Israel v Scotland Betting Tips & Preview – Thursday 11th October 2018

Scotland ended a run of three successive defeats to secure victory in their inaugural Nations League test during the last international break. Another win from them on Thursday would see them go three points clear at the top of their group and in pole position to gain promotion to League B.

Winning the group also comes with the added benefit of providing another route to qualify for the European Championships. All group champions will enter the qualifying play-offs, due to take place in late March, with one finals spot available for each league. This is likely the most viable route to the Euros for a Scottish side that has missed out on the last five editions of the tournament.

Top Tips

Scotland to win @ 2/1

Under 2.5 goals @ 3/5

Odds correct at time of writing but may have changed since. Check site for latest prices.

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Israel News: Red hot Dabour one to watch

Israel's Haifa International Stadium
איתי צורף / Itaizo, Wikimedia Commons (Image Cropped)

Many Scottish fans will have seen Moanes Dabour in action last Thursday while on club duty for RB Salzburg. The Austrians took on Celtic in a Europa League group game and Dabour continued his sensational early season form by scoring twice. The brace made it 15 goals for the season for the 26-year-old who, perhaps a little surprisingly, has just seven international caps to his name. While a prolific scorer at under 21 level, the striker has had to wait patiently for opportunities in the senior squad. He has started Israel’s last two tests though and will surely be given the nod again here.

Zahavi suffers injury blow

The attack-minded Eran Zahavi returned the national side earlier in the season after an exile of a year. New Israel manager Andreas Herzog saw the quality the two time Israeli footballer of the year still possesses and was eager to find a place for him. Zahavi has still got plenty to offer at 31 years of age as his superb scoring record for club Guangzhou shows but he’ll take no part in this match. A partial ligament tear suffered during his last outing has forced him to pull out of the squad, Brighton’s Tomer Hemed being a likely replacement.

Scotland News: Cairney’s absence a forced decision

Hampden Park Football Stadium in Glasgow

Rumours had been speculating that Fulham midfielder Tom Cairney was left out of the Scottish side because he was in contention for an England call-up. Alex McLeish was quick to quash rumours that questioned his committed to the cause stating that the Nottingham born player has not yet shown any desire to play for England. The given reason for his absence was injury, not a suspicious explanation given that Cairney sat out Fulham's defeat to Arsenal at the weekend. Hibs midfielder Martin Boyle has not been so loyal to Scotland however as he accepted a call up to join Australia’s training camp.

Analysis: McLeish looking to take Scots in new direction

Alex McLeish returned at the helm of the Scottish national team in February, 11 years after leaving the post. He replaced Gordon Strachan who failed, somewhat valiantly, in his attempts to get the Tartan Army into this summer’s World Cup. The 59-year-old was the unanimous choice and one that has been encouraged by the talented youngsters coming through the ranks. He’s yet to convince many fans and pundits that he’s the right man for the job but he deserves time to impress ahead of what is just his second competitive fixture since returning to the international scene.

Herzog has with work cut out

Seven of Israel’s last eight matches have ended in defeat, a record you'd expect from the smallest of UEFA countries. Andreas Herzog was brought in as manager two months ago to try and spark a change in fortunes and his first outing offered some cause for optimism. Despite defeat in Albania, the Blue and Whites were arguably the better side and created some clear cut opportunities during the match. Such improvements were short lived however as four days later they fell to a poor 3-0 defeat to Northern Ireland. Clearly Israel are in need plenty of work and this should hand the Scots the initiative in a match they could well clinch victory in (2/1).

Goals likely to be in short supply

Neither of these countries are fluent in front of goal. Scotland have managed to net just three times in the six games Alex McLeish has taken control of while Israel have struck twice in the same amount of matches. The likes of Moanes Dabour and Steven Naismith have been in great club form this season but transferring this to the senior international stage has never come easily to them. A usually defensive approach is partly to blame for this however as neither nation plays particularly adventurous football. We’re not set for a thriller at the Sammy Ofer Stadium this Thursday but it does seem like there is money to be made backing under 2.5 goals at 3/5.

Recent Matches

Scotland have a 100% record over five countries (minimum three matches played), Israel being one of them. It’s a record Alex McLeish will fancy preserving too given that the Israelis trail the Scots by 55 places in the FIFA World Rankings. The global standings can only be taken with a pinch of salt of course but there’s no denying that Israel are a long way from any sort of golden era.

28th January 1986: Israel 0 – 1 Scotland

There were plenty of empty seats in the Ramat Gan Stadium for this friendly. Those that didn’t attend didn’t miss much as there wasn’t a great deal of quality on show during the match. A brave piece of forward play from Paul McStay was enough to hand Scotland the win, the ball falling kindly to him after challenging with keeper Avi Ran.

28th April 1981: Scotland 3 - 1 Israel

Beating Israel for a second time during World Cup qualification put the Scots in a strong position in Group 6. The visitors were their own worst enemy in the match, conceding two penalties in the first half an hour which Nottingham Forest man John Robertson duly converted. David Provan extended the hosts’ lead in the second half, leading to scenes of jubilation inside Hampden Park.

25th February 1981: Israel 0 – 1 Scotland

Scotland travelled to Tel Aviv in what was by all account a tough looking encounter. There was nothing to separate the sides coming into the break but nine minutes after the restart the deadlock was broken. Israel’s failure to clear a corner saw the ball land at the feet of Kenny Dalglish who hammered the ball into the top corner form all of five yards.

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