Kick-off: 1945, 04/09/2020
Stadium: Hampden Park
TV: Sky Sports
Scotland are fancied to strike a psychological blow ahead of next month’s European Championship play-off when hosting Israel in the Nations League.
These teams are already familiar foes, having each won on home turf when they met in the inaugural staging of this competition a couple of years ago.
We reckon 83/100 for that trend to continue is the way to go with our opening Scotland vs Israel prediction.
A Look At Scotland’s Betting Odds
A James Forrest hat-trick helped Scotland beat Israel 3-2 at Hampden Park in November 2018, having gone down 2-1 in Haifa the previous month.
The Scots topped that table, having beaten Albania twice, and were then far from disgraced in finishing third behind Belgium and Russia in Euro 2020 qualifying.
Although soundly beaten by that duo, Steve Clarke’s side won five of their other six fixtures and signed off with a trio of victories.
Clarke is hampered by some notable absentees up front here, with Steven Naismith, Oli McBurnie and Lawrence Shankland missing, while Robert Snodgrass has retired from international football.
However, Forrest scored for Celtic on Saturday and is joined by recent QPR recruit Lyndon Dykes, with the 24-year-old Australia-born striker having impressed for Livingston.
Assistant coach Steven Reid said of Dykes: “I think he will be ready. He’s up to speed and looking sharp.
“I think he is going to be in the right frame of mind if he is called upon to hopefully continue the outstanding form he has shown for a long period of time.”
Reid added: “I think we have good attacking options. We have players who can play in midfield but also play a little bit higher if need be.
“John McGinn has been in free-scoring form for us from those midfield positions and we have good attacking options going forward, good creativity in the team, so I think the squad is equipped to deal with one or two injuries.”
With the likes of Liverpool star Andrew Robertson, Arsenal ace Kieran Tierney and Manchester United midfielder Scott McTominay, this seems a progressive unit.
Looking at the Scotland vs Israel odds, we like 2/1 for a home win and over 2.5 goals in the game.
A Look At Israel’s Betting Odds
Israel lost away to Albania in this event last time around and also struggled on the road in their Euro 2020 qualifying section.
They prevailed 3-0 when visiting basement dwellers Latvia but tasted defeat in Poland, Austria, North Macedonia and Slovenia, who all finished above them.
Influential figures Tomer Hemed and Beram Kayal sit out this trip after being released by Charlton and Brighton respectively.
China-based Eran Zahavi and Hoffenheim forward Moanes Dabour could still prove a threat up front, while Celtic duo Nir Bitton and Hatem Abd Elhamed are familiar faces.
However, we can’t get past Israel’s poor away record and fear they may suffer from more travel sickness.
Let’s add 16/5 for a home win and both teams to score to our Scotland vs Israel betting tips, plus 8/1 for a 2-1 scoreline.
SCOTLAND 3-1 Kazakhstan – John McGinn (2), Steven Naismith
North Macedonia 1-0 ISRAEL
Head-to-head: Scotland 3-2 Israel, Israel 2-1 Scotland, Israel 0-1 Scotland, Scotland 3-1 Israel, Israel 0-1 Scotland
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