Scotland will face the world’s top-ranked side in UEFA Euro 2020 qualifying, having been drawn alongside Belgium in Group I in Dublin earlier today.
2018 FIFA World Cup hosts Russia will also provide stern opposition for Alex McLeish and his squad, with Cyprus, Kazakhstan and San Marino completing the qualifying group.
Scotland fans will not have to cast their minds back as far to remember their side’s most recent meeting with Belgium, with Roberto Martinez’s team having turned in an impressive display to claim victory at Hampden Park back in September.
The group's top seeds, Belgium will be looking to improve on their quarter-final showing at UEFA Euro 2016, having claimed third-place at this summer's FIFA World Cup.
Russia, meanwhile, will also present a tough test for Scotland in the qualification battle. Whilst finding themselves ranked below McLeish's men in the FIFA World Rankings at 48th, the second seeds - led by Stanislav Cherchesov - impressed in their home FIFA World Cup, and only missed out on taking top spot in their UEFA Nations League group on goal difference.
Having already secured at least a playoff place by virtue of winning their UEFA Nations League group, Scotland will now try to progress to the finals of the UEFA European Championships for the first time since 1996.
Indeed, the qualification campaign for that tournament bears a striking resemblance to the group in which Scotland find themselves 22 years later, with Russia and San Marino having both been opponents en route to Euro 96.
Scotland remain unbeaten in their meetings with both sides; two draws with Russia in the qualifying campaign for Euro 96 mark the only two encounters between the two nations to date, whilst Scotland have a 100% record from fixtures against San Marino.
Elsewhere, goals from Kenny Miller and Jamie Mackie saw Scotland earn a 2-1 victory over Cyprus in 2011 in the most recent meeting between the two teams – a fifth victory from five matches against the Cypriots.
Finally, McLeish’s men will break new ground for Scottish football in their quest for UEFA Euro 2020, with the team set to face Kazakhstan for the first time in the nation’s history.
A full list of fixture dates for the qualifying campaign will be confirmed in due course.
UEFA Euro 2020 marks the sixtieth anniversary of European football’s flagship competition, with twelve nations set to host a festival of football to celebrate the occasion.
UEFA EURO 2020 is the biggest EURO ever and Glasgow is one of the host cities, helping to celebrate a true festival of football.— Scotland National Team (@ScotlandNT) December 2, 2018
There will be three group games and one round of 16 game held at @HampdenPark.
➡️ Register your interest in tickets now: https://t.co/pAKfyui3Qa pic.twitter.com/Jx2D0kw8IJ
Included in the host venues is Hampden Park, with the home of Scottish football to host three group stage matches and one fixture in the round of 16.
Supporters can register their interest for tickets to the landmark occasion now – for more information, click here.
Draw in full
Group A: England, Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Montenegro, Kosovo.
Group B: Portugal, Ukraine, Serbia, Lithuania, Luxembourg.
Group C: Netherlands, Germany, Northern Ireland, Estonia, Belarus.
Group D: Switzerland, Denmark, Republic of Ireland, Georgia, Gibraltar.
Group E: Croatia, Wales, Slovakia, Hungary, Azerbaijan.
Group F: Spain, Sweden, Norway, Romania, Faroe Islands, Malta.
Group G: Poland, Austria, Israel, Slovenia, FYR Macedonia, Latvia.
Group H: France, Iceland, Turkey, Albania, Moldova, Andorra.
Group I: Belgium, Russia, SCOTLAND, Cyprus, Kazakhstan, San Marino.
Group J: Italy, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Finland, Greece, Armenia, Liechtenstein.