The visitors will be going all out in the hope of keeping their dwindling World Cup dream alive, and Al Hain-Cole expects them to find some joy against an inexperienced back fourIsrael have the opportunity to keep their slim World Cup qualification hopes alive when they travel to the Stadio Jose Alvalade on Friday to take on Portugal.
Eli Guttman’s men are in need of a win in order to keep the pressure on their hosts for Tuesday’s final round of qualifiers but are up against it at 12/1 (13.00) with bet365 to come out on top in Lisbon.
After a shaky opening five matches, A Selecao have won three on the spin to put them within touching distance of at least a play-off spot, and are clear 1/6 (1.17) favourites to emerge victorious here.
Paulo Bento’s side came from 3-1 down to snatch a late draw in the away tie in Tel Aviv, and you can get odds of 13/2 (7.50) on the sides sharing the spoils once again.
With 20 minutes left to play in this pair’s encounter at the Ramat Gan Stadium, the home crowd could have been forgiven for dreaming of their nation’s first ever World Cup appearance.
However, goals from Helder Postiga and then Fabio Coentrao in the final minute saw the Blues and Whites drop two points in heart-breaking fashion in a result that with hindsight can be pinpointed as the turning point in Group F.
While the comeback spurred Portugal on to win their next three games, Israel collected just four points from the next nine to fall five points behind their hosts in the table.
Although they may understandably be feeling slightly deflated, the visitors can find encouragement in the absence of several big names from the opposition defence, including Fabio Coentrao, Bruno Alves, Joao Perreira and Miguel Lopes.
With inexperienced understudies set to step in, Guttman’s men will be confident of continuing the prolific form that has seen them out-score all but four other sides in European qualification, particularly as their hosts have conceded four goals in three games against lowly Northern Ireland and Luxembourg this campaign.
However, with Cristiano Ronaldo leading the line for Bento’s team, a similarly high-scoring match to the encounter in Tel Aviv is a distinct possibility, and odds of 11/8 (2.38) are therefore not to be missed on both sides finding the net.
|Both teams to score for a 1pt stake at 11/8 (2.38) with bet365
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Al Hain-Cole is a Liverpool fan, experienced tipster and avid follower of European football. He specialises in accumulators and if you would like to read more from Al you can follow him on Twitter here.