Out-of-form Israel host Group B1 leaders Scotland in the UEFA Nations League as the visitors look to move clear at the top.
Haifa International Stadium, Haifa, Israel
Key Stat: Israel have won just one of their last ten matches - a World Cup qualifier against minnows Liechtenstein - and have lost eight of the other nine.
Expert Verdict: Israel's poor form continued in September as they lost to Albania in their opening UEFA Nations League and were then beaten by Northern Ireland in a friendly. Scotland, on the other hand, got back to winning ways against Albania and can now make it two from two by beating Israel.
Star man Eran Zahavi will miss the game against Scotland after withdrawing from the squad injured, while teenage striker Manor Solomon has also dropped out. Former Celtic man Beram Kayal returns to the squad, however, as does striker Ben Sahar.
Beram Kayal – The Brighton midfielder will be well known to Scottish fans after his spell with Celtic and his return bolsters the Israel midfield.
Tomer Hemed – Israel’s top scorer in the current squad, with 16 goals in 34 international appearances.
Ben Sahar – Back in the squad, having scored four goals so far this season for Hapoel Be’er Sheva.
Victory against minnows Liechtenstein was Israel’s win in their last ten matches, and they have lost all four games they have played since. A 1-0 defeat to Spain ended their unsuccessful World Cup qualification campaign, before they lost 2-1 in a friendly to Romania in March – Tomer Hemed scoring. After Argentina pulled out of their summer friendly for political reasons, Israel have failed to score in their two games since – the 1-0 defeat to Albania at the start of the UEFA Nations League and a 3-0 friendly loss in Northern Ireland.
Defenders:Eli Dasa, Ayid Habshi, Ben Bitton, Sheran Yeini, Taleb Tawatha
Midfielders:Beram Kayal, Bibras Natkho, Dor Peretz
Forwards:Ben Sahar, Tomer Hemed
Striker Leigh Griffiths has withdrawn from the squad to face Israel as he looks to work on his fitness over the international break, but Oli McBurnie is fit again, as is defender Scott McKenna. Tom Cairney again misses out through injury, while Calum Paterson and Ryan Jack have been dropped.
Andrew Robertson – The new Scottish captain has been instrumental to Liverpool’s recent form with his performances up and down the left.
Steven Naismith – The most experienced striker left in the Scotlandsquad, with eight goals in his previous 47 appearances.
Charlie Mulgrew – A towering presence in both boxes, and a set-piece danger too – as reflected by the 14 goals he scored to help Blackburn to promotion last season.
Scotland lost both friendlies they played in the summer, 2-0 to Peru and 1-0 to Mexico, before a 4-0 thrashing by Belgium in their first friendly of the new season. They bounced back well, however, improving at the front and back to win 2-0 against Albania and start their UEFA Nations League campaign with three points – an own goal and a Steven Naismith sealing victory.
Defenders:John Souttar, Charlie Mulgrew, Kieran Tierney
Midfielders:Stephen O Donnell, John McGinn, Kevin McDonald, Stuart Armstrong, Andrew Robertson
Forwards:Jonny Russell, Steven Naismith
Scotland have won all three of their previous matches against Israel, all three of which were played in 1980s. The Scots won home and away during World Cup 1982 qualification and then won 1-0 in Israel in a 1986 friendly.
Israel are in a miserable form, with only a narrow win against minnows Liechtenstein to their name in their last ten games.
Scotland, on the other hand, bounced back from a poor defeat to Belgium in a friendly – where they looked woeful at the back at times – by beating Albania.
Given Albania had beaten Israel just days earlier, it highlights the expected difference between these two teams in this game.
A Scotland win will put them three points clear of Albania at the halfway stage in their group and in a commanding position overall.
And with Israel lacking goals, missing star man Eran Zahavi and in such bad form, there is little cause for optimism for Israeli fans.
Leigh Griffiths’ withdrawal is unlikely to make too big a difference for Scotland, meanwhile, given he was only a substitute against Albania last time out, and Oli McBurnie’s return ensures they have options up front.
Charlie Mulgrew’s towering presence at the back, the tireless running of Andrew Robertson and the energy of wasp-like forward Jonny Russell will all work in Scotland’s favour.
Scotland could qualify for a first major tournament since the 1998 World Cup with success in the UEFA Nations League, and this game is key to that – a win in Israel puts Scotland in a commanding position in the group. It is an opportunity they can not afford to pass up.
The bookmakers could be set up for a fall, having made out-of-form Israel favourites at a best price of 13/8 for this one. Scotland can be backed at as high as 2/1 – and that could mean a profitable return.
Israel are in poor form and missing their star player, with home advantage the only small thing in their favour. Scotland, on the other hand, impressed in their win against Albania.
Israel’s biggest issue has been their lack of goals, and a Scotland win to nil will return 7/2 with Bet365. Betting against both teams to score return 4/5 with Betway, 10Bet and 888sport, meanwhile.
Steven Naismith will play up front for Scotland and scored against Albania, and the Hearts striker is a best price of 57/17 to score at any time. Charlie Mulgrew could be worth an outside bet at 8/1 with Bet365 and 10Bet, meanwhile.
Israel might have been named favourites for this one, but they are in miserable form and missing their star player. Scotland can, and should, upset the odds.