9/4/20 2:45 pm
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Scotland is welcoming Israel to Hampden Park in round 1 in the UEFA Nations League.
Scotland has won their last 3 games in the qualifications, and they ended in third place in their group with 15 points, which was enough for the additional qualifications, which Scotland will also play against Israel. Offensively, Scotland was solid with 16 scored goals, but defensively, Scotland was a disaster with massive 19 conceded goals in 10 games. In their latest match against Kazakhstan at home, Scotland was the better team with 61% of ball possession, 9 shots on goal, 7 corner kicks, 4 big chances created, and solid 82% of the correct passes. After losing 0-1 at the half time, Scotland has come out determined in the second half, and they were able to turn this game around. Scotland has won this game 3-1. Scotland’s best players are Liverpool’s Robertson, Manchester United’s McTominay, and Arsenal’s Tierney, and the best thing for Scotland’s coach Steve Clarke is that they are all available and expected to be in the starting lineup for this game. I think Scotland is a good team, with a bunch of good players, and I believe we will see Scotland in the Euro Cup next year.
Israel has won only one of their last 7 games, and they were far from the top in their group in the Euro Cup qualifications, in 5th place with only 11 points, 16 score goals, and 18 conceded goals. Luckily, Israel did well in the last Nations League, and they were selected to go into the Qualifications Playoffs where they will face Scotland. Israel is in 93rd place in the FIFA standings, and that is pretty much where they deserve to be. Israel has scored 16 goals in said qualifications, but they conceded 18 goals, which is just too much. There are a couple of good players that are playing in the Bundesliga that are playing for Israel, but that is far from enough for Israel to make an impact. Israel has also got a new head coach, Willi Ruttensteiner, an Austrian coach that could potentially make this team better. In their latest match against North Macedonia, Israel was solid with 57% of ball possession, 5 shots on goal, 4 corner kicks, and solid 81% of the correct passes. Israel has lost this match 1-0. Israel was in a bad form before the pandemic, and it might be good for them that the playoff game was delayed, but I don’t think Israel will improve much before those games are scheduled, and I’m giving them a really small chance to qualify for the Euro Cup.
Scotland is a much better team in this matchup, and they will have the home-field advantage. These two teams have met only twice, and each team has won a game at home, and I see this trend continuing here as well. I will side with Scotland at home.