Fussball Server previews Friday’s UEFA Nations League fixture between Scotland and Israel, including team news and injury news.
Scotland and Israel end a 10-month wait for their next international fixture with a UEFA Nations League encounter on Friday night.
These two nations are joined in Group B2 by Slovakia and Czech Republic, who square off in Bratislava on the same evening as the fixture in Glasgow.
When taking a look at the most recent Scotland squad named by Steve Clarke, there appears to be enough potential there for this group of players to make an impact over the coming years.
However, until the Tartan Army produce a solid run of form over a prolonged period, a cautious balance between pessimism and optimism will remain as Clarke looks to stamp his mark.
On the positive side, Scotland ended 2019 with three successive victories against San Marino, Cyprus and Kazakhstan, results which came after back-to-back 4-0 defeats to Belgium and Russia.
Although the level of opposition will be taken into consideration, Clarke will feel that this team have now turned a corner ahead of participating in a group which they will feel is winnable.
This game is particularly important due to the teams being due to lock horns in the Euro 2020 playoffs in a month’s time, ultimately raising the stakes in both setups.
While Scotland are on a high, the same cannot be said of their foes who suffered a 1-0 defeat away at North Macedonia in their most recent outing.
In total, five setbacks have been recorded in seven matches, a run of results which has led to Willibald Ruttensteiner being placed in caretaker charge.
Despite his lack of experience in the dugout of a senior side, this will not be the first time that the 58-year-old has been temporary coach of a national team in a game played in the United Kingdom.
Back in 2005, Ruttensteiner was the short-term boss of Austria, taking his place in the technical area at Old Trafford as England scrapped their way to a 1-0 win over his side.
Scotland form (all competitions): LLLWWW
Israel form (all competitions): DLLWLL
Having missed the most recent victory over Kazakhstan, Kieran Tierney and Andrew Robertson will expect to feature in the Scotland starting lineup, potentially with the former switching to right-back or a more central role.
Scott McTominay should also come back into the side in midfield, while Lyndon Dykes may be in line for a debut in attack.
With Oliver McBurnie having recently pulled out of the squad, Oliver Burke is the most likely alternative.
Celtic player Nir Bitton is expected to feature in the middle of Israel’s backline, but Hibernian goalkeeper Ofir Marciano may remain on the substitutes’ bench.
On the back of his transfer to Real Valldolid, Shon Weismann could be provided with a start in attack.
Scotland possible starting lineup:
Marshall; Tierney, Gallagher, McKenna, Robertson; McTominay, McGregor; Christie, McGinn, Forrest; Dykes
Israel possible starting lineup:
Harush; Dasa, Tibi, Bitton, Tawatha; Natcho, Glazer, Elmkies; Weismann, Zahavi, Dabour
We say: Scotland 2-1 Israel
Given their run of results at the back end of 2019, we can only back Scotland in this match. While Israel will provide a stiff test, Scotland have the potential to improve over the coming years, leading us to predict a home win by the odd goal in three.