Scotland vs Israel is live on Sky Sports Main Event from 7pm on Tuesday
Last Updated: 20/11/18 2:39pm
John Fleck could make his debut as Scotland face a must-win UEFA Nations League game at home to Israel on Tuesday, live on Sky Sports Main Event from 7pm.
The Sheffield United midfielder, 27, earned his first call-up after nine players pulled out of the squad.
He did not feature on Friday as Scotland won 4-0 in Albania to set up a tantalising finale to Group C1.
Both Scotland and Israel are on six points but, because Israel won the reverse fixture 2-1 in Haifa, only a win will do for Scotland as they look to earn promotion and a Euro 2020 play-off spot.
Scotland manager Alex McLeish might stick with the same side that won in Albania, but has been impressed by Fleck.
“He came in just last night and he trained today and he looked extremely comfortable,” said McLeish on Monday.
“You have probably seen him in action over the last couple of years, his composure on the ball was excellent.”
Scotland led Israel 1-0 when they met last month, only to concede twice in the second half and have John Souttar sent off.
Scotland vs Israel
November 20, 2018, 7:00pm
However, they have lost just one of their last 12 competitive home games and are unbeaten in their last seven.
McLeish said: “Confidence is very high. I can tell, I can feel it, I can see it in the eyes. We know that we have home advantage and a very good opportunity to do this. And these players can do this.
“It is a huge game for us. We know it is. I don’t need to remind the players of that. We took on a huge game at the weekend after the Israel disappointment and we absolutely nailed it. The players are under no illusions as to how big a game it is.”
If Scotland stick with the same side that won in Albania, that would mean Cardiff striker Callum Paterson again plays at right-back.
McLeish said: “He is playing a different position at Cardiff and because of an emergency we asked him to go back to one of his old positions, back in the day with Hearts and he was part of a very successful team performance.
“There was a lot of really positive and good things he did the other night and we have no qualms about the big man.”
- Scotland have won three of their four previous meetings with Israel in all competitions, though they did lose against them in their most recent meeting in October (1-2 in the Nations League).
- Scotland’s only previous home game against Israel came in April 1981 in a World Cup qualifier, the Scots won 3-1 thanks to a John Robertson brace and a David Provan strike.
- Israel have won each of their last three games by an aggregate score of 11-1. They’ve not won four in a row since November 2014.
- Scotland netted four goals last time out versus Albania, as many as they scored in their previous six matches combined.
- Scotland have lost four of their last five matches on home soil, winning the other versus Albania in September.
- Scotland’s Ryan Fraser has been directly involved in 13 goals in 16 appearances for club and country combined in 2018-19 (five goals and eight assists).
- Alex McLeish is looking to win consecutive matches as Scotland manager for the first time since October 2007 during his first stint in charge (6 wins).