21st of March 2019 Author: Johnny Karp
England kick off their qualification campaign for Euro 2020 with a tough match, the Three Lions host the Czech Republic at Wembley Stadium in London on Friday evening. The two teams are the strongest on paper in Group A, where we also have Montenegro, Bulgaria and Kosovo. The last direct meeting between these two nations was all the way back in 1982, when England played against Czechoslovakia at the World Cup and won 2-0. Overall, England have won three of the four matches against Czechoslovakia and suffered just one defeat, in 1976.
England have a very good chance of qualifying for the final tournament, even if they somehow fail to finish in the top two of the qualifying group. Since they have won their UEFA Nations League group last year, England will have the chance to enter the play-off if they don't qualify directly from this group. The Nations League campaign went very well for the Three Lions and they finished ahead of Spain and Croatia in their group. They recorded a memorable 3-2 victory in Spain and ended the campaign with a 2-1 home victory over Croatia. Manager Gareth Southgate had plenty of injury problems ahead of this match, he had to replace five players, but the squad still looks quite strong.
The Czech Republic are desperate to get back to the biggest competitions in international football but they have been quite unsuccessful in recent years. They missed the last three World Cups and at the 2016 edition of the European Championship they got knocked out after the group stage. In the nations league they finished second behind Ukraine in their second-tier group but they did end the campaign with a 1-0 home victory over Slovakia. Tomas Vaclik has withdrawn from the squad through injury, while captain Borek Dockal is a doubt ahead of this match.
England: Pickford - Walker, Keane, Maguire, Chilwell - Alli, Rice, Barkley - Sancho, Kane, Sterling
Czech Republic: Pavlenka - Kaderabek, Celustka, Kalas, Selassie - Soucek - Vydra, Dockal, Pavelka, Jankto - Schick
My prediction: England to win 1-0, I expect an efficient performance from Gareth Southgate's men.
Here are the odds for the match at Bet365:
England win - 1.30
Draw - 5.50
Czech Republic win - 13.00
22nd of March 2019
21st of March 2019
After just couple of games in it's obvious that England won't have any troubles to top that group in the end.
In fact the Englishmen have been quite impressive winning both their games really convincingly despite the decent opponents they've faced in those.
The future look bright for England but once again the biggest test will come for them at the biggest stage and we know how bad usually all ends when the expectations are too high(or even without that), so let's see how far this England team could reach.
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