The Israel National Team will face Scotland Friday night to open the latest UEFA Nations League campaign ahead of the 2022 World Cup. While there will be a standard qualifying tournament, the Nations League was created to allow teams a last chance to qualify for the big event skated to take place in Qatar. In addition, the Nations League takes the place of friendlies as the mini-tournament allows for more competitive games with Israel having the opportunity to play not only Scotland but Slovakia and the Czech Republic as well between now and the end of the calendar year.
Ironically, the Blue & White will play Scotland once again at Hampden Park in Glasgow in October in one of the semifinals of UEFA European Championship Playoffs for a ticket to the Euro 2020 tournament that will be played during the summer of 2021.
Ahead of Friday nights clash (21:45 Israel time), Monas Dabbur one of Israel’s star strikers who plays his club football in the Bundesliga for Hoffenheim spoke about a myriad of topics including Willi Ruttensteiner who stepped into the role as coach, finding a way not to rely as much on Eran Zahavi, using this match as a dress rehearsal for October and beginning a new campaign.
“It’s a new campaign and we’re all happy to be here. I think we can do some good things in this group but it will be difficult, however, I believe that we can contend.”
About next month’s game back in Scotland with much more at stake:
“Next month’s match is more important but we want to start this campaign off on the right foot. We are playing a tough team and we want to play well heading into the game in October.”
“There is a good feeling within the team and we can feel that our confidence it much higher going into the game. We think we can do some good things in this campaign and we want to prove that we belong.”
Taking advantage of chances:
“The strikers also need to help improve the defensive side of our game to help out. We have shown that we can do some good things on the attack and we need to take advantage of the chances that we will have.”
Former Coach Andi Herzog:
“I spoke to Andi Herzog still and he wished us good luck. We had a good time with him and we learned so much from him. We will try to continue what Herzog’s had begun and there are things that we need to watch out for.”
Not having to rely only on Eran Zahavi:
“It’s no secret that Eran was amazing and has scored so much. We hope he will still be the base and that’s important for the national team. Other players really have to try and score as well as help out. It doesn’t matter if it’s Eran or other players, we will help him and he will help us.”
On Shon Weissman siging with Real Valladolid:
“I’m really happy for Shon and we’ve spoken about his move to Spain. He has the potential to do very well there and I told him that it’s important to learn the language as fast as possible and be a central figure in the lockerroom.”