Our prediction for this match:
Northern Ireland are free for Match day 2 while Austria plays Bosnia & Herzegovina in their group in the League of Nations while Israel are free on account of Albania going to Scotland to play in their qualifying match. Ireland have met Israel nine times so far, beating them three times and allowing them just one win, with the rest of the matches finishing without a winner. The friendly will be played at the National football Stadium at Windsor Park in Belfast. Both sides are looking to improve their game ahead of further qualifying matches. Their forms in the last 10 matches has been sketchy to say the least. They have each won a few games but the Irish have lost four out the last seven games, including their last match, 3:0 to Costa Rica. Israel have five losses in the last seven games, including two defeats in their last two games, against Spain and Romania. We predict a goalless draw.
Highlighted Player (Steven Davis):
Born in Ballymena on 1 January 1985, Steven Davis is probably the most famous Northern Irish footballer of the 21st century, and he was one of team’s youngest ever captains, having been awarded the armband just over a year after making his debut for the national team.
The combative midfielder has spent his entire career up to date in the UK, enjoying successful spells with Aston Villa, Fulham, Rangers and Southampton, while representing the country of his birth at various youth levels before getting a chance to shine at the biggest stage.
Davis soon established himself as a leader of the Northern Ireland football team, missing just a handful of competitive fixtures since making his debut in 2005. The central midfielder scored 2 goals to help the national team finally secure their place at a major tournament, with an impressive Euro 2016 qualifying campaign likely to remain fresh in the minds of both the players and fans alike in years to come.
Highlighted Team (Israel):
Israel are the direct successor of the Mandatory Palestine national football team. The Israelis received full UEFA membership in 1994, 20 years after leaving AFC and they have been facing European sides in the World Cup qualifiers ever since. Israel participated at the 1970 FIFA World Cup finals in Mexico, but they failed to make it to the knockout stages of the showpiece tournament.
The Israeli national football team have yet to qualify for the final stages of the European Championship, but they made it to the quarter-finals of the Olympics on two occasions (1968, 1976). Israel play their home games at both Sammy Ofer Stadium in Haifa and Teddy Stadium in Jerusalem.
Yossi Benayoun is the most famous and the most capped Israeli footballer and it has to be noted that the pacey midfielder played for the likes of Racing Santander, West Ham United, Liverpool, Arsenal and Chelsea in the past. Israel play their home games in blue shirts and blue shorts, whilst they wear white shirts and white shorts when playing on the travels.