09 October 2020
Hampden Park is the venue as Scotland (FIFA ranking: #49) face Israel (#93) in the new-look EURO play-off format.
The hosts have rallied the troops lately, going from four consecutive defeats to five straight matches without a loss (W4, D1), mainly owing to a notable attacking improvement. Indeed, while each of those four losses saw Scotland score one goal or less, all four of their wins during that nine-game sequence have witnessed them net over 1.5 goals. Also, going back to November 2018, Steve Clarke’s men have suffered only two defeats from seven competitive home outings (W4, D1, L2), with six of those fixtures producing over 2.5 total goals. A match against Israel should bring more joy among the home side, given they’ve won two of their only previous three home H2Hs, scoring exactly three goals apiece in both of those successes.
Meanwhile, the visitors are not having the best of times, as they head into this encounter on the back of four consecutive games without a win (D2, L2), all of which saw them score under 1.5 goals. It gets worse for Israel on the road, considering they’ve sustained seven defeats in their previous nine away fixtures (W1, D1, L7), drawing a blank in four. Keeping a clean sheet is imperative for the ‘Blue and Whites’ if they look to walk away with a win. Indeed, each of their three competitive away triumphs since November 2016 has seen them shut out their hosts on the day. Easier said than done because all of their five H2H clashes since 1981 witnessed Israel concede at least once.
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