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Oct 12, 2021 at 7.45pm UK
Zahavi (28'), Dabour (49')
FT(HT: 1-0)
Nicolaescu (90+4')
Reabciuk (45+3'), Spataru (82'), Rata (90')
Reabciuk (85')

Preview: Israel vs. Moldova - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Israel vs. Moldova - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Tuesday's World Cup Qualifying - Europe clash between Israel and Moldova, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

Israel and Moldova meet in World Cup 2022 qualifying action at The Yaakov Turner Toto Stadium in Be'er Sheva on Tuesday evening.

The hosts sit third in Group F and are involved in a tight battle for the playoff spot, whilst their upcoming opponents are bottom of the group having picked up just a single point.

Match preview

What had been looking like a stellar international break in September was somewhat spoiled by a heavy 5-0 defeat to Denmark in the final game, but the previous two matches - a 4-0 win away at the Faroe Islands and an impressive 5-2 victory against Austria - had still left Willibald Ruttensteiner's side in a strong position heading into Saturday's game away against Scotland.

Things were also looking stellar for large periods of that game but, once again, they ended on a sour note.

The Israelis took the lead twice - initially through a goal in the fifth minute from an Eran Zahavi free kick, and then again half an hour later, when Moanes Dabour scored two minutes after the Scots had equalised.

Lyndon Dykes made up for an earlier penalty miss by levelling the tie once more 10 minutes into the second half and that set the scene for a dramatic 94th-minute winner from Manchester United's Scott McTominay to spark bedlam amongst the Tartan Army.

That goal will have been a bitter blow for The Blue and Whites, as it changed what would have been a one-point deficit into four points and they now have a mountain to climb if they are to reclaim the playoff spot from Scotland.

Moldova will likely represent an easy introduction to that mountain, at least, having lost six of their seven games during this qualification campaign.

The world's 180th-best national team have, unsurprisingly, never qualified for a major international tournament in their 27-year history and have won just five of their 64 World Cup qualifiers.

The most recent of those 64 was a fairly unsurprising thrashing at the hands of Group F's runaway leaders Denmark, who put four past the Moldovans in the first half to make it 26 goals scored and still none condeded.

The Selectionata have now won just one of their last 25 games in all competitions, losing 21 of them, and Roberto Bordin will likely have a hard time motivating a team who are now simply playing for pride against an Israel side with plenty at stake.

Israel World Cup Qualifying - Europe form:
  • D
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • L
  • L

Israel form (all competitions):
  • W
  • L
  • W
  • W
  • L
  • L

Moldova World Cup Qualifying - Europe form:
  • L
  • L
  • L
  • L
  • L
  • L

Moldova form (all competitions):
  • L
  • W
  • L
  • L
  • L
  • L

Team News

Israel will have centre-back Hatem Elhamed back from the suspension which he served against Scotland, with Celtic's Nir Bitton dropping back to the bench after a familiarity with Saturday's opposition failed to pay off.

Regular defenders Eitan Tibi and Orel Dgani are missing from the squad, however, which will result in a still somewhat unfamiliar backline.

The midfield five from the Denmark game will potentially return to a four, after having failed to nullify the potent Danish attack, perhaps with the inclusion this time of Cristian Dros.

Left-back Oleg Reabciuk will return after a ban for Saturday's game, meaning his replacement Denis Marandici will likely return to the bench.

Israel possible starting lineup:
Marciano; Arad, Hanna, Elhamed; Dasa, Natkho, Peretz, Solomon, Menahem; Zahavi, Dabbur

Moldova possible starting lineup:
Avram; Jardan, Armas, Posmac, Reabciuk; Ghecev, Dros, Rata, Platica; Nicolaescu, Ginsari

We say: Israel 2-0 Moldova

Moldova have actually drawn three of their six matches against Israel, but we do not see that being repeated on this occasion. The Israelis will be totally focused on making amends for the Scotland game and keeping their World Cup dreams alive, so we expect a comfortable 2-0 win on Tuesday.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting under 3.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Under 3.5:data

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