Euro 2020: Scotland to host Israel in semi-final

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Scotland players celebrate
The Scots will aim to see off Israel at Hampden

Scotland will face Israel in their one-off Euro 2020 play-off semi-final at Hampden on 26 March.

However, the potential trip to face Norway or Serbia is a daunting prospect. Norway haven’t suffered a home defeat in more than three years while Serbia are ranked 33rd and played in last year’s World Cup.

Clarke described the prospect of facing Israel in March as “a hugely exciting challenge for us with a massive reward”.

“The players know Israel well having faced them in the Nations League,” he added. “It was a tough match over there but we showed our capabilities with a good win at Hampden last year.

“This is the time to believe. We have three wins in a row and the benefit of momentum. We want to be active participants at EURO 2020, not just hosts, and we will give our all in what I believe will be two games.”

Israel

How did their qualifying group go?

Off the back of losing out to Scotland in their Nations League group, Israel started with a draw with Slovenia and wins over Austria and Latvia. However, things quickly fell apart after that. In their next seven qualifiers, Andi Herzog’s side won just one – a 3-1 home win over bottom-placed Latvia – and lost five.

Despite starting off in pot three side, Israel finished fifth behind Poland, Austria, North Macedonia and Slovenia – winning just one win from eight games against the four sides. There hasn’t been a huge amount of evidence to suggest they’ve improved at all since losing 3-2 at Hampden a year ago.

Key player – Eran Zahavi

Guangzhou striker Eran Zahavi was a key player for this faltering Israeli side, scoring 11 goals in 10 qualifying games. The 32-year-old netted four of those against Austria, two against Slovenia and one against North Macedonia. He also claimed a goal and an assist at Hampden in the last meeting with Scotland.

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