Two pesky sides poised to wreak some havoc at the 2020 European Championships will kick things off Monday from Glasgow as Scotland play host to the Czech Republic in a key Group D showdown.
With England already disposing of Croatia on Sunday, there is an opening for either of these sides to move comfortably into the coveted second position with a victory on Monday afternoon.
The Tartan Army of Scotland had to go through quite the process to qualify for the tournament, but some clutch scoring and powerful coaching throughout the playoff, got them to this moment. They enter in solid form so far this year, not having lost in five matches, showing some good form against powerful sides from the Netherlands and Austria.
Meanwhile, the Czechs surprisingly breezed through their group and received an automatic bid to this year’s tourney. They finished comfortably as runners-up to England in qualifying, and though their results entering the tournament have been mediocre, a couple of impressive recent showings have lifted the spirits of this Czech side.
With both clubs realizing there’s a real shot at being well-positioned for a deep run at the tournament given Croatia’s slide, expect the Czechs and Scots to turn up the intensity on Monday. It should make for a thrilling affair, so continue reading on beneath the posted odds for our take and betting prediction on this Group D tie. Enjoy!
Scotland vs. Czech Republic Betting Odds:
Czech Republic (+210)
Over 2 (+105)
Under 2 (-125)
Scotland PK (-115)
Czech Republic PK (-105)
*Betting odds provided by BetOnline.ag
Scotland vs. Czech Republic Pick:
The Scots have been in somewhat surprising form of late, and many of their younger pieces seem poised for improved roles. Manager Steve Clarke will line his side up in their familiar 3-5-2 formation, and though it’s one that allows itself to be defensive and rigid – their wide talent is clearly a strong point of their side, and the Tartan Army can and will push for offense.
On the left flank will lie Liverpool star Andy Robertson, who possesses a sublime left foot that can deliver dangerous balls from anywhere on the pitch. Expect much of Scotland’s offense to run through him. John McGinn and Scott McTominay will form a strong and powerful central midfield pairing, and you can expect that duo to be quite influential in ball retrieval and in the air as well.
The Scots can be said to be a little weak at the back, likely sometimes exposed with just three in defense, and up top – where they continue to lack a consistent goal threat. Che Adams enters in fine form, but he’s yet to produce in a major tournament. Don’t be surprised to see key young pieces like Billy Gilmour and Oliver McBurnie get longer looks as the games progress.
Meanwhile, the Czechs are believed to want to counter with a 4-2-3-1 formation, the two holding midfielders playing a key role in squashing Scotland’s wide attacks and pace. They key for this Czech side is maintaining their shape and structure, in order to provide support for a back-line that has proved to be a bit unsettling at times.
Tomas Soucek will play a key role in the centre of midfield, looking to negate John McGinn and Scott McTominay. All three of those players are familiar with one another from the Premier League, but the skill and run-making ability from Soucek could nullify that Scottish duo. He’s a dangerous and shifty player, and will be influential for the Czech Republic in advancing the ball.
Up top the Czechs have a lethal young finisher in Patrick Shick. The talented striker plays for Leverkusen in the Bundesliga, and enters Euro 2020 in excellent form. He’ll be supported by three playing just behind him, but the rangy goal-scorer can be expected to hold up balls and create some damage of his own. He is certainly one to watch in this tournament.
While the Scots do have the advantage of playing in front of home fans at Hampden Park in Glasgow, this remains an experienced Czech side, and one that can certainly hang with some of the youth and pace the Tartan Army possess. Tomas Soucek has the ability to be the best player on the pitch, and with Schick up top – the Czechs have the ability to snag a goal against the run of play. The Scots should control the possession, but the Czechs’ veteran prowess should secure them a result. A wager on a likely draw seems to be the value for this Group D match-up.