Our match prediction:
Israel are going through a rough patch following their failure to grab what will have surely been a surprising place at the Euro 2016 in France. The Blue and Whites had a fighting chance against the likes of Bosnia & Herzegovina, Cyprus and Andora, but ultimately fell short as they finished fourth in Group B. Elisha Levy is keen to put it all behind, but Israel players are doing little to help him as they suffered back-to-back friendly defeats to Croatia and Serbia, respectively, in the build up to the opening of the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifying. Israel national team is now faced with even more difficult task with Italy coming to Haifa International Stadium in a match we predict is going to end in Italy’s favour. Azzurri are beginning a new chapter with a new manager keen to forget their disappointing Euro 2016 quarter-final loss to Germany. With Antonio Conte now at Chelsea, Italian team goes forth with Giampiero Ventura at the helm looking to make their 19th entry to the competition and grab a chance to fight for their fifth World Cup title.
Highligted Player (Tomer Hemed):
Tomer Hemed started his senior career at Maccabi Haifa, with the Israeli attacker making his first-team debut in March, 2007. He came as a substitute in a 2-1 defeat to Bnei Yehuda and two months later he scored his first goal for the club, against Maccabi Herzliya. On 21 June, 2011, Tomer Hemed signed a three-year contract with Spanish club Mallorca, where he spent three seasons. At the end of the 2013/2014 La Liga campaign, the Israeli striker joined Almeria and it has to be noted that he scored 8 goals in 35 appearances for the Segunda Division outfit. On 24 June, 2015 Hemed signed a three-year contract with Brighton for an undisclosed fee and he impressed in the 2015/2016 Championship campaign, scoring 17 goals for the Seagulls. Speaking of his international career, Hemed made his Israel debut on 4 June in a 2-1 win over Latvia. Three months later the Brighton striker scored his first goal for the Israeli national team, but he failed help his teammates avoid defeat to Croatia (1-3).
Highlighted Team (Italy):
With four World Cup titles and one European Championship trophy, Italy remain one of world’s most successful teams and they have also finished as runners up at major tournaments on four occasions. The Azzurri have become famous for their result oriented football over the years which is perfectly suited for World Cup and Euro finals, so it is now a surprise when they fail to reach the final stages. After winning the second and third edition of the World Cup, Italy endured a difficult period until lifting their first European Championship title in 1968, while they also managed to show some improvement at the turn of the century. While winning the 2006 World Cup in Germany, the Azzurri reached Euro finals in 2000 and 2012, and they are still regarded as one of the leading sides in Europe. There have been too many high-profile players leaving their mark on the national team to count, but the likes of Paolo Maldini, Gianluigi Buffon, Fabio Cannavaro, Dino Zoff, Roberto Baggio, Luigi Riva and Alessandro Del Piero will go down as some of the most successful ones.