Israel v Wales preview

Date published: Monday 24th August 2015 1:18

Israel v Wales preview

Chris Coleman’s side, who are ranked 37th in the word, are also undefeated in Group B so far but currently sit one point behind Israel in the standings having played a game more.
Both sides head into the clash in good form with Wales holding Belgium in Brussels and Israel, who have moved up to 26th in the world rankings, putting in an impressive performance to beat Bosnia-Herzegovina 3-0 at home.
Wales have an excellent defensive record so far in qualifying but they will have to keep a close eye on Israel’s top goalscorer Omer Damari, who has found the back of the net on five occasions, including a hat-trick against Andorra.
However, Coleman’s men will be hoping Gareth Bale can put some indifferent form for Real Madrid behind him and cause Eli Guttman’s side problems as they look to qualify for a major tournament for the first time since 1958.
Cardiff defender Declan John comes in to replace the injured Ashley Richards (calf strain), while Burnley striker Sam Vokes is back in the fold after a year out with a knee injury.
Hull City’s James Chester is out (shoulder) and Leicester City midfielder Andy King is suspended.
Israel’s only home defeat since November 2012 was a 3-1 friendly defeat to Slovakia back in March 2014 and Guttman’s men have lost just one of their last 11 competitive games (W6 D4).
Israel have never won four successive games in a single qualifying campaign; their only run of four straight competitive victories to date spanned the end of their 2006 World Cup qualifying campaign and the start of their UEFA EURO 2008 tilt.
Israel are yet to win against Wales in four meetings (D2 L2), though the sides have not locked horns since a 3-3 draw in Ramat Gan on 8 February 1989.
Wales are unbeaten in their last six competitive games (W3 D3). Before that they had lost their previous three competitive games.
Wales have scored in four of their previous six away matches (six goals) and six of last nine away games (eight goals).
Neither Israel nor Wales have qualified for the European Championship finals.

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