STEVEN Naismith may not be available for the Euro 2020 qualifier against Belgium in Brussels on Tuesday evening due to the knee surgery that he underwent back in March.

But the vastly-experienced striker has passed on some invaluable advice for his Scotland team mates which could help them get a result against the team that currently occupies top spot in the FIFA world rankings all the same.

He is well aware what an arduous task whoever Steve Clarke selects in defence will have shackling Romelu Lukaku in the King Baudouin Stadium having played alongside him at Everton for three seasons.

The Manchester United forward stands 6ft 3in in his studs and tips the scales at over 15 stones, so Naismith's compatriots will, it is fair to say, come off second best in a physical battle.

The 49-times capped forward, though, feels the national team’s centre-halves and full-backs can successfully nullify the threat posed by a player who has netted 45 goals in 79 appearances for his country if they box clever.

“With a guy like that you literally can't go tight because he's just going to roll you,” he said. “When he knows he's got you there, he rolls you, uses his power and he's away from you and leaves you for dead.

"He's up there with the best I’ve played with. A player will naturally say the best they have played with are the ones who have made their game better. In terms of my career, playing with Kenny Miller and Nikica Jelavic at Rangers was good. We were really successful and it was really enjoyable, so I hold them in high regard.

"But for raw ability, Rom's up there. His strength and power were incredible. That's something he's not even had to learn. If you see the pictures from when he was kid, he had it. He's lived with it and he's not had to work on that. I've seen him being unplayable.

"It will be a real challenge for our centre halves to face him. They won't have played against many players like him. In Scotland, there's not many physical players like him at all.

“When we were training, I just used to not go tight, let him take his touch and then try and nick the ball. It will be a learning curve for our centre-halves, but they have the know-how to understand when to get tight and when not to.”

That said, Naismith appreciates that Lukuka, who frustrates and delights in equal measure, has areas of his game which he needs to improve and can sometimes be posted missing when he is played as an out-and-out striker. He believes that Roberto Martinez, the Belgium manager, would be better off deploying his old team made in a wider role in the Group I fixture.

"Rom needs to get slightly better at his hold-up and link-up play,” he said. “That's not the strongest part of his game. He came in for some criticism last season at Man U because of that. But when he's in full flow and playing with confidence his best attribute is his finishing. He has a calmness and composure in hectic situations in the box. He'll find the net.

“I'd say he's not a target man. I'd play him inside left or inside right if you like. See when he can get that half-turn . . . I saw him destroy Nemanja Vidic one day at Old Trafford. He was unplayable. He was able to take the ball on the turn. In a way, he's still trying to find his position. Martinez will be good for him. He has worked with him and knows him.

Naismith, who is in ongoing talks with Hearts about his future, can understand why the 26-year-old, who was signed from Everton by United for a reported £90 million fee two years ago, has come in for criticism since moving to Old Trafford.

"His performances haven't been good enough, simple as,” he said. “At this moment in time, I wouldn't put him in the bracket of your Kanes and Agueros, but he easily has the potential to get there. The biggest thing is he just needs to work out his best, best position.”

Naismith will be cheering on Scotland from his home in Ayrshire on Tuesday evening and is optimistic they can pull off an upset against the odds if they replicate the performance the national team produced against World Cup holders Spain at Hampden back in 2010.

“Belgium are effectively a version of the Spain team we played,” he said. “They dominate the ball, interchange positions. It is the most drained I have been when I came off that night. But we stuck to our task. We were confident in our possession play and got our two goals from it, the own goal and then my goal.

“We were well in that game, containing them but keeping possession when we could. That is going to be critical come the Belgium game. If we don’t do that then it is going to be a long, long night. If we don’t do that we will get deeper and deeper and deeper and their quality will show.

“But the manager (Steve Clarke) has worked with Kilmarnock this season and come up against Rangers and Celtic at Ibrox and Parkhead and got fantastic results. He will be fully aware of that.”

Steven Naismith was at Hampden to launch nominations for the Scottish Football Hall of Fame. The public can nominate their football personality at Tables for the dinner on Sunday, October 27, can be secured by calling 01416204040.