Can Scotland assert their dominance on this Nations League group?
While the international break certainly isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, the UEFA Nations League has added a different – and in my opinion, better – dimension to proceedings. In their quest to win promotion to League B (I’m slowly starting to understand the Nations League now!), Scotland will have to finish above Albania and Israel.
After their convincing 2-0 win against the Albanians, Alex McLeish’s men travel to Haifa, where they face a pretty poor Israel team (who themselves lost 1-0 to Albania). McLeish will feel their victory over Albania – who qualified for Euro 2016 – is a corner turned after a less-than-stellar start to his managerial reign, and I’m backing them to win against Israel.
There’s value in this, and with Israel very narrow odds-against favourites, the bookies aren’t particularly sure what will happen on Thursday.
After scoring against Albania last month (he should have had two, but it was very harshly deemed an own goal), I’m backing Steven Naismith to repeat the trick on Thursday. As the top-scorer in the Scottish Premiership this season with five goals, Naismith is very much in possession of a first-team spot right now; the former Everton man to net against Israel is a great price.