Czech Republic v England Preview

Build Up

England will be looking to bounce back after a lacklustre performance against Scotland, as they take on Czech Republic at Wembley. Both teams are on four points, with the Czechs higher on goal difference. This means that, regardless of the result, both teams are quite likely progress to the knockouts. This is because the four best third-place teams in the tournament progress to the next round. However, many fans have been overall disappointed by England so far and a win here could boost hopes of supporters. Czech Republic have performed better than expected at the Euros so far. Their star striker Patrick Schick is now joint-top scorer in the tournament, having scored all three of his sides goals. England will have to be wary of the threat he poses, as they look to keep their fifth consecutive clean sheet.

A win for England would see them finishing top of their group. However, this would most likely see them facing a harder draw. Victory on Tuesday would mean they would play the runner-up of Group F – which could be Germany, Portugal or France. But a draw would guarantee them finishing second, and facing either Sweden, Slovakia, Poland or an out-of-form Spain. Despite this, it is unlikely for England to risk going for anything less than a win.

Team News – Czech Republic

Czech Republic have no new injury concerns. The nature of this match could see them rotating some players, but they should still field a fairly strong line-up seeing that 3rd place isn’t a definite guarantee of qualification yet.

Possible Line-up: Vaclik, Coufal, Celustka, Kalas, Boril, Holes, Soucek, Masopust, Darida, Jantko, Schick (4-2-3-1)

Team News – England

Southgate confirmed Harry Kane’s place in the starting XI against Czech Republic. The skipper has been below-par for England so far but the manager has said that he is still the teams’ most important player. Harry Maguire made an appearance on the bench against Scotland and could possibly make the starting the line-up on Tuesday. If he doesn’t get minutes against Czech Republic, then perhaps it would be too late to start him in the knockout rounds. Likewise, Jordan Henderson, who also carried doubts regarding his fitness, could also start or make a substitute appearance.

Southgate would be expected to make some changes after their side was criticised for a lack of overall creativity and attacking urgency. Grealish is yet to start for the Three Lions and Sancho yet to feature at all, so this game could be their best chances to do so.

Possible Line-up: Pickford, James, Stones, Maguire, Chilwell, Philips, Henderson, Mount, Grealish, Kane, Sancho (4-3-3)

Predicted Score

Czech Republic have performed well so far, but were perhaps lucky to get a draw against Croatia after a dubious penalty decision. Despite a rather dire performance from England on Friday, they should have the talent to win games like these. I expect another tight game, but this time the result should swing England’s way.

I predict a 1-0 win for England.

Author: Joel Abraham

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