Israel v Scotland: Kick-off time, is it on TV, who to watch, form guide, Nation's League preview, last match
Another week, another big Scotland game for Steve Clarke’s side – and this one really matters.
After the success over Serbia in the Euro 2020 play-off final last week, this is the final group game in Scotland’s Nation’s League section – with a knock-on effect that could, and probably should set-up another play-off comfort blanket after the World Cup qualifying sections.
They’re drawn on December 7 but if Scotland could win this match in Israel, top the Nation’s League group and gain promotion to Nations League A section – it’d go a long way to carrying on that feel-good factor the country has been basking in since last Thursday – all the way to Qatar, just about.
But first things first – Steve Clarke needs to mastermind a defeat of Israel – something he is yet to do.
Here’s what is in store on Wednesday and what you need to know.
Who: Israel vs Scotland
What: UEFA Nation’s League B Group 2
Where: Netanya Municipal Stadium
When: 7.45pm, Wednesday November 18
Referee: Pavel Raczkowski (Poland)
What needs to happen
To win the group Scotland need to match, or better, the Czech Republic’s result in Plzen against Slovakia. Scotland have 10 points, Czech Rep. have nine.
How to watch
It’s another vital match for Steve Clarke’s side – but after the really big-game benevolence of Sky making the win over Serbia a free-to-air extravaganza for the entire country, this time it’s back to the Nations League and Sky Sports’ Football channel - 403 on the planner. Coverage begins at 7.30pm.
Who to Watch
Manus Dabbur of Hoffenheim hasn't really shown up in recent matches with Scotland… PSV Eindhoven playmaker Evan Zahavi has though. He’ll be a dangerman as will the eye-catching defender Ela Dasa who performed well against Scotland last month.
Hibs fans will be keeping an eye out for Ofir Marciano, and Celtic the same for Nir Bitton who was excellent at Hampden last month. One we won’t see though is Bitton’s team-mate Hatem Elhamed who was red-carded against Czech Republic on Sunday night.
There’s only been two wins in 13 for Willy Ruttensteiner’s team and that’s put the manager under some pressure. Seven defeats since last summer plus a penalty exit in the play-off semi-final at Hampden hasn’t helped, though neither did the late covid-19 related call-off of last week’s match against Norway.
Israel lost to the Czech Republic 1-0 on Sunday, while Scotland went down by the same scoreline in Slovakia.
Last month finished a 0-0 draw with Scotland winning on penalties to qualify for last week’s play-off in Serbia – and yet more penalties.
Before that was a match in September where Ryan Christie scored a spot-kick but a poor second half let the visitors back into it.
Israel were also in Scotland's previous Nations League group and games ended 3-2 for Scotland at Hampden thanks to James Forrest’s hat-trick, but a 2-1 reverse in Haifa. That was Scotland's first having won three previous matches during the 1980s.
It’s hard to split them, and there’s not much consensus in the prices.