England head to the Czech Republic on Friday night looking to maintain per hundred per cent record in Group A of qualifying for Euro 2020.
Czech Republic (Odds of 7/1 for victory)
The Czech Republic are currently the closest thing that group leaders England have to rivals for top spot in Group A. the home side trail the Three Lions by three points, but have played a game more than Gareth Southgate’s team.
Jaroslav Silhavy’s team have in truth been inconsistent in their five qualifiers so far, picking up three wins and suffering two defeats. Last time out, they recorded a comfortable 3-0 win in Montenegro. The win kept the Czech’s just a point ahead of third-place Kosovo in the race for automatic qualification for next years tournament.
Silhavy’s team have been relatively prolific in recent Euro 2020 qualifiers, finding the net at least twice in three of their last four outings. Their last six European Championship qualifiers have also produced over 2.5 goals.
One major positive for the Czech Republic heading into this clash is that they have won six of their last eight qualifiers on home soil, losing just once to Turkey in 2015. The visit of England will certainly test that stellar run of form.
New RB Leipzig striker Patrick Schick has been in good goalscoring form for the home side, scoring four times. He will be a big danger to the visitor’s under-strength defence.
England (Odds of 9/20 for victory)
The Three Lions have certainly justified their tag as favourites to win the group by winning all four matches while scoring at least four times in each of the four victories. In fact, the visitors have scored at least twice in their last 11 qualifiers for the European Championships dating back to 2014. The home defence will have to be on guard with Gareth Southgate’s team looking highly dangerous of late.
Tottenham’s Harry Kane and Manchester City’s Raheem Sterling have both already scored six times in the current qualifying campaign in just four appearances each. Neither has been enjoying the best of times at club level, but of late have performed well for the national team.
England are unbeaten in their last ten European Championship qualifiers, having recorded nine wins. Unsurprisingly, they have also been prolific in front of goal in those unbeaten matches, scoring at least two goals in nine of the ten games.
Gareth Southgate’s side recorded a 5-0 hammering of the home side in the reverse fixture. However, a trip to Prague should prove a much tougher test for the Three Lions.
England have simply been far too good for their opponents in Group A. The Three Lions have hammered team so far, including Friday nights opponents. However, this could be the most difficult of the group. Czech Republic are strong on home soil.
Unfortunately, for the home side, we still think that England will have too much quality for them. However, it is unlikely to be as comfortable a victory as the other four games. With both teams prolific of late, it should be a high-scoring encounter, especially as England suffered major defensive problems last time out against Kosovo.
Verdict: Back the away win at odds of 9/20 (Boring and safe, we know!) and/or the over 3.5 goals scored at odds of 2/1 (Better value in that one).
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Will England continue their hundred per cent record in Group A in Prague?