England have been drawn in Group A for the UEFA Euro 2020 qualifiers and they kick-off their campaign with a home match against the Czech Republic on Friday 22 March at 7.45pm, with the match being shown live on ITV.
Gareth Southgate’s young lions are long odds-on to win a group that also contains Bulgaria, Montenegro, and Kosovo, and the best price you can get about England finishing top is 1/5. But the bookies do think that the Czech Republic are England’s biggest rivals and have made them second- favourites.
England are a slightly bigger price at 3/10 to start with a win in their opening match than they are to win the group, so check out our stats, analysis, and free tips for England vs Czech Republic.
England Home Form
Recent draws against Italy, Brazil, and Germany, and a defeat by Spain, suggest England aren’t invincible at Wembley, but it’s fair to say that the current Czech Republic side isn’t as good as any of those four teams.
England’s 100% home record in the qualifying campaign in the 2018 World Cup looks a better form guide on this occasion, whilst they’ve also beaten Switzerland and the USA at Wembley after the World Cup. Of course, whilst they lost at home to Spain in the UEFA Nations League, England also went on to turn that form around in Spain afterwards. They also showed a lot of bottle to score two late goals to beat Croatia at Wembley to win their UEFA Nations League group.
Czech Republic Away Form
The Czech Republic may not have made it to the 2018 World Cup Finals, or any World Cup since 2006, but their away recent away record isn’t as bad as you might have thought. Their last four away games before the World Cup included wins over Iceland, Qatar, and Nigeria, but they also lost their other game 4-0 to Australia. They also threw in another shocker when losing 5-1 in Russia after the World Cup.
Since then, they’ve beaten Poland in a friendly and Slovakia in the Nations League, but they also found the Ukraine too good both home and away in the Nations League.
England vs Czech Republic Head-To-Heads
England have played the Czech Republic just once this decade and that was in a friendly in 2008. The match finished 2-2 but, eleven-years later, it’s hard to see it having much bearing on this match.
England have been the better of the two teams recently, with the FIFA ranking them at number five in the world, whilst the Czech Republic are languishing in 44th place.
England vs Czech Republic Team News
Gareth Southgate has had to name a squad without Luke Shaw, John Stones, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, and Fabian Delph, but that has given the England manager the chance to call-up the promising youngsters in Callum Hudson-Odoi and James Ward-Prowse.
Declan Rice could also feature if Jordan Henderson doesn’t recover from an ankle injury. Whatever his choices in defence and midfield, Southgate looks sure to continue his 4-3-3 formation with the in-form Raheem Sterling and Marcus Rashford playing either side of England Captain Harry Kane in a potent attacking formation.
The Czech Republic have few reported injury worries.
England vs Czech Republic Best Bets
A draw would be a great result for the Czech Republic, and they’re expected to set up defensively with a plan to hit England on the break if possible.
Despite that, Gareth Southgate’s ever-maturing side are fancied to be up to the challenge in both defence and attack. There may not be a lot of goals, but England are fancied to come out on top.
It’s about 4/5 for England to win to nil and about the same for both teams not to score, and both those bets are fancied to be winning ones. However, the value may be in backing England to win 1-0 and 2-0, which will give combined odds of 6/4 if you can get 4/1 about each result.