0 to the Red Devils in a Hampden friendly last year and with that experience, he summed up Belgium.

“I think they are the best combination of players,” McGregor told Press Association Sport.

“They are number one in the world, that tells you everything about them.

Kazakhstan v Scotland – UEFA Euro 2020 Qualifying – Group I – Astana Arena
Callum McGregor knows Scotland will need to be at their best in Brussels (Adam Davy/PA)

“Individually their quality is very good. We played them not too long ago here and we know how difficult that was.

“It is just a case of trying to prepare well, rest up, recover and hopefully on Tuesday night we will be well set up to try to deal with it.

“We know it is going to be a tough task. If we could nick a  point it would be a great result.”

Scotland v Cyprus – UEFA Euro 2020 Qualifying – Group I – Hampden Park
Oliver Burke was Scotland’s late hero against Cyprus (Jeff Holmes/PA)

McGregor admits that Burke’s late winner was a much-needed boost ahead of the second fixture of their June double-header at the King Baudouin Stadium.

“It was massive,” he said. “With the change of manager, we knew we were under pressure to win.

“It gives everyone that belief that what we have been doing on the training pitch is right.

“When you get that lift of getting the win and everyone going to the end to get the  three points then it gives you that confidence to kick on.”