In the only five-team group, top seeds Netherlands will come under strong pressure from Scotland if Alex McLeish's men maintain the improvement which saw them run Italy and France so close for the qualifying places for EURO 2008.
The fact that Norway and Iceland are also in the section will be a source of comfort to Marco van Basten and his team - it was against those teams that the Dutch enjoyed their largest wins in a preliminary competition, beating Norway 9-0 and Iceland 8-1, both in 1974.
Macedonia make up the group and they achieved some impressive results in the preliminaries for next summer's European Championships, drawing 0-0 away to England, defeating Croatia 2-0 at home and only losing away to their neighbours and group winners by a goal three minutes from time.
Although the Netherlands will be favourites to advance from Group 9, their rivals will take optimism from the fact that their qualifying campaigns often leave them disappointed. They failed to qualify in 2002 and after finishing runners-up in both 1974 and 1978 they then failed to win a place at the next two FIFA World Cup tournaments.
Norway: They finished just a point behind Turkey in the EURO 2008 qualifiers and having won four and drawn one of their six away fixtures in the section they will be feeling confident that they can at least match their performance in the last FIFA World Cup qualifiers when they beat Scotland to finish as runners-up behind Italy.
The players to watch
Arjen Robben (NED), Rafael van der Vaart (NED), Barry Ferguson (SCO), Alan Hutton (SCO), John Arne Riise (NOR)
The crunch match
After Holland's successful qualification for EURO 2008 and Scotland's glorious failure, the two nations will be expected to fight for the Group 9 spoils. Whoever comes out on top in the two meetings will also edge ahead in the head-to-head between them.
A look back
The Netherlands and Scotland staged one of the most exciting FIFA World Cup matches of all time at Argentina 1978. In the final group fixture the Scots needed a convincing win to claim second place. Their hopes seemed to have perished when Rob Rensensbrink put their opponents ahead from a penalty but three goals, including a solo effort from Archie Gemmill that ranks as one of the FIFA World Cup's finest of all time, put Scotland 3-1 ahead. Johnny Rep quickly reduced the arrears and it was the Oranje who went through - eventually reaching the Final where they lost to the host nation in extra time.
0: The number of FIFA World Cup finals that Norway took part in between 1938 and 1994.
The Oranje amassed 32 points from a possible 36 in the prelimiaries for the 2006 tournament. Will they again prove the most successful European team on the road to South Africa 2010?