Israel began with a 2-0 defeat to the group’s top seeds Denmark, while Scotland drew 2-2 with Austria thanks to John McGinn’s overhead kick equaliser.
Recent games between these sides have been frequent but such acrobatic interludes would be welcome again this evening for yet another competitive fixture between nthe sies who can barely be separated on the pitch these days.
Here’s all you need to know for the latest instalment of what is fast becoming an international series...
Who: Israel v Scotland
What: FIFA World Cup 2022 qualifiers – UEFA group F
Where: Bloomfield Stadium, Tel-Aviv
When: 7.45pm, Sunday March 28, 2021
How to watch
The match will be shown live on Sky Sports, on the Main Event channel (ch. 401) and coverage begins at 7.30pm. That means the game is also available to stream online via NOW TV or the Sky Go app.
Israel enter matchday two of the World Cup qualifiers on the back of a defeat and sitting bottom of the section after defeat to Denmark.
There’s not much to be read from their recent form – Willy Ruttensteiner’s team have been up and down – but Scotland will be well aware having met frequently over the past three years.
Prior to the Danish defeat Israel defeated Steve Clarke’s side in the Nations League last November and lost to the Czech Republic by the same scoreline.
October was another mix of results including the penalty shoot-out success for Scotland at Hampden, a home defeat by the Czech Republic and then an away win over Slovakia.
Who to watch
PSV Eindhoven’s Eran Zahavi has been the one to watch but hasn’t quite hurt Scotland as badly as his reputation might suggest, and the same goes for his attacking partner Moanes Dabour of Hoffenheim – but that doesn’t mean they won’t start now.
On the wing Eli Dasa has always proved a handful for Andy Robertson and captain Bibra Natcho has always shown up well against the Scots.
Strap yourselves in, this could be a long one…
Until 2018 Israel and Scotland had only met three times. In the two and a half years since, there’s been five meetings – and this will make it half a dozen.
Israel registered their first win in October 2018, but the 2-1 defeat was followed up by a James Forrest inspired 3-2 win at Hampden for Alex McLeish’s team.
After those Nations League C encounters both teams move into the B ivision and were grouped together again last year, with games finishing 1-1 and 1-0 in Israel’s favour – either side of a Euro 2020 play-off semi-final which Scotland won on penalties at Hampden following a tame 0-0 draw.
This time, it’s a World Cup qualifier and Scotland have faced Israel in these twice – way back in 1981, winning 1-0 away and 3-1 at Hampden.