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Preview: Czech Republic vs. Israel - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Sunday's Nations League clash between Czech Republic and Israel, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Czech Republic host Israel on Sunday in League 2 Group B of the UEFA Nations League.

Both nations are looking to peg back group leaders Scotland, with two wins from the remaining two matches required in order to have any realistic chance of doing so.


Match preview

Czech Republic manager Jaroslav Silhavy pictured on November 11, 2020© Reuters

Czech Republic lost 1-0 to Germany in an international friendly on Wednesday, with Luca Waldschmidt's goal in the first half proving the difference between the two bordering countries.

Jaroslav Silhavy rested the likes of West Ham United duo Tomas Soucek and Vladimir Coufal, Burnley striker Matej Vydra and Hertha Berlin midfielder Vladimir Darida, with Brescia defender Ales Mateju handed his international debut.

Silhavy's side find themselves four points behind Scotland in the group, but know that finishing ahead of their newly-qualified Euro 2020 group opponents is out of their hands with Steve Clarke's side facing Slovakia and Israel in the coming days.

Indeed, they must beat Israel on Sunday and hope for a favour from their neighbours in order to keep matters alive heading into the final match.

Israel manager Willibald Ruttensteiner pictured in October 2020© Reuters

Israel do not have matters in their own hands, either, finding themselves five points behind Scotland, but do have the advantage of facing Scotland in the final match of the group on Wednesday.

Should Willibald Ruttensteiner's side manage to beat Czech Republic, then any slip-up from Scotland in Slovakia would mean that a win for Israel against Clarke's side would guarantee them first place in the group.

That would be sweet revenge indeed for Israel, who were cruelly denied the chance of qualifying for the European Championships for the first time in the nation's history after losing to Scotland on penalties last month.

Instead, World Cup 1970 remains Israel's only ever appearance at a major international tournament. They qualified for that Mexican-based tournament via the Asian confederation, before becoming a permanent member of UEFA in 1994 for safety and political reasons.

Czech Republic Nations League form: WLWL
Czech Republic form (all competitions): WLWWLL

Israel Nations League form: DDLW
Israel form (all competitions): LDDDLW


Team News

Silhavy will be without Ondrej Kudela and Pavel Kaderabek, with both players quarantining due to COVID-19.

Bayer Leverkusen striker Patrik Schick was not called up to the squad as he has not played since the last international break due to tearing a muscle.

Ruttensteiner appears to be in a stronger position with no injury isuses, meaning Hoffenheim forward Munas Dabbur and PSV striker Eran Zuhavi should lead the line together.

Zuhavi, who has 24 goals in 57 caps, scored a hat-trick in his nation's 3-2 win at Slovakia in their last match last month.

Czech Republic possible starting lineup:
Vaclik; Coufal, Celustka, Kudela, Novak; Soucek, Kral; Dockal, Darida, Masopust; Vydra

Israel possible starting lineup:
Marciano; Dgani, Tibi, Yeini; Dasa, Natkho, Golasa, Kandil; Solomon, Zahavi, Dabbur


SM words green background

We say: Czech Republic 1-1 Israel

Czech Republic lack cutting edge without star striker Schick, whereas Israel do have two considerable goal threats in the shape of Zahavi and Dabbur.

With both sides needing to win to keep their hopes of finishing above Scotland alive, it could be an entertaining match, so we can see a score draw which will ultimately suit neither nation.


Top betting tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting under 3.5 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 3.5:data

ID:422161:cQx

Who will win Sunday's UEFA Nations League clash between Czech Republic and Israel?

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Czech Republic coach Jaroslav Silhavy before the match against Slovakia in November 2018
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