AUTHOR: Star Sports Content

STAR PREVIEW Fri: Scotland v Israel, Romania v Northern Ireland

The second night of Nations League action sees Scotland and Northern Ireland take to the pitch. Scotland have had a mini revival of late, but this presents a tougher challenge than victories at home to San Marino (6-0), away to Cyprus (2-1) and at home to Kazakhstan (3-1). The Scots finished above Israel in Group C1 last year, in part thanks to a James Forrest hat-trick in a 3-2 win against tonight’s opponents, however, and the fact most of the Scottish players will come here with plenty of gametime for their respective sides should be a help too. They’ll need to find goals from somewhere other than their strikers – Oli McBurnie may not be playing and Cardiff forward Callum Paterson managed just five goals in the Championship last season and hasn’t scored in 12 internationals.

Scotland v Israel
UEFA Nations League Group Stage
19:45 Sky Sports Main Event

(Maximum 10 matches, since 2010)
NOV 2018 NATIONS LEAGUE Scotland 3-2 Israel
OCT 2018 NATIONS LEAGUE Israel 2-1 Scotland

Goals may be the best angle in. Scotland have kept just two clean sheets in their last 11 matches, both against San Marino, and Israel’s three defeats in their last four matches show their defensive weaknesses. That said, they have firepower going forward and their front three will be headed by Shon Weissman, who recently topped the Austrian Bundesliga scoring charts last season with 30 goals. Both teams can score in this contest.

Northern Ireland could find tonight hard going too. Their main aim is the next month’s European Championship playoff away to Bosnia, and perhaps this match will serve as a platform to build up the fitness of 17 English based players who are in-between seasons. Northern Ireland lost lost all four matches in their inaugural Nations League campaign and could be a touch behind a Romania side that could be fitter and more focused.

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