England v Czech Republic Predictions, Betting Tips and Previews
March 20, 2019
Wembley Stadium - Euro 2020 Qualifiers
England's Euro 2020 campaign gets underway on Friday evening as the Three Lions take on the Czech Republic. Jaroslav Šilhavý's side have given a respectable account of themselves in recent Nations League fixtures, and are a tough, and organised outfit.
The two sides met back in 2018 in a friendly with the game ending in a 2-2 draw, thanks to goals from two Czech legends of the game Marek Jankulovski and Milan Baros.
Injuries have forced Gareth Southgate to hand call-ups to a number of new players, with Chelsea's exciting teenage winger Callum Hudson-Odoi joining Decalan Rice, Jason Sancho and James Ward-Prowse. Whether the manager hands the youngsters any game time remains to be seen, with tried and tested regulars perhaps better suited to the tie.
Šilhavý is expected to stick with the 4-2-3-1 that has served his team well over the past year, with exciting Roma forward Patrik Schick starting up front in place of Burnley's Matej Vydra.
England v Czech Republic Predictions and Previews
England fans have a lot to be excited about, with Friday's clash against the Czech Republic serving as both a Euro 2020 qualifier and preparations for the summer's Nations League finals. The opponents may not have as strong a team as they did a decade ago when the sides last met, but have a number of exciting young players themselves, with a lot to prove.
Injuries to the likes of John Stones, Luke Shaw, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Joe Gomez, Jesse Lingard and Harry Winks may have disrupted Southgate's plans somewhat, but fans will be pleased to have seen his decision to turn to youth players as back-up. Likewise, the inclusion of Callum Wilson, who has been making a case for himself at Bournemouth over the last few seasons has been well received.
Of course, as the first of England's qualifiers, and with a typically easier trip to Montenegro to come, the manager may be keen to stick with his reliable World Cup XI to get the campaign off to a good start. The Czech Republic certainly shouldn't be underestimated, and Šilhavý has instilled a defensive, hard-working attitude in his side, who will seek to frustrate the home-side.
The Czech's were only beaten by the Ukraine in this season's nations league campaign, and recently won away against Robert Lewandoski's Poland side. There will be a number of highly-rated young players in the opposition dug-out on Friday, including Sampdoria midfielder Jakub Jankto. A quick, technically adept central midfielder, Jankto often features out wide for his country and is 14/1 to score against England.
With a host of top players and youth prospects on show, this match up could well prove an insight into the future of English football, whilst providing the opportunity to take the first step in European championship qualification.
Harry Kane to score anytime at 6/4
Despite all the excitement over Jadon Sancho and Hudson-Odoi, England's captain remains their biggest goal threat, and will play a significant role of Friday.
Under 2.5 goals scored at 4/5
The Czech Republic have seen their highest defeat record broken twice this season, yet are likely to set up defensively against England.