Everything Scotland fans need to know about Uefa Nations League opponents Israel

Israel lost 3-0 to Northern Ireland on their last outing.
Israel lost 3-0 to Northern Ireland on their last outing.
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Scotland will look to make it two wins from two in their Uefa Nations League section when they travel to Israel tonight. Joel Sked looks at their opponents.

READ MORE: Alex McLeish tells Scotland players: show you have ‘got a pair’

Their football history

As with the country in general, the national team has a complex history. Nothing epitomises that more than the fact Israel have taken part in World Cup qualification in three different confederations.

For 20 years, between 1954 and 1974, they competed in the Asian Football Confederation (AFC). In 1970 they qualified for their only World Cup when there was joint Asian and Oceania qualifying.

They had won the Asian Cup in 1964 but ten years later they were excluded from the AFC as teams refused to play them.

Israel spent time playing European teams and competing in the Oceania qualifiers for the World Cup, coming close to reaching Italia '90, losing a World Cup play-off to Colombia.

By the earlier 90s the country had been accepted into the European section for World Cup qualifying and earned full Uefa membership by 1994.

The closest they have come to reaching the European Championship was making the play-offs for the 2000 tournament but lost to Denmark.

READ MORE: Kenny Miller tells Leigh Griffiths 'you don't pick and choose' with Scotland

Home ground

The country have not got a 'national stadium' in the way Scotland and England have with Hampden Park and Wembely. However, the modern Sammy Ofer Stadium in the south-west of Haifa is one which is used regularly.

Scotland fans will encounter a new facility, opened just over four years ago, which holds more than 30,000 and hosts the homes games of Maccabi Haifa and Hapoel Haifa.

Israel will play their seventh international game against Scotland. Their record reads two wins and four defeats.

Recent record

Since the start of 2015 Israel have played 23 international matches, winning only five matches and drawing twice. The opposition defeated have been Albania, Andorra, Macedonia and Liechtenstein (twice).

They find themselves 94th in the world, between Georgia and Qatar in the FIFA rankings.

Head to head with Scotland

Their have been four meetings between the sides and Scotland have won every game.

Scotland boss Alex McLeish was involved in two of the games, both qualifying fixtures for the 1982 World Cup.

A Kenny Dalglish goal gave the Scots a win in Israel before a 3-1 win at Hampden Park in front of more than 61,000.

READ MORE: How have Scotland fared in previous meetings with Israel?

Players to watch

Celtic supporters and Scottish football fans in general should be familiar with two of Israel's most dangers players.

Munas Dabbur netted twice for Salzburg in their 3-1 Europa League success over Celtic earlier this month. He has netted 15 goals in 17 appearances this season for his club.

The 26-year-old is an old school forward, operating between the posts and coming alive in the box. He won't lead the Scotland defence a merry-dance but he will get himself into good goalscoring positions.

In the last 12 months Charlie Mulgrew has been vulnerable in terms of his positioning with balls being crossed or cut back. These are the kind of chances Dabbur thrives on as he displayed with his opening goal against Celtic.

However he has only scored one in nine appearances for his country.

Former Celtic midfielder Biram Kayal has started the last three matches in the Premier League for Brighton & Hove Albion. The slick midfielder missed a lot of action last season but is talent is not in question. Is all-action style will make it difficult for the Scotland midfield.

He will likely partner the wily captain Bibras Natkho in midfield.

Man in charge

Austrian Andreas Herzog had a glittering club career with Rapid Vienna, Werder Bremen and Bayern Munich. However, this is his first senior management position having been caretaker coach for Austria in 2005 and most recently in charge of USA's under-23s.

His appointment was met with raised eyebrows in Israel. It was Herzog who cost Israel a place in the play-offs during qualification for the 2002 World Cup. He scored a stoppage time free-kick for Austria in a 1-1 draw Ramat Gan to ensure it was his country who reached the play-offs.

Former Celtic midfielder Eyal Berkovic said: "What desire will Israel's fans have to come and see matches when such a hated man and an enemy of the team is standing on the touchline

"Whoever made this decision needs urgent psychiatric attention, I can't think of any other explanation for the appointment. It's a huge disgrace."

Style of play

Scotland will likely be met with a 5-3-2 formation. It is the system which Herzog has used in his first two matches in charge, a 1-0 defeat to Albania and 3-0 loss to Northern Ireland.

Scotland could get joy from their opponents' goal kicks. Israel look to play from the back and build from deep but can be pressed into errors and turnovers.

Both wing-backs are encouraged to spring forward and support. But their starting postions are often very deep. If Scotland can get their foot on the ball and dominate possession they will stifle Israel's ability to transition from defence to attack.

In turn the home side will likely play very deep.

Anything else?

Alex McLeish once dislocated the Israel manager' shoulder when playing for Aberdeen.