The situation appears clear enough. If Russia win in Tel Aviv, they will need to beat Andorra (10 games, 10 defeats) to clinch a place in next summer’s finals.
However, if Israel win or draw, England – with JJ’s team-mates Paul Robinson and Jermain Defoe in the squad - will progress with a win against Croatia at Wembley next Wednesday.
“If Israel can do us a favour it would be fantastic,” said JJ. “We belong at the European Championships and if England are not there, there will be a lot of happy countries.
“I’ll be watching the game and hoping Israel can do us a favour. They are good enough, when we played them at their place we saw that thy can be a frustrating side with individuals that can produce a bit of brilliance. Hopefully they’ll all be on form and bang at it.”
Jermaine Jenas is crossing his fingers for an Israeli success against Russia on Saturday.The midfielder capped 17 times by his country isn’t currently part of Steve McClaren’s plans but will join the rest of English football in hoping Israel do the Three Lions a favour in European Championship qualifying.