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Oct 9, 2021 at 5pm UK
McGinn (30'), Dykes (57'), McTominay (90+4')
McGinn (49'), Robertson (55'), Gilmour (81'), Patterson (85')
FT(HT: 1-2)
Zahavi (5'), Dabour (32')
Natcho (44'), Zahavi (56'), Bitton (81')

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

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

Scotland welcome Israel to Glasgow's Hampden Park on Saturday evening for the latest round of World Cup 2022 European qualifiers.

The two sides sit second and third in Group F with the hosts just one point above their upcoming opponents in the battle for the second qualification spot.

Match preview

After a slow start to their qualification campaign, Scotland have started to pick up speed recently and come into this match on the back of two consecutive wins in September.

The last international break started with a loss to Denmark - having conceded twice within the first 15 minutes, Steve Clarke's weakened squad were unable to respond and slumped to their first defeat in the group.

They responded well, however, with two Lyndon Dykes goals against Moldova and Austria earning two narrow 1-0 wins in the space of four days to move them up to second and, crucially, into a qualification spot.

The Danes are runaway leaders in the group, with a perfect record - six wins from six, 22 goals scored and none conceded - so it is really only a matter of who can claim second and progress to the playoffs.

Clarke and his men will know that a win on Saturday will leave them in an enviable position, with a four-point gap to third and just three games remaining.

Israel will, of course, be just as aware of the importance of the match.

What had been looking like a stellar international break last time out was somewhat spoiled by a heavy 5-0 defeat to Denmark in the final game, but the previous two games have still left Willibald Ruttensteiner's side in a strong position.

A 4-0 win away at the Faroe Islands was somewhat expected - if convincingly executed - but the following game saw an impressive 5-2 victory against Austria.

The Israelis raced into a three-goal lead in just over half an hour, thanks to goals from Manor Solomon, Munas Dabbur and Eran Zehavi, before a goal for Austria either side of half time pulled them back into the match. The Blue and Whites responded immediately, though, and Zehavi sealed an emphatic victory late on.

Ruttensteiner will surely remind his team of that performance for inspiration and draw attention to what is a reasonably strong record against the Scots, but the players will likely not need much extra motivation for such a decisive clash.

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

Scotland form (all competitions):
  • L
  • D
  • L
  • L
  • W
  • W

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

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

Team News

Grant Hanley is suspended for Scotland due to an accumulation of bookings, but Clarke will be pleased to welcome back Scott McTominay from injury.

The Manchester United player is an option to replace Hanley, having played in both midfield and defence for the national team, although Liam Cooper is another option and the more dedicated defender.

Southampton's Stuart Armstrong has also returned to the squad but is unlikely to make the starting XI, with Callum McGregor and Ryan Christie battling it out to complete a midfield three, alongside John McGinn and Billy Gilmour.

Israel also have a suspension due to an accumulation of yellow cards for defender Hatem Elhamed.

Celtic's Nir Bitton looks set to start in his place - and will be playing against a lot of familiar faces - but regular defenders Eitan Tibi and Orel Dgani are also missing from the squad which will result in an unfamiliar backline.

Scotland possible starting lineup:
Gordon; Hendry, McTominay, Tierney; O'Donnell, Gilmour, Christie, McGinn, Robertson; Dykes, Adams

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

We say: Scotland 1-0 Israel

With so much at stake, this could be a cagey, low-scoring affair. The reverse fixture back in March ended 1-1 but we are backing Scotland to make the most of home advantage here and secure a narrow victory.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting a double chance bet on a home win or an away win 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.Home/Away:data

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