Scotland begin their Euro 2020 campaign against Czech Republic on Monday afternoon.
This is the first major international tournament Scotland has qualified for since the 1998 World Cup. They’ll be keen to show that they’re not just here to make up the numbers.
Their preparations for the tournament have been good. Their final friendly international against Luxembourg last Sunday will have provided a needed boost.
Che Adams’ first half strike was enough to secure a 1-0 win in a game where Scotland had made wholesale changes to the team.
They’re unbeaten in their last five international matches now. They’ll be looking to get off to the perfect start in this one.
The Czech Republic’s preparations have been a little up and down. They’ve lost two of their last three international fixtures.
They did win their most recent game however. Goals from Patrik Schick, Lukas Masopust and Ondrej Celustka were enough to land a 3-1 win over Albania.
They’re not expected to do much in a tough group. But if they can get off to a winning start here, they could set themselves up for progression into the knockout stages.
Below, we’ll preview this Euro 2020 fixture and provide our predictions, the team news, our recommended bets and more…
Scotland vs Czech Republic Predictions
Scotland qualified for Euro 2020 in dramatic fashion. Steve Clarke’s men qualified through the play-offs via a penalty shootout, beating Serbia in the final of their bracket.
March was a productive month for Scotland’s 2022 World Cup qualification. They went the entire international break unbeaten, twice coming from behind to draw 2-2 with Austria in the opening game.
They came back from behind again to draw with Israel 1-1 next time out. That was followed by a much more comfortable 4-0 win over Faroe Islands.
Before their most recent friendly win, Scotland were moments away from beating the Netherlands. After going 2-1 up just after the hour mark, Scotland defended like their lives depended on it.
The pressure told in the end though, and Memphis Depay struck late on to level the scores at 2-2. It was a valiant effort from the Scots and more of the same will be expected in this.
The Czech Republic had some good results themselves back in March. The first of which was a 6-2 drubbing of minnow Estonia in their World Cup qualifying group.
That was followed by a hard earned 1-1 draw with Belgium. The Czech Republic took the lead early into the second half, only for Belgium to equalise 10 minutes later.
They finished that period with a disappointing 1-0 loss to Wales. A late Dan James strike was enough to earn the Welsh the win on that occasion.
Before their most recent warm up game, the Czech Republic were trounced 4-0 by Italy. The Italians showed why they’re among the favourites to win Euro 2020.
Read on for our Scotland v Czech Republic predictions and best bets.
Scotland vs Czech Republic Head to Head
These two countries have actually met on nine previous occasions. Of those meetings, both nations have won four, with the other game ending all square.
The Czech Republic have won three competitive matches to Scotland’s two. However, Scotland’s wins have come much more recently, in the 2020 UEFA Nations League.
The first was a 2-1 win in which Scotland came from behind to snatch all three points. The following clash saw Scotland win 1-0 courtesy of a Ryan Fraser strike on the six minute mark.
Having done the double over the Czechs there, Scotland will be going into this game with a great deal of confidence. Despite losing both clashes with Scotland, the Czech Republic did still finish top of the group.
The head to head records have this looking like a very tight game. Can Scotland’s more recent form propel them to victory again?
Scotland Team News – W D W D D
Craig Gordon is expected to start in goal for Scotland in this opening clash. The Hearts stopper was rested for the most recent friendly, but should be fit and ready to go here.
Premier League duo Kieran Tierney and Andy Robertson could start on either flank. Clarke used the two full backs in the recent draw with the Netherlands and it was used to good effect for the Scots.
Ryan Fraser is still fighting to get full fit after missing the last several Premier League matches of the season with injury. He may play a part off the bench, though.
Celtic midfielder Ryan Christie could be the one who benefits most from that. The versatile 26 year old can play in midfield or an attacking three, giving Clarke more options in his squad.
Our Scotland v Czech Republic predictions expect a starting place for Manchester United midfielder Scott McTominay. He is probably Scotland’s best holding midfielder, but has also been used as a centre back on occasions.
It’s plain to see from the players at his disposal that Steve Clarke has plenty of options. Which ones he will opt for remains to be seen.
Czech Republic Team News – W L L D W
A major absentee for Czech Republic here is Ondrej Kudela. The 34 year old defender is currently serving a 10 game ban enforced by UEFA due to alleged racial comments he made against Rangers’ Glen Kamara.
That means that Tomas Kalas is the most likely candidate to partner Ondrej Celustka in the heart of defence. It could be an area of concern for the Czechs.
Patrik Schick has scored two in his last four games for Czech Republic. The Bayer Leverkusen forward is arguably The Czechs’ biggest attacking threat.
West Ham midfielder Tomas Soucek is expected to start in midfield. He will likely be joined by Hertha Berlin’s Vladimir Darida.
Sevilla goalkeeper Tomas Vaclik is the most likely one to be occupying the goal for Czech Republic.
Scotland vs Czech Republic Betting Tips
This is expected to be a tight game and the odds suggest so, too. Scotland are priced up at 9/5 to win the game in our Scotland v Czech Republic match bets.
Meanwhile, the Czech Republic are priced at 7/4 to win in 90 minutes. That suggests that the Czechs are favourites, but clearly they can hardly be separated at the odds.
Perhaps the traders feel this one will end all square. If you think that will be the case, you can back the draw at 2/1.
Given that Scotland have won the more recent clashes between these nations, it seems like they could be good value to get the win.
It might not be glamorous, but a Scotland win is how we see this one going.