The UEFA Nations League’s 2020-21 campaign begins this week, and on Friday night in League B’s Group 2, Scotland play host to Israel.
The previous edition of the Nations League saw both of these sides promoted from League C into League B after finishing first and second in a group that also featured Albania.
Scotland vs Israel Head-to-Head
Scotland and Israel split their results in the 2018-19 Nations League, with the Tartan Army coming out on top 3-2 at Hampden Park after losing 2-1 to Israel in Haifa a month prior. Before that, Scotland had beaten Israel three times in the past.
Recent form would appear to favour Scotland. Israel struggled during Euro 2020 qualifying, finishing fifth in their group behind Poland, Austria, North Macedonia and Slovenia. They’ve won just one of their last six games.
Scotland, meanwhile, are on a three-match winning streak, and although they were unable to secure automatic qualification for Euro 2020, they have made October’s playoffs – where coincidentally, they will face Israel for a spot in the final qualifying game for the tournament.
Scotland form guide: L-L-W-W-W
Israel form guide: L-L-W-L-L
Scotland vs Israel Team News
Steve Clarke will be able to call upon full-backs Kieran Tierney and Andrew Robertson, who both missed Scotland’s last game against Kazakhstan. However, Sheffield United striker Oli McBurnie will be unavailable after withdrawing from the squad with an injury.
Injured: Oli McBurnie
Israel appear to have a full-strength squad to choose from, with three of their players – Ofir Marciano, Atem Abd Elhamed and Nir Bitton – plying their trade in Scotland.
Scotland vs Israel Predicted XI
Scotland predicted XI (4-1-3-2): David Marshall, Kieran Tierney, Declan Gallagher, Scott McKenna, Andrew Robertson, Scott McTominay, Callum McGregor, John McGinn, Ryan Christie, James Forrest, Oliver Burke
Israel predicted XI (3-5-2): Ofir Marciano, Eli Dasa, Eitan Tibi, Taleb Tawatha, Nir Bitton, Bibras Natkho, Dan Glazer, Ilay Elmkies, Shon Weissman, Eran Zahavi, Moanes Dabour
Scotland vs Israel Prediction
Scotland’s results at the back end of 2019 were extremely promising, and in the form of Robertson, Tierney, McTominay and McGinn, they have a number of proven Premier League stars.
Israel have enough to give Steve Clarke’s side some problems, but Scotland have undoubtedly improved recently and so that should be enough to give them a slight edge here.
Prediction: Scotland 2-0 IsraelPublished 03 Sep 2020, 15:50 IST