Scotland vs Israel Preview 09/10/2021

Alizada Studios /

Scotland and Israel are set for a high-stakes match in World Cup qualifying at Hampden Park on Saturday. The Scots are second in Group F, but Israel are just one point behind them.

Steve Clarke needs Scotland to claim a massive three points as his team has a more difficult set of fixtures down the stretch. Scotland must play group leader Denmark one more time and that game will come on the final day of qualification in November.

— Scotland National Team (@ScotlandNT) October 7, 2021

Israel are coming off of a 5-0 beat down at the hands of Denmark. The loss ended a two-game winning streak for Willibald Ruttensteiner’s team. Israel have been excellent in attack, but their defence has let them down.

The Israelis have conceded 11 times to Scotland’s five goals allowed. The Scots have scored nine times and each of their last two World Cup qualifiers finished 1-0 thanks to goals from Lyndon Dykes.

There was worry over players testing positive for COVID-19 in the Israel squad. Striker Shon Weissman was quarantined by team doctors after being dizzy and showing symptoms of COVID-19. Thus far, it doesn’t seem to have spread to other players.

Scotland and Israel have only played nine times, but six of those matches have come since 2018. Those six games ended evenly with Scotland winning two, drawing two, and losing two to Israel. The last two matches between these sides ended in a win for Israel and score draw.

The reverse fixture in World Cup qualifying between Scotland and Israel finished 1-1. Dor Peretz opened the scoring for Israel in the first half, but Ryan Fraser equalised in the second period.

Clarke will be without defender Grant Hanley due to suspension. The Scotland manager will have Manchester United midfielder Scott McTominay available following injury.

Southampton’s midfielder Stuart Armstrong was called into the squad. Armstrong expressed his surprise after playing a bit part for Southampton in the Premier League.

Dykes scored in each of Scotland’s last two games. He could start in attack along with Che Adams.

Israel defender Hatem Elhamed will miss the vital match due to suspension. Celtic’s Nir Bitton will likely start in defence for Israel and play against a group of players he is familiar with.

Forward Eran Zahavi goes into the game in good form. The PSV Eindhoven forward has scored five goals in three matches.

Scotland have not defeated Israel in the teams’ last two meetings. Saturday’s game should finish without a loss for Scotland once more.

However, Scotland and Israel should play out a score draw with both sides finding the back of the net and over 2.5 goals scored.

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