Scotland to play Israel & Albania in Uefa Nations League

Scotland captain Scott Brown
Scotland will be hosting games at Euro 2020, with the Nations League offering a possible route to qualification

Scotland will play Israel and Albania in the inaugural Nations League.

Matches will be played home and away in a 10-week period between September and November.

The new tournament has been designed to replace international friendlies with more competitive matches and will include promotion and relegation.

It will also provide a second route to qualification for the European Championship, with four places available via a play-off system.

Scotland, still without a manager since the departure of Gordon Strachan in October, have never played Albania before, while the last of three wins against Israel came in a 1986 friendly.

Group C1 kicks off on Friday 7 September when Albania host Israel, with Scotland's first game coming three days later at home to Albania and the sectional campaign ending with the Scots at home to Israel on 20 November.

The Nations League divides 55 countries into four tiers, with Scotland in the only three-team group in the third section.

One team from each tier will reach the Euros once the group qualification process for the European Championship is completed.

Winning the Nations League group would therefore guarantee a play-off involving three other third tier teams if Scotland were to miss out on a top two place from their Euro qualifying group.

Euro qualifying begins in March 2019, with the 10 groups to be drawn on 2 December.

Glasgow's Hampden Park will host matches at Euro 2020, with the tournament spread across 12 different cities to mark Uefa's 60th anniversary.

Scotland have not reached a major finals since the World Cup in 1998.

Albania and Israel were in the same qualifying group for this year's World Cup, finishing behind Spain and Italy. Each side enjoyed a 3-0 away win in their meetings.

Albania made their major tournament debut at Euro 2016, while Israel have never reached a European Championship.

Albania made it to Euro 2016, winning one of their three group matches in France
Albania made it to Euro 2016, winning one of their three group matches in France

Group C1 Fixtures

Friday 7 September: Albania v Israel

Monday 10 September: Scotland v Albania

Thursday 11 October: Israel v Scotland

Sunday 14 October: Israel v Albania

Saturday 17 November: Albania v Scotland

Tuesday 20 November: Scotland v Israel

Scotland's opponents

Albania - World ranking: 60, World Cup 2018 qualifying: 3rd place on 13 points, last major finals: Euro 2016

Israel - World ranking: 99, World Cup 2018 qualifying: 4th place on 12 points, last major finals: World Cup 1970

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