Sam Langston (@Samlan98) previews Czech Republic v England and provides us with his best bets for Friday’s EURO 2020 Group A qualifier by analysing team news, potential line-ups, head-to-head, key stats and facts and more.
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Czech Republic v England Betting Preview, Odds & Tips
- Date: 11/10/2019
- Time: 19:45
- Venue: Sinobo Stadium
- Channel: ITV
England and entertainment aren’t two words that you’d have associated with each other over the years. We’d often hear the international period dubbed as the ‘dreaded’ pause to domestic action and so many times has that sinking feeling reflected in some of the lacklustre displays we’ve seen on the pitch.
It’s therefore refreshing to head into an international break with a sense of anticipation, excitement and genuine optimism that, ‘actually, you know what, we could put four or five past these today’. England’s current crop have proven to be the entertainment specialists over the course of EURO 2020 qualifying and they can put on another scoring clinic this Friday when they travel to Prague to take on the Czech Republic.
The Three Lions have already notched a combined 19 goals against the rest of the group and it’s testament to their clinical finishing that this free-scoring form has flowed throughout the qualifying campaign. Excellent efficiency in converting chances has been displayed by Gareth Southgate’s side, who’ve outperformed their xG figures in each of their four respective Group A games.
The consistency of Raheem Sterling’s performances in an England shirt is a massive contributor to this impressive offensive output. Sterling’s sharpness in-front of goal has evidently improved under the tutelage of Pep Guardiola and this is finally translating into his international performances – that always makes England a threat. Sterling and skipper Harry Kane have scored a combined 12 of England’s 19 goals in qualifying; it goes without saying that they’re vital to this side. They will be again come Friday night.
Arguably, this will be the toughest test of the group for Gareth Southgate’s men so far; however a 5-0 rout in the reverse fixture demonstrates the divide in quality between the nations. The Czech’s are still considered to be respected opponents on the international scene but long gone are the days of their world-renowned stars Petr Čech, Pavel Nedvěd and Tomáš Rosický. Now led by Jaroslav Šilhavý, a veteran coach of the Czech domestic leagues, they’re very much functional operators, who possess little in terms of standout talent.
Nevertheless, Šilhavý’s troops currently occupy second spot in Group A, positioned a point ahead of Kosovo, and are poised to book a place at a seventh successive European Championship. With more favourable games in the offing against the Kosovans and Bulgaria left to play, Friday’s fixture will be viewed as somewhat of a free-hit for the Czech Republic. England will virtually guarantee their spot at next year’s tournament with a victory here, so with the contest possessing importance for both sides, this should make for enjoyable viewing.
James Maddison has pulled out of the England squad through illness.
Potential Czech Republic Starting XI: Vaclick, Coufal, Celustka, Brabec, Boril, Darida, Soucek, Kral, Masopust, Jankto, Schick.
Potential England Starting XI: Pickford, Alexander-Arnold, Maguire, Keane, Chilwell, Henderson, Rice, Mount, Sancho, Sterling, Kane.
Head To Head
- England’s 5-0 victory over the Czech’s in March is the only competitive meeting between the nations to date.
Key Stats & Facts
- Both of the Czech Republic’s EURO 2020 qualifiers played at home have seen Over 2.5 Goals.
- England’s EURO 2020 qualifiers have generated an average of 3.8 xG per-game.
- Czech Republic – 6/1
- Draw – 16/5
- England – 11/20
As aforementioned, goals have been a feature of England’s EURO 2020 qualifiers and with Over 2.5 best priced at a generous 19/20 (Unibet), I’ll be backing that to continue on Friday.
This is a market that I’d expect to be shorter come kick-off. When England play away, the market generally supports goals – in fact, it’s seen money in all five of their away qualifiers under Gareth Southgate. With that in mind, I’d suggest snatching the value as soon as possible. This price won’t be around for much longer, so back the goals to flow in Prague.