Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Prediction: Israel vs Scotland

Tom Dunstan in Free Soccer Predictions, World Cup 28 Mar 2021

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Verdict: Under 2.5 goals

Best Odds: 7/10

Bookmaker: Unibet

Looking to pick up their first qualifying victory this weekend, Scotland will make the trip to Tel-Aviv when they face off against Israel on Sunday night.

Israel

Starting with the hosts, while Israel might have signed off last year’s Nations League campaign with a 1-0 win when they welcomed Scotland to Tel-Aviv back in November, The Light Blues have shown some continued inconsistencies. Opening up their 2022 World Cup qualifying campaign with a tough test against Denmark on home soil, Willibald Ruttensteiner’s side were hit with a 2-0 defeat in midweek. Facing what appears to be an uphill battle if they’re to book their spot out in the far east, Israel have managed to win just a pair of their last 10 matchups across all formats, a run that stems back to October 2019. Failing to book their spot at this summer’s delayed European Championships after a torrid run during their qualifying, it should also be noted that Sunday’s hosts have recorded just a single win on home soil in any of their previous five appearances.

Team News

Despite initially being called up to Israel’s squad for their March fixtures, it has been reported that Celtic midfielder Nir Bitton has withdrawn.

Hibernian goalkeeper Ofir Marciano started Israel’s defeat by Denmark on Thursday and should once again be between the sticks this weekend.

Scotland

As for the visitors, after eventually managing to pick up a late point against Austria on home soil in midweek thanks to a stunning John McGinn strike, Scotland will be desperate to pick up their first qualifying victory. Eventually leaving Glasgow with a 2-2 draw to show for their troubles, Steve Clarke’s side have shown some recent issues despite a bright run of form last year. While The Blues might have managed to book their spot at this summer’s delayed European Championships with a famous penalties victory against Serbia four months ago, the former Kilmarnock boss could only see his side limp over the finish line on their Nations League adventure. Eventually finish their League B with back-to-back 1-0 losses against Slovakia and Israel, Scotland missed out on promotion to the top-tier by just a two-point buffer to the Czech Republic.

Team News

With no injury issues after their 2-2 draw against Austria in midweek, Steve Clarke is expected to go with a similar line-up to the one in Glasgow.

Che Adams made his debut as a second-half substitute, meaning fellow forward Kevin Nisbet is the only uncapped player left in their squad.

Key Factors to Consider

    • When the two sides faced off in their final Nations League meeting four months ago, Israel picked up a 1-0 win on home soil.
    • However, that victory was Israel’s only home victory in their last five contests across all formats.
    • In fact, Sunday’s hosts have managed to win just a pair of their last 10 contests, a run that stems back to October 2019.
    • Since booking their spot at this summer’s European Championships, Scotland have failed to win any of their last three matchups across all formats.
    • Each of the three meetings between Israel and Scotland last year finished with under 2.5 goals.

    Conclusion

    if history is anything to tell us, we could be in for another low-scoring contest when Israel and Scotland face off on Sunday night. With The Tartan Army eventually playing out an action-packed stalemate against Austria in midweek, Steve Clarke’s side are desperate to open pick up their first qualifying victory this weekend. Showing some recent issues since booking their spot at this summer’s European Championships last year, it should be noted that Sunday’s opponents have a habit of producing cagey affairs. With Israel showing some continued inconsistencies on home soil, it’s worth noting that each of the three meetings between Israel and Scotland last year finished with under 2.5 goals.

    Verdict: Under 2.5 goals

    Best Odds: 7/10

    Bookmaker: Unibet

    ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Tom Dunstan


    Formerly of The Independent, Tom is a freelance football and boxing journalist from Essex, England. Currently working for three online publications, Tom is a graduate of the University of Falmouth and has spent the last two years writing across Australia, New Zealand and Asia. He can be followed at @IamTomDunstan

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