Israel v Scotland: Why the last Nations League match is important

Israel v Scotland: Why the last Nations League match is important
Scotland could give the Nations League a chance to reach another major final
Venue: Netanya Stadium, Netanya Date: Wednesday, November 18 Time: 19: 45 GMT
Coverage: Listen to commentary on BBC Radio Scotland and follow live text updates on the BBC Sport website & app; See the highlights of the sports scene

With a win over Israel on Wednesday, Scotland could claim first place in their Nations League group – but is that really the problem?

With qualifying for Euro 2020 now secure and facing the pressure of a protracted tournament drought, it is easy to dismiss the importance of competition at Netanyahu.

BBC Scotland explains why this is a crucial match for head coach Steve Clark and the team.

Promotion means big games

If Scotland beat Israel, they will finish top of Group B4 and advance to League A with the next installment of the Nations League.

This means games against better and better countries like France, Belgium, or England. It will not only give Scotland a chance to play the best side, but also be a game changer in the Scottish FA’s finances.

Big games mean big stars, which means – Kovid-19 permitting – whole houses back in Hampden Park, which has not happened regularly for the past five years.

SFA chief executive Ian Maxwell told BBC Scotland on Saturday: “If we qualify for the World Cup next season and then get the Nations League full next year, this will be a real transformative factor.

“Once we start gaining the crowd that sells out, all the money we get as Scottish FA goes out through clubs or underground games.”

Is the governing body Consider repetition $ 4.5 million reduction due to Kovid-19 pandemic. Promotion for Scotland may not change that, but it will help create a domino effect on the national game’s finances.

Second chance at the World Cup

A win in this category could give Scotland a second shot to qualify for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. The sure way to get there is to win their qualifying group, the competitions will start later this year and end 12 months later in March 2021.

The teams will be divided into 10 groups of five or six, with the group winners advancing to the World Cup and the 10 runners-up entering the playoffs. Scotland will be in three pots of that tie, meaning they will end up in a group with two strong sides. Simply put, finishing in the first two places is arduous.

That’s why this Nations League comes first in the group. The top two Nations League group winners who cannot qualify automatically or reach the playoffs via the regular route will enter the playoffs anyway and increase their numbers from 10 to 12.

Those 12 teams will be drawn to three different play-off paths. Each track will have two semi-finals and one final, with three winners making up the World Cup.

Basically, most of the teams above them are likely to consolidate their position in the traditional way, with the possibility of two matches from Scotland’s World Cup if they beat Israel on Wednesday.

Increases momentum

If you have not yet woken up to the achievements of the Nations League, here is another one for you. This is an opportunity to increase momentum.

Scotland had nine unbeaten matches before their 1-0 defeat to Slovakia on Sunday. Another defeat on Wednesday would be a minor setback.

Of course, the slip would not have sparked a dramatic night in Belgrade last week, but the reason Scotland made its way into the euro itself was quietly building confidence through the results.

Another successful Nations League campaign will help Clark and his team build confidence leading to the World Cup qualifiers in March and play with a better mind in next summer’s final.

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