Celtic duo lead Israel team meeting; given extra Scotland responsibility

By Hamish Carton

September 4, 2020

Celtic duo Hatem Elhamed and Nir Bitton have been given added responsibility ahead of Israel’s clash against Scotland on Friday.

The Hoops pair, alongside Hibernian’s Ofir Marciano, know all about many of the players Scotland will field at Hampden Park.

Scotland met Israel at Hampden in 2017 / (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

And Israel coach Willi Ruttensteiner says the trio led the way in the pre-match briefing.

“The Scottish-based players held the team meeting”, he said, as reported by the BBC.

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“They know the opposition much better than me, they have all the information, so that is much better than watching a video.

Israel head coach Willi Ruttensteiner / (TOBIAS SCHWARZ/AFP via Getty Images)

“We have spoken a lot about the Scotland team as they have a lot of players who play in the top league here.”

Hampden clash will have a Celtic tinge

It will be interesting to see how Bitton and Elhamed get on against some of their Celtic team-mates tonight.

The likes of Callum McGregor, Ryan Christie and James Forrest should all play for the Hoops – and it could make for some interesting viewing for Celtic fans at home.

Ryan Christie will be a key man for Celtic / (Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt – AMA/Getty Images)

Bitton was injured when Israel last visited Hampden in 2018, while Elhamed also didn’t feature.

Another Celtic favourite, Beram Kayal, scored a cracker that night, before a James Forrest hat-trick secured a momentous win for the Scots.

Don’t be surprised if there’s a similar Celtic narrative in the game tonight.

In other news, Shane Duffy has been reflecting on an “emotional” night playing for the Republic of Ireland