Czech Republic v England: Can England Maintain Form?
Major European club leagues take a backwards step this weekend to make way for the return of the Euro 2020 qualifiers and things are getting serious. It hasn’t been well received by supporters of the Premier League, Scottish Premiership, La Liga, Serie A, Bundesliga and Ligue 1 but there are plenty of international matches scheduled from Thursday onwards.
There’s also betting offered on each of the games and the fact most will be shown live on TV, including Sky Sports and ITV, mean it’ll be a little easier to take the hit. Each of the home nations teams are in action – England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales – and bookmakers have done their bit to allow us an opportunity to boost our betting balance.
Create a Nice Priced Acca
Choose the match that interests you most and get your cash down on the winner as a super single or throw a few together to create a nice priced accumulator. Small stakes for big returns is the aim there and that bet will give backers something to keep an eye on over the course of the weekend. Each of the home nations are expected to struggle, with Scotland away to Russia, apart from England who is the bookies choice to add another three points to the tally with a win over the Czech Republic away from home.
Nail down the three points here and the blazers at Wembley can begin preparations for Euro 2020 if they haven’t set the wheels in motion already. Punters can enjoy a bet on over 100 pre-match betting markets attached to this game, including match winner, both teams to score, total goals, handicap, first goalscorer and plenty more besides. Most of these options will remain live throughout the course of the 90 minutes thanks to in-play betting.
Czech Rep Players Have Held their Own
Czech Republic was dropped into Euro 2020 qualifying Group A alongside England, Kosovo, Montenegro and Bulgaria. The Three Lions were betting favourites to top the pile, but it was expected Czech Rep would run them close before finishing up in the silver medal position and advancing to the knockout stages via a playoff place. There’s still much work to be done if they are to achieve that but, after five games place, Czech Rep sits in second. They have won three and lost two, scored nine goals and conceded eight. The nine points on the board have them one ahead of Kosovo and three behind league leaders England. Their form breaks down as follows – lose, win, win, lose, win. Impressive enough, but few are predicting another victory here.
The current set up of Group A means Czech Rep still have an outside chance of winning the pool and qualifying as champions, denying England in the process, but it is a longshot, to say the least. England has a 100% record and game in hand. To go close, the home side must beat the league leaders on Friday night from 7.45pm, a match that will be shown live on ITV, and they must then hope for a favour or two between now and the final game.
Time is running out on the team’s chance of winning the division, but the Czech Rep remains in with a chance and fans can’t ask for any more than that. The players have held their own in what has been a seriously competitive group from the opening game. Are there more twists and turns to come?
Impressive Effort Last Time Out
The home team was last seen adding three points to their tally with a strong win over Montenegro away from home, achieved on Tuesday 10 September. It was a victory that was expected by most football fans, but the team must be given the credit they deserve for sticking to their task and winning 3-0 at a tricky venue. Soucek scored first and that effort was boosted by goals from Masopust and a 95th minute third from Dardida.
To make that result and final score all the better it’s worth remembering Montenegro was able to hold on until the 54th minute, keeping the scores locked at 0-0. When they did eventually concede, however, the defence seemed to crumble under the heavy pressure inflicted by a Czech attack that was relentless with the scent of blood in their nostrils. The victors had the lion’s share of possession, 17 shots at goal, eight on target and 10 corners. They were completely dominant during the second 45 and more than deserved the three points.
Improvement is needed if they are to get anywhere near repeating the feat and beating England in front of their own fans. Czech Rep goes in with confidence and will have the backing of the home support from the first whistle but if they are to grab the win, they would do so against the expectations of many. Casual football fans, experts, pundits, commentators and even bookmakers have set up camp in the away dressing room and that comes as little surprise to those who understand football betting.
There’s a Chunky 8/1 on the Home Win
If you fancy taking a chance on a talented home team you will be delighted to learn bet365 are offering a market best price of 8/1 and that’s head and shoulders above the rest, many bookies stuck at 6/1 about the same bet. The draw is 3/1 with the same firm but that should attract too much attention as bigger was expected. Those eager to avoid picking a winner in this match can take their interest from the specials markets.
Fancy goals? Take both teams to score for a decent 23/20 – top price with Unibet. That’s much more generous than the even-money available with most shops. No on the same coupon is as tight as 3/4 with Ladbrokes and that doesn’t do much to excite us. The total goals over/under market makes for interesting reading, especially for accumulator backers. The game to produce more than two goals is 19/20 – best price at Unibet – with less than two goals being 10/11 at Ladbrokes. That one should keep you involved until the final whistle, although the prices probably appeal more to those building multiples, such as accumulators.
There’s more to be had in the first goalscorer list and, as you would probably expect, that’s dominated by England players. Harry Kane has been pinned to the top of the betting and the Tottenham scorer Kane is 13/5 at Ladbrokes to break the deadlock. That has him ahead of Callum Wilson at 4/1 with bet365 and Tammy Abraham at 17/4. We have to go all the way down to sixth in the betting to find Jadon Sancho who is 13/2 (bet365).
England Unbeaten in Four
Across the divide and England make this trip with a perfect record behind them, showing four wins from as many starts. They sit proudly atop Group A with 19 goals scored and only four conceded. There looks no catching Gareth Southgate’s team and if they can win again here to stretch their record to a high five, they will put the race to bed and prepare for their place in the Euro 2020 proper when things get serious next summer. The final of this tournament will be played at Wembley Stadium, so you’ve got to expect a strong showing.
Not only does England enjoy a three points advantage over the Czech Republic going into this match, but they also have a game in hand. If they are able to win here and open a six points gap then do the business in their spare match, they would coast to the next phase with plenty to spare. The win won’t come easy, of course, but they have the players and quality right through the team to leave with a maximum and it would be a brave punter who had their cash down on England failing to win this match. Road trips such as these are never easy, of course, but we can see where the traders are coming from when throwing their support behind England.
The Three Lions were last seen beating Kosovo 5-3 on Tuesday 10 September. A spirited and determined effort came from this promising young Kosovo team and they scored three goals in England, something that doesn’t come easy to the best of teams. Kosovo did well but they left empty-handed, beaten by goals from Sterling, Kane, a Vojvoda own-goal and a Sancho double, scored on 44 and 46 minutes. Kosovo had the ball in the net inside 60 seconds.
Bookies Back the Away Win
Bookmakers side with England and have the away win marked up as a hot favourite. Punters happy to follow that train of thought and get their cash down on the away win will find Ladbrokes offering 4/9. That looks on the tight side, but it appears to be the general feeling in the betting ring at present and most firms seem to be in agreement. England is picked to win this without too much resistance but if the players believe they need only turn up, things could get messy.
Interestingly, the stats show these teams have met three times in the past and the Czech Republic has never beaten England in that time. The head-to-head stats stand at two wins for England against one draw. The spare came in the form of a 2-2 friendly share in August 2008 when Wes Brown and Joe Cole were both on the scoresheet. England has been the home team in all three, matches, however, and that should be kept in mind. Will they have things as easy when visiting the Czech Republic? You wouldn’t think so.
This will be the second match of the tournament involving these sides, England winning 5-0 back in March at Wembley. Raheem Sterling scored an emphatic hattrick that day backed up by a Harry Kane goal and a Tomas Kalas OG. Sterling is 4/1 with Ladbrokes to score first here or 17/10 at Unibet to hit the net at any time. England -1 goal on the handicap worth a second look at 11/8 – top price offered on that one by Betfair. Those with more confidence can try -2 handicap at 4/1 (Betfair).