The 2014 World Cup Qualifiers Thread - Xtratime Community
View Poll Results: What will be Israel´s outcome in the WC 2014 campaign?
Israel will shock all the pundits and qualify straight for the WC. 1 7.69%
Will reach the playoffs and qualify. 2 15.38%
Will reach the playoffs and lose. 1 7.69%
Israel wil finish third place as usual. 5 38.46%
Israel will dissapoint and won´t even fight for a spot. 4 30.77%
Voters: 13. You may not vote on this poll

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post #1 of 392 (permalink) Old August 19th, 2012, 01:19 Thread Starter
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The 2014 World Cup Qualifiers Thread

We are three weeks away from the opener against Azerbaijan in Baku and nothing better than begin the warm up discussing the possibilities and expectations for the qualifiers.

Once again we have hopes even though a bit more realistic this time that the chances are slim. We are also changing the game philosophy as Eli Gutman steps in at the expense of Luis Fernandez.

What are your expectations for the qualifiers? Could Israel manage to surprise?
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post #2 of 392 (permalink) Old August 19th, 2012, 01:23 Thread Starter
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Here a small preview of the teams starting with:

Azerbaijan




Head Coach: Berti Vogts (GER)

Most Capped player: Rashad Sadygov (84)

Highest Scorer: Gurban Gurbanov (14)

Current FIFA ranking: 108th

Last Campaign: Euro 2012 Qualifiers – 5th place (out of six teams) 2W 1D 7L - Goals (10-26)


Israel´s Head to Head Statistics against Azerbaijan: 3-0-0 (100%) – Goals (10-0)


As seen is in the previous data, Israel has never conceded a goal against Azerbaijan, winning all of its games. The last game was in 2004 in a friendly match where Israel had no problems defeating the visitors 6-0 in the debut of the Brazilian coach Carlos Alberto Torres.
The truth is that from that period onwards, Azerbaijan has developed and despite not achieving great positions in the standings it has closed the gap to the medium table sides and even managing surprising victories as the one in the last qualifiers against Turkey.

Great credit for this upgrade is to experienced German coach Berti Vogts, who is the only one who managed to stay more than one campaign ahead of the NT (this will be his third campaign) and the results are been seen already.
We had a small preview of a possible Israel – Azerbaijan clash when Ironi Kiriat Shmona beat Neftçi Baku in the Champions League Qualifier and despite the ease of the second leg, certainly the game in Baku won´t be like that (in the recent friendly against Bahrain in which Azerbaijan won 3-0, no Neftçi player was called). Usually their home games are tough for the visitors, but if Israel manages to hold an expected initial pressure from the start then the tide will turn and the better technical quality of our side should prevail.

Their main goal in this qualifier is to reach a position higher than the previous one, this means a fourth place. And this means take points from higher ranked opponents like Israel, so we should take all the caution, but at the same time understand that we have all the conditions to go there and do the job. Plus, if we dream of at least clinching a second place, we must beat Azerbaijan in both games have goal difference (remember we out of the 2006 World Cup playoffs because of goal difference).
One the players to watch is captain Rashad Sadygov who is the most capped player in the National Teams history. His team Qarabag was the one that had most players selected for the NT. Another player to beware is forward Branimir Subasic. He plays for Khazar Lankaran and has a good average scoring for the NT, including slotting one more in the friendly against Bahrain.

Azerbaijan has also some young players coming up and that could be used later in the qualifiers such as Cihan Ozkara from Sivasspor, Rizvan Umarov from Elche and Ali Gokdemir from Hannover II.
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post #3 of 392 (permalink) Old August 19th, 2012, 01:26 Thread Starter
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Luxembourg




Head Coach: Luc Holtz


Most Capped player: Jeff Strasser (98 caps)

Highest Scorer: Leon Mart (16 goals)

Current FIFA Ranking: 110th

Last Campaign: 6th place (out of 6 teams) – 1W 1D 8L – Goals (3-21)

Israel´s Head to Head Statistics against Luxembourg: 7-0-0 (100%) – Goals (25-3)

This will be the third time that Luxembourg plays Israel in a qualifying stage and always in World Cup campaings (previous ones were: WC 98, WC2010). The team has always been considered the piece of cake of every group it participated in, but the gap is closing as the team is already managing to score goals and win some matches. In the last campaign it managed a win over Albania and a draw against Belarus. And the only big defeat was a 5-0 away to Bosnia, other than that the defeats were no more than three goals which looking to recent history it is a good achievement for Luxembourg.

The expectations for these qualifiers are simple: Improve the play and try to score the maximum possible points. Some improvements are beginning to be made as we could see in F91 Dudelange´s win over Red Bull Salzburg in Europa League as a positive sign that the country is on the right path.

Players to observe and highlight in these qualifiers are of forward Daniel Da Motta, one of the main players in Dudelange´s win over Salzburg, midfielders Mario Mutsch who plays in St. Gallen and Rene Peters from local side Jeunesse Esch and defender Eric Hoffmann from the previous team aswell. Some new young players could be appearing more oftenly such as Maurice Deville and Lars Gerson.

Both of Israel´s games against Luxembourg are already in 2012 in an October double header. On the 12th, game in Luxembourg and four days later the return leg, most likely in Tel Aviv.
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post #4 of 392 (permalink) Old August 19th, 2012, 01:30 Thread Starter
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Northern Ireland




Head Coach: Michael O´Neill

Most Caps: Pat Jennings (119 caps)

Highest Scorer: David Healy (35 goals)

Current FIFA ranking: 101st

Last Campaign: Euro 2012 Qualifiers: 5th place (out of six teams) 2W 3D 5L – Goals (9-13)

Israel´s Head to Head Statistics against Northern Ireland: 0W 4D 3L – Goals (5-10)

If history is favourable against Luxembourg, Azerbaijan and Russia, it is not the case against Northern Ireland. In seven games played before these qualifiers, Israel never managed to win a single game against their counterparts. Most of the games were played in the 80´s where Israel wasn´t still a decent team, but of course it doesn´t take the merits of their side who had precisely probably their best period in history participating in two straight World Cups (1982 and 1986).

After the golden period, Northern Ireland is still seeking a return to a major competition. In the 2010 WC campaign it narrowly missed a chance in the playoffs after losing at Windsor Park to Slovakia who eventually qualified and drawing the Czechs in their last two matches, managing only one point out of six which certainly made the difference at the standings. In the last campaign, they also got a tricky group with Italy leading it and as contenders Serbia and Slovenia, but the eventual second place was surprising Estonia (who lost to Ireland in the playoffs).

In this campaign the expectations are pretty much the same of Israel´s: To at least try a playoff berth and improve the football level. This should be a very tough encounter for Israel and if we wish to qualify we need at least 4 points from Northern Ireland which certainly won´t be easy. The table ended up making Israel face them only in 2013, playing in Belfast in late March right after the highly expected meeting with Portugal in Tel Aviv four days earlier. The return match will be in October, Israel´s last game of the qualifiers.

Experienced David Healy is the teams main scorer, but currently is a free agent and wasn´t called up for the recent friendly match. But until March, he will certainly retake his form and a dangerous threat for the Israeli defense. We could also highlight some players such as Sion´s Kyle Lafferty, experienced defender Chris Baird. Southampton´s Steven Davis will also most likely be a presence for Northern Ireland in these qualifiers while young Shane Ferguson who currently plays for Newcastle is expected to gain opportunities.

Maybe Pumba could us more info of Northern Ireland.
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post #5 of 392 (permalink) Old August 19th, 2012, 01:32 Thread Starter
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Russia




Head Coach: Fabio Capello (ITA)

Most Capped player: Viktor Onopko (109 caps)

Highest Scorer: Vladimir Beschastnykh (26 goals)

Current FIFA Ranking: 11th

Last Campaign: Euro 2012 Qualifiers: 1st place (out of six teams) 7W 2D 1L - Goals (17-4)

Qualified for Euro 2012: Finished in third place of the Group Stage behind Czech Republic and Greece.

Israel´s Head to Head Statistic against Russia: 3W 3D 2L – Goals (12-10)

According to the draw, Russia would be the second main strength of the group and therefore the team to be beaten in order for Israel to reach the playoffs. Fact is the Russian side is more likely to challenge Portugal for first place than rather losing the second position.

The good side of history is that Russia is one of the few traditional football nations that Israel has a positive record. The last time Russia beat Israel was in a friendly match in Moscow in 2000, still when Israel was coached by Danish Richard Moeller Nielsen. From then on, three games were played, two of them in the 2008 Euro qualifiers where Israel drew in Moscow and won in Tel Aviv.

If Israel is only starting with Gutman at helm, Russia has also changed coaches after Euro 2012, Dick Advocaat gave his spot to Fabio Capello. In Russia apparently there mixed feelings about this combination, but fact is the Italian coach has vast experience and titles and could certainly lead the team to victory. Capello is known to have quality teams, but also pragamatic football when necessary and the question will be what Russia will we see in this qualifier?

The teams base is the same of the previous tournament with players like Arshavin and Dzagoev leading the team. Important players such as the Berezutskiy brothers, Malafeev, Denisov and Biyaletidinov are also expected to be part of all qualifiers. The first game between the both sides will be already in September and some players who played in Euro 2012 did not take part of the last friendly and are not certain to be there aswell such as Kerzhakov, Zyrkov, Izmailov, Semshov.

Hopefully Israel could be able to take advantage of the home game already in the beginning and that the Russians aren´t still used to Capello. Should be a very interesting and tight game and a must win for Israel if it wishes to qualify.
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post #6 of 392 (permalink) Old August 19th, 2012, 01:36 Thread Starter
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Portugal




Head Coach: Paulo Bento

Most Capped Player: Luis Figo (127 caps)

Highest Scorer: Pauleta (47 goals)

Current FIFA Ranking: 5th place

Last Campaign: Euro 2012 Qualifiers - 2nd place (out of six teams) – 5W 1D 2L – Goals (21-12)

Qualified for the Euro 2012 via playoffs defeating Bosnia. Reached the semifinals

Israel Head to Head Statistics against Portugal: 1W 0D 3L – Goals (5-8)

Portugal certainly is the main force of this group and in theory the favourites to qualify in first place. But recent campaign has shown us that despite showing good performances in the major tournaments the Portuguese usually struggle to qualify. In the last campaign at Euro 2012 qualifiers the team managed to qualify to the playoffs because of goal difference against Norway.

Despite this negative view Portugal comes fortified and motivated after having a great campaign in Euro 2012 falling to the eventual champions, Spain, in the semifinals. Cristiano Ronaldo in great form is the main player without a doubt, but other players such as well known Nani, Raul Meireles
and Fabio Coentrao only to mention a few.

Should be a big test for Israel that face Portugal in Tel Aviv in March in the first game of 2013. Hopefully the Portuguese struggle in the qualifiers could be taken in our favour this time.

Last edited by berko; August 19th, 2012 at 01:41.
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post #7 of 392 (permalink) Old August 19th, 2012, 02:01 Thread Starter
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Full Schedule:


September 7th 2012:

Azerbaijan vs Israel

Luxembourg vs Portugal

Russia vs Northern Ireland


September 11th:

Israel vs Russia

Northern Ireland vs Luxembourg

Portugal vs Azerbaijan


October 12th:

Luxembourg vs Israel

Russia vs Portugal


October 16th:

Israel vs Luxembourg

Portugal vs Northern Ireland

Russia vs Azerbaijan


November 14th

Northern Ireland vs Azerbaijan


March 22nd 2013:

Israel vs Portugal

Luxembourg vs Azerbaijan

Northern Ireland vs Russia


March 26th:

Azerbaijan vs Portugal

Northern Ireland vs Israel


June 7th:

Azerbaijan vs Luxembourg

Portugal vs Russia


September 6th:

Israel vs Azerbaijan

Northern Ireland vs Portugal

Russia vs Luxembourg


September 10th:

Luxembourg vs Northern Ireland

Russia vs Israel


October 11th:

Azerbaijan vs Northern Ireland

Luxembourg vs Russia

Portugal vs Israel


October 15th:

Azerbaijan vs Russia

Israel vs Northern Ireland

Portugal vs Luxembourg
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post #8 of 392 (permalink) Old August 19th, 2012, 16:16
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Wow Northern Ireland is the only team in the group we have never beaten?? Hopefully that changes this qualifiers.
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post #9 of 392 (permalink) Old August 19th, 2012, 18:47 Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZZZ View Post
Wow Northern Ireland is the only team in the group we have never beaten?? Hopefully that changes this qualifiers.
Yeah, when i was making the research i found interesting aswell. It will tough against them unquestionably, but certainly we have the conditions to win.
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post #10 of 392 (permalink) Old August 19th, 2012, 22:24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by berko View Post
We are three weeks away from the opener against Azerbaijan in Baku and nothing better than begin the warm up discussing the possibilities and expectations for the qualifiers.

Once again we have hopes even though a bit more realistic this time that the chances are slim. We are also changing the game philosophy as Eli Gutman steps in at the expense of Luis Fernandez.

What are your expectations for the qualifiers? Could Israel manage to surprise?
I finally got to watch the Israel Hungary game. Based on what I saw there, we may be able to beat Northern Ireland, Azerbaijan, andLuxembourg in all of our games if we get lucky. Both teams looked mediocre. I think Vermouth and Benayoun should be our starting attacking midfielders. Vermouth looked like our best player of the match. We were getting dominated in midfield as well, If Hemed keeps on doing well, I think he should get a start over Shechter. I don't even think Shechter should start, he gets pushed off the ball too easily and commits alot of unforced errors. Elad Gabai had a good game, except for his mistake that led to the goal. I think he should start over Spungin, he is much better going forward.


My team to start against Azerbaijan. Tal Ben Haim is suspended.


-----------Hemed------------
Benayoun-----------Vermouth
--Natcho----------Biton-----
-----------Kiyal--------------
Gershon--------------Gabai--
------Tibi--------Mori--------
----------Aouate-------------
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post #11 of 392 (permalink) Old August 21st, 2012, 19:07 Thread Starter
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Another blow for our NT. Rami Gershon is out of both games against Azerbaijan and Russia in September due to a knee injury. The defender held a MRI scan and he needs to go through surgery where his club Standard Liege demanded an immediate action. Gershon requested if the surgery could be made after the Russia game, but apparently the Belgians denied him. So unless a last minute decision happens, Gershon is out of the openers and most likely of the October games aswell.
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post #12 of 392 (permalink) Old August 21st, 2012, 21:32
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im not going to analyze all the matches...
all i know is that Russia is our wildcard....... we need to perform well against them at home and tie abroad and we should be fine.

Northern Ireland is also a threat a team which if you dont expect may tie you and refuse points that you need.

Azerbijian looks easy but can be an upcoming threat and do what N. Ireland does and try to deny us points...especially in Baku

Luxemborg is a breeze and Portugal should be a bit of a mess...other than that..we are good to go.

:rollani:
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post #13 of 392 (permalink) Old August 31st, 2012, 02:46
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Azerbaijani teams play well at home, really poor at away. But Israeli side looks more fast-paced and technical team, which our footballers are poor against.

Azerbaijani NT is good against slow paced and defensive minded teams like Greece and Slovenia

The bullet changes things in the brain, even if hit in the ass. © Al Capone
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post #14 of 392 (permalink) Old August 31st, 2012, 16:53 Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AzeriWolf View Post
Azerbaijani teams play well at home, really poor at away. But Israeli side looks more fast-paced and technical team, which our footballers are poor against.

Azerbaijani NT is good against slow paced and defensive minded teams like Greece and Slovenia
Is the media in Azerbaijan already talking about the game?
What are their reactions and comments?
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post #15 of 392 (permalink) Old August 31st, 2012, 18:25
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Is the media in Azerbaijan already talking about the game?
What are their reactions and comments?
Media so far realistic as they put Israeli side to be strong one, however as you've noticed Neftchi have some young players, which are fast-paced and very technical, could be headache to Israel.

As for my opinion, I don't know about Israel but Northern Ireland and Russia can be beaten, if you play aggressive towards them.

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post #16 of 392 (permalink) Old August 31st, 2012, 18:47 Thread Starter
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Media so far realistic as they put Israeli side to be strong one, however as you've noticed Neftchi have some young players, which are fast-paced and very technical, could be headache to Israel.

As for my opinion, I don't know about Israel but Northern Ireland and Russia can be beaten, if you play aggressive towards them.
Well you could expect the Israeli side not to underestimate any opponent in the qualifiers since the new coach Eli Gutman is very disciplined and demands this from his players. He urges full concentration for the whole time and certainly if Israel keeps it that way we will have big chances to win.
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post #17 of 392 (permalink) Old August 31st, 2012, 18:53 Thread Starter
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The squad for both games against Azerbaijan and Russia will be announced on Sunday as Gutman and Abuksis will observe players this weekend.

Most likely the call ups will be pretty much the same from last friendly against Hungary as Eran Zahavi, Elyaniv Barda, Biram Kiyal are all injured. Tal Ben Haim is suspended for the Azerbaijan game but is likely to be called up to play against Russia.


In other news: Fabio Capello announced the Russian squad with some surprising news!

Arshavin, Pavlyuchenko, Zhirkov and Pogrebniak were all left out of the squad and won´t play against Israel!
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post #18 of 392 (permalink) Old August 31st, 2012, 19:13
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Russia is hyped up. First of all their old generation were better and they are not playing no more. New players look weaker and more inexperienced so it gives us good chance. Only dangerous player that I like in Russia is Dzagoev, others are pretty mediocre.

The bullet changes things in the brain, even if hit in the ass. © Al Capone
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post #19 of 392 (permalink) Old September 1st, 2012, 00:19
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We have good results in Baku so I am confident.

I want to see what Russian produces this time around. We have done well against them in the last 10 years.

:rollani:
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post #20 of 392 (permalink) Old September 1st, 2012, 03:53
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Originally Posted by Kappa21 View Post
We have good results in Baku so I am confident.

I want to see what Russian produces this time around. We have done well against them in the last 10 years.
The Russians are very good, their problem is consistency, lets hope the bad russians show up.
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