Having qualified for their first major tournament in 22 years, Scotland are hoping to make it two in a row as they look towards Qatar in 2022. It has been a promising qualification campaign for Steve Clarke’s men so far but their hopes could now hinge on Saturday’s crucial game at Hampden Park (5pm; TV: Live on Sky Sports).
With Israel just a point behind their opponents coming into this match, it’s looking like a must win for both sides. We could either see a cagey encounter or an open, attacking affair but there should be some interesting options in the betting markets no matter what.
There’s little to separate these sides in Group F but Scotland are odds-on favourites to claim three points with 19/20 a common price among the bookies. The draw is next at a general 23/10 while victory for Israel completes the result betting at best odds of 17/5.
Both teams have played six games in this section with Scotland just ahead on 11 points as opposed to Israel’s 10. The teams have already played each other and, back in March of this year, a second half Ryan Fraser goal saw the Scots claim a 1-1 draw in Tel Aviv.
Denmark have a seven-point advantage at the top of the group and, with just four matches to play, it’s all about claiming a runners up slot and a playoff place. With so much at stake, the game could be as close as the reverse fixture and our initial thoughts focus on a share of the points in Glasgow.
This preview will commit to a verdict in the result betting a little later but let’s firstly take a look at the key individuals who can influence that outcome.
Scottish players dominate the top of the first goalscorer betting with Che Adams leading the way at best odds of 5/1. Adams is just ahead of Lyndon Dykes at 6/1 while Kevin Nisbet and Ryan Christie are both listed at 13/2. The issue is that none of those players have exactly been prolific so it’s tough to make a choice here.
Dykes and Christie have four international goals apiece while Adams and Nisbet have two and one respectively.
The first name from within the Israeli camp is that of Eran Zahavi who is available at best odds of 15/2. The 34-year-old PSV striker has 31 goals in 67 internationals so he has the experience and the productivity that the Scottish players are lacking.
In other markets, Both Teams to Score sees the ‘yes’ vote as the outside option which is rare. BTTS is quoted at 21/20 while Both Teams ‘Not’ to Score is available 5/6 in places.
We’ve already seen that both teams scored in the reverse fixture in Tel Aviv but how do the scoring statistics shape up overall? In six matches, Israel are actually the highest scorers with 14 goals for and 11 against.
Scotland’s record is modest in contrast with nine goals for and five against. The only games in which Israel failed to score were the two qualifiers against group leaders Denmark so that 21/20 figure looks quite generous in our opinion.
Moving on to Total Goals and the best odds to stake Over the 2.5 line also look interesting at 11/8. To push that one stage higher, the top price for Over 3.5 increases to 18/5.
If, however, you are expecting a repeat of the 1-1 draw back in March, Under 2.5 is on offer at a general 6/10.
That 1-1 draw carries the shortest price of 5/1, along with a 1-0 win for Scotland, in the Correct Score betting. Other options here include a 2-1 win to the Scots at a best of 37/4 while the same outcome in favour of Israel is available at an average of around 13/1.
This Preview’s Scotland vs Israel Betting Tips Verdict
Our Correct Score suggestions point towards a close game at Hampden Park and that’s how we expect things to play out. Some of those odds have been a little unkind to the Israelis who have been impressive in qualifying, outside of those two defeats to runaway leaders Denmark.
The lack of firepower within the Scottish squad should also be a concern for anyone expecting a comfortable 90 minutes for the home side. The form book is a better guide in our opinion and the stats all tend to point towards a draw at Hampden Park. That’s not ideal for either team but it’s OK for the Scots who would maintain their one-point advantage.
Both Teams to Score looks generous as it heads above even money, Israel have been consistent scorers in this group and should have enough up front to get on the scoresheet. So these are the betting tips for our World Cup qualifier game preview: