Israel vs Scotland: Nations League match preview, team news, predicted line-ups, plus more

10 Oct

Scotland return to Nations League action on Thursday night with a trip to Tel Aviv to take on Israel.

Alex McLeish’s side began their campaign in UEFA’s new competition with a convincing 2-0 home defeat of Albania, who themselves beat Israel during the previous international break.

Scotland beat Albania impressively at Hampden Park last month

Scotland are looking to make it six points from six in the Nations League, and if they do secure victory in Tel Aviv it will be the first time the Tartan Army have won consecutive matches since October 2017.

They have a brilliant opportunity to do so against an Israel side who have lost each of their last four games.

The match kicks off at 7:30pm on Thursday, October 11, and you can listen to full commentary of Israel vs Scotland on talkSPORT 2.

What the managers are saying

Andi Herzog (Israel): “We created some opportunities against Albania, but against Northern Ireland we didn’t even get into their penalty area. We completely lost our shape in the second half. But I saw some good things in these two games and against Scotland at home, with the crowd behind us, it will be a completely different game.”

Alex McLeish (Scotland): “The word is they’re much better at home than they are away from home. They haven’t won in a while, but I know the coach Andi Herzog is trying to stamp his personality. We saw with the Russians – they were seven games without a win before they blitzed their own World Cup. We want to try to get to that kind of level now. We’re bracketed with Israel and Albania now but we want to aim higher.”

Where can you listen?

You can hear full commentary of Thursday’s clash on talkSPORT 2, kick-off 7:30pm. Click here for the Israel vs Scotland live stream

Team news

Ryan Fraser and Leigh Griffiths have withdrawn from McLeish’s squad, leaving Steven Naismith, Johnny Russell and Oli McBurnie as Scotland’s attacking options.

Griffiths has decided not to link up with Scotland to focus on his fitness

Predicted line-ups

Israel: Haimov; Dasa, Tibi, Yeini, Habashi, Tawatha; Kayal, Natkho, Peretz; Hemed, Dabbur

Scotland: McGregor; Souttar, Mulgrew, Tierney; O’Donnell, McGinn, McDonald, McGregor, Robertson; Naismith, Russell

Republic of Ireland narrowly miss out on victory over Poland, Northern Ireland make light work of Israel

11 Sep

As well as England, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland were in action on Tuesday night.

Here is the best from their international friendlies.

Poland 1-1 Republic of Ireland

Aiden O’Brien marked his senior international debut with a goal as the Republic of Ireland came within minutes of ending a turbulent week with a morale-boosting victory in Poland.

The 24-year-old Millwall striker looked to have won the game with his 53rd-minute header, but substitute Mateusz Klich’s 87th-minute equaliser snatched a 1-1 draw to spare the Poles’ blushes on a night when skipper Robert Lewandowski had to wait for his 100th cap.

Keane has been in the firing line over reports of an alleged fallout with Harry Arter and Jon Walters

Having spent much of the run-up to the game in Wroclaw having to handle the fall-out from assistant Roy Keane’s X-rated summer rant at Harry Arter and Jonathan Walters, Ireland boss Martin O’Neill saw his depleted squad provide a response to their Nations League drubbing in Wales on Thursday evening.

O’Neill’s men were roundly criticised in the wake of a 4-1 reverse in Cardiff, where they were porous in defence and toothless in attack as they slipped to a fourth defeat in five games.

However, a team featuring only two regular starters in keeper Darren Randolph and midfielder Jeff Hendrick, reverted to type in front of a crowd of 25,455, denying the Poles time and space and looked to have nicked victory until Klich intervened.

Northern Ireland 3-0 Israel

Gavin Whyte needed less than two minutes of his Northern Ireland debut to find the net as Michael O’Neill’s side enjoyed a 3-0 win over Israel in a friendly at Windsor Park.

Whyte scored the third goal of the night moments after coming on as a substitute to add to first-half strikes from captain Steven Davis and Stuart Dallas.

Whyte is congratulated for his first international goal just seconds after coming on

It helped the hosts to a first win in four and a much-needed result after the frustration of Saturday’s 2-1 UEFA Nations League loss to Bosnia & Herzegovina in a match Northern Ireland dominated.