TEL AVIV (EuroBasket/FIBA Basketball World Cup) - There should be an electric atmosphere in Tel Aviv on Tuesday evening when Serbia attempt to strike an important blow in their bid to reach next year's EuroBasket in Slovenia and stay in the hunt for a spot at the FIBA Basketball World Cup.
The Serbians, who have a young side, captured silver at the EuroBasket in Poland in 2009 and then finished fourth at the FIBA World Championship in Turkey.
But the team coached by Dusan Ivkovic, after losing a couple of key players to injuries in Lithuania, finished eighth at the EuroBasket and missed out on their aim of playing at the London Olympics.
Serbia then fell at the buzzer to Montenegro in this summer's Qualification Round for EuroBasket 2013.
They are 3-1 in the Qualification Round for next year's tournament in Slovenia, but not as convincing as Ivkovic wants them to be.
The Serbians are not the only team in Europe to be reminded in recent times of how difficult it is to stay among the elite.
Turkey finished runners-up at the World Championship, losing only to Team USA in the gold-medal game, yet last year they came up short of the Quarter-Finals at the EuroBasket and now, Bogdan Tanjevic's team is finding it hard to stay in contention for a spot in next year's Final Round in Slovenia after losing two of their first four games.
Waiting for the Serbians in the Nokia Arena is an Israel team that is full of incentive to beat the number 12 team in the FIBA Rankings.
Israel fell in their first game at Montenegro and then slumped to a defeat at home to Estonia, a significant upset that has left Arik Shivek's side with hardly any room for error in their bid to reach the EuroBasket Final Round.
They have rebounded with wins against Slovakia and Iceland, but Israel are fourth in Group A of the Qualification Round and only the top two sides in the six groups, and the four best third-place teams, advance to the EuroBasket.
"You will see us fighting tomorrow (Tuesday)," Israel guard Gal Mekel said.
"Serbia are always strong and are in the top four of Europe.
"We understand the game against Montenegro hurt them but it can also work in reverse. We are ready for this high level opponent."
Expected a very tense atmosphere in Tel Aviv on Tuesday night.