MX23RW : Monday, July 26 16:24:17| >> :600:4219110:4219110:
Sep 7, 2020 at 7.45pm UK at Winner Stadium
IsraelIsrael
1-1
SlovakiaSlovakia
Elmkies (90+1')
Peretz (54'), Zahavi (70')
FT(HT: 0-1)
Duris (14')
Bero (80')

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

Sports Mole previews Monday's UEFA Nations League fixture between Israel and Slovakia, including team news and injury news.

Israel play host to Slovakia in the UEFA Nations League on Monday evening having begun their campaign with a 1-1 draw against Scotland.

Meanwhile, Slovakia find themselves at the bottom of Group B2 having succumbed to a 3-1 defeat at the hands of Czech Republic on Friday night.


Match preview

Israel's Eran Zahavi celebrates scoring against Scotland on Septmeber 4, 2020© Reuters

On the back of a defeat to North Macedonia, recently-appointed Israel boss Willibald Ruttensteiner knew that he had work to do in order to get his group of players in the right mindset for a meeting with Scotland.

However, he would have been delighted with the performance of his side, who probably feel that they could have claimed maximum points rather than a share of the spoils.

Eran Zahavi's 73rd-minute leveller was the least that the visitors deserved, and they will now feel that the foundations have been laid for an improved few months on the international scene.

Although Israel had to rely on an experienced head, there are plenty of newcomers in his squad, including forward Shon Weissman who is having to bide his time for a place in the first XI.

While a defeat on Monday night would change the mood ahead of the Euro 2020 playoff with Scotland, Ruttensteiner will feel that he has taken charge of his squad at the right moment in their development.

From Slovakia's perspective, they would have been bitterly disappointed with having lost out to Czech Republic, a result which already leaves them with an uphill task to gain promotion.

The absence of star man Marek Hamsik proved crucial as their opponents produced an efficient second-half performance to move to the top of the group.

Aside from two wins over Hungary, Slovakia are now approaching two years without a notable triumph over teams of similar level to themselves, a run which cannot be prolonged if they wish to remain considered as solid foes by the top nations.

With Republic of Ireland to come in the Euro 2020 playoffs next month, the outcome of Monday's fixture could prove pivotal with regards to their mindset heading into that all-important encounter, as well as faith being kept in boss Pavel Hapal.

Israel Nations League form: D
Israel form (all competitions): LLWLLD

Slovakia Nations League form: L
Slovakia form (all competitions): WDDLWL


Team News

Ondrej Duda in action for Norwich City on January 28, 2020© Reuters

Given their home advantage, Israel boss Ruttensteiner must decide whether to stick with five at the back.

Yonatan Cohen and Weismann are both pushing for a starting role further forward, with one of the pair potentially replacing a centre-back if Ruttensteiner switches to a four in defence.

On Friday night, Hapal was forced into two substitutions within the opening 32 minutes due to injuries sustained by Ondrej Duda and Lukas Stetina.

Adam Vrelak and Martin Valjent are expected to come into the team as their replacements, while Ivan Schranz should start ahead of Robert Bozenik.

Israel possible starting lineup:
Marciano; Dasa, Bitton, Tibi, Elhamed, Tawatha; Peretz, Natcho, Solomon; Zahavi, Dabbur

Slovakia possible starting lineup:
Greif; Valjent, Skriniar, Gyomber; Pekarik, Hrosovsky, Lobotka, Haraslin; Zrelak, Kucka; Schranz


SM words green background

We say: Israel 1-1 Slovakia

Having pegged Scotland back in Glasgow, Israel will be on a high and consider themselves favourites to gain maximum points. However, Slovakia are aware that this is the kind of game where they must go on the offensive, possibly leading to a competitive draw being played out.


Top betting tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting under 2.5 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 2.5:-

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Scotland manager Steve Clarke pictured on September 4, 2020
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