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Scotland vs Czech Republic: Predictions
Scotland vs Czech Republic: Predictions
Not since England ’96 have Scotland appeared in a European Championship, but Steve Clarke masterminded an end to the nation’s protracted absence from the quadrennial competition, and they now enter Euro 2020 invigorated and looking to make a splash, kickstarting their campaign against Czech Republic.
It was a gruelling qualification campaign for Clarke and his side, who gained entrance to Euro 2020 via the play-offs, first beating Israel on penalties in Path C, before outfoxing Serbia in another sudden death shootout, with David Marshall the hero on the night.
Scotland will no doubt be relishing that tantalising Group D matchup against England on Friday, but first attention will be firmly dedicated to a Czech Republic side that could prove a dark horse, with Jaroslav Silhavy boasting a squad replete with continental talent.
The Central European nation enter the multi-host tournament looking to go one better than their previous showing in Euro 2016, having failed to progress out of the group, but since that early exit, one or two names have come to the fore and Czech Republic are now a serious threat.
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Scotland vs Czech Republic: Match Stats
Under Clarke, Scotland have become a much more balanced and resilient side. In autumn’s Nations League games, in which Czech Republic were in their group, just one of their six matches finished with over 2.5 goals. Two 1-0 wins (one against Czech Republic) accompanied two 1-0 reversals, as well as a 1-1 stalemate with Israel, so Scotland can best be described as pragmatic, and they will look to continue that trend in Group D, aiming to frustrate and stifle.
For Czech Republic, they have a propensity to blow hot and cold, losing 5-0 to England in their Group A qualifying campaign but then beating Gareth Southgate’s men 2-1 in the reverse fixture. That unpredictability could work well in their favour, but against a Scotland side well-drilled under Clarke, Silhavy will have to temper any recklessness in his team and match resilience with resilience.
Scotland vs Czech Republic: Corner Stats
Since the turn of the year Scotland have won 22 corners across their five international matches in all competitions, though the distribution is slightly skewed, being awarded just two in a recent friendly with the Netherlands, in which they pulled off a commendable 2-2 draw, but then collecting nine in their most recent outing against Luxembourg. The width and attacking potential of Andy Robertson means Scotland are constantly utilising the flanks, so corners could be ten a penny where Scotland are concerned this month.
As for Czech Republic, Soucek is of course a natural arial threat, so they will look to win as many corners/set-pieces as possible, and a notable fixture to point out is March’s 1-1 draw with Belgium, in which they won seven to the Red Devils’ three in a World Cup qualifier.
Scotland vs Czech Republic: Cards Stats
This year Scotland have been relatively tempered when it comes to card accumulation, picking up six bookings in five international matches, though it should be noted that four of those came in one game, against Austria at the end of the March.
Patrik Schick aside, Czech Republic have been on their best behaviour in 2021, collecting just three yellow cards in five games, but a straight red for their striker against Wales in March’s World Cup qualifier has somewhat sullied that otherwise splendid record.
14 Oct 2020 – Scotland 1-0 Czech Republic – UEFA Nations League B
07 Sep 2020 – Czech Republic 1-2 Scotland – UEFA Nations League B
24 Mar 2016 – Czech Republic 0-1 Scotland – International friendly
03 Sep 2011 – Scotland 2-2 Czech Republic – European Championship qualifying
08 Oct 2010 – Czech Republic 1-0 Scotland – European Championship qualifying
These nations are well-acquainted having met in autumn’s Nations League, though Scotland will feel confident of getting a result next week having triumphed on both occasions, beating Czech Republic 1-0 at Hampden Park through Ryan Fraser, while winning the away fixture 2-1.