Israel take on the visitors Albania in the round 5 match of UEFA Nations League (League B). The match will be played on Friday, September 24th at Bloomfield Stadium (Tel-Aviv).
Israel never showed really convincing football. The White-Blues played only once in a big tournament - it was the 1970 World Cup. But then they were still playing in Asia. But since the 90s of the last century, the national team, for political reasons, was transferred to UEFA. There they always show the level of organized, "prickly", unpleasant, but still no more than an average team. Half of the matches were won in last year's qualifier, 5 out of 10, but that brought only a rather expected 3rd place. Now, under the guidance of a new mentor, Alon Hazan, they manage not to lose. But they won only against Albania, 2-1 - both fights with Iceland ended in draws 2-2.
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Albania cannot repeat De Biasi's success. The Eagles have long been listed as underdogs. But under the Italian mentor, it turned out to make a real breakthrough, winning the opportunity to play at Euro 2016. Something similar could not be repeated, but, for example, in the last cycle, already under Eduardo Rey, there was 3rd place in a not the easiest qualifying group. And just in the Nations League, in the last draw, the Albanians won their group and moved up to division B. In the summer, at a new level, the "red-blacks" were able to start well, with a draw on the field of Iceland (moreover, they won the 1st half, but conceded after the break and finished 1-1). Something similar could have happened with Israel at home: Broja from Chelsea scored a goal “into the locker room” from the penalty spot. But Manor Solomon answered this in the 2nd half with his “double”.
In total, 5 head-to-heads were played, and all of them fit into the segment from 2016 till present. Israel started with a victory, then lost twice, but then again turned out to be stronger 2 times. Israel will be the favorite in this confrontation. But Albania is obliged to fight, so it's better to use a neutral offer with "total over 2.0 goals".
Prediction for the match: Over 2.0 scored goals.