Scotland vs Czech Republic: Context, H2H, key battles, subplots & predicted line-ups
- UEFA EURO 2020
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Scotland vs Czech Republic: Context
Without a doubt the most important fixture of the group stage for both of these nations. Both Scotland and the Czech Republic will be identifying this match as the must win game for hope of progression.
Should either or both fail to take maximum points, the threat of facing England and Croatia needing wins in both will be a very tough ask.
Scotland go into the tournament buoyed by the confidence of Steve Clarke having found the perfect system to fit both of his star left backs in the team.
Meanwhile the Czech Republic are encouraged by the excellent seasons of West Ham pair Tomas Soucek and Vladimir Coufal.
LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND – FEBRUARY 24: Tomas Soucek of West Ham United during the Premier League match between Liverpool FC and West Ham United at Anfield on February 24, 2020 in Liverpool, United Kingdom. (Photo by Daniel Chesterton/Offside/Offside via Getty Images)
Scotland vs Czech Republic: Head-to-head
Scotland go into the game as outright favourites much down to the recent success they have had of the Czech side.
The pair were both in the same Nations League group in 2020 and Steve Clarke’s men won both matches 1-0 and 2-1. Their meeting prior to that was also a victory for Scotland in 2016 in a friendly.
Prior to this however, Scotland won just once in their previous 5 meetings. A much better Czech Republic side took the win in the other 4.
However, it does seem that the tide has turned at just the right time for Scotland.
GLASGOW, SCOTLAND – NOVEMBER 20: Ryan Fraser of Scotland runs with the ball during the UEFA Nations League C group one match between Scotland and Israel at Hampden Park on November 20, 2018 in Glasgow, United Kingdom. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)
Scotland vs Czech Republic: Key battles
The middle of the park will see two Premier League heavyweights in the aforementioned Soucek and Manchester United’s Scott McTominay clash. Both physical players who have a knack of scoring goals could define the middle third territory.
Meanwhile, further EPL battles will take place on the flank. Kieran Tierney playing in the left-centre back role with Liverpool’s Andrew Robertson in a wing-back position will face Coufal. All three like to get forward but Tierney’s more reserved role for his national team could see Coufal outnumbered and restricted in his own forays forward.
The Czech Republic do have a focal point in Patrik Schick and the 3-man Scotland defence will need to be wary of his ability in the air and movement as he looks to break Scottish hearts.
Patrik Schick of Red Bull Leipzig during the UEFA Champions League round of 16 second leg match between Red Bull Leipzig and Tottenham Hotspur FC at the Red Bull Arena on March 10, 2020 in Leipzig, Germany(Photo by ANP Sport via Getty Images)
Scotland vs Czech Republic: The subplots
Andrew Robertson is all too familiar with the quality in the Czech Republic side. He has even been heard directly mentioning the EPL duo leading up to the match.
“I’ve played against Soucek and Coufal from West Ham and I know how good they are, they’re full of quality,” Robertson said.
Robertson has history with striker Patrik Schick. The pair were involved in the Champions League’s highest scoring knockout tie. An aggregate score of 7-6 saw the Reds squeeze through after a late Roma comeback threatened to spoil the party.
Robertson would see his Liverpool side fall in the next round, the final, and watch Real Madrid lift the trophy. However, he would only need to wait another year before lifting the silverware himself.
WATFORD, ENGLAND – NOVEMBER 24: Andy Robertson of Liverpool in action during the Premier League match between Watford FC and Liverpool FC at Vicarage Road on November 24, 2018 in Watford, United Kingdom. (Photo by Alex Broadway/Getty Images)
Scotland vs Czech Republic: Predicted line-ups
Scotland: Marshall, Cooper, Hanley, Tierney, Fraser, McTominay, McGregor, McGinn, Robertson, Christie, Adams
Scotland predicted line-up to play Czech Republic.
Czech Republic: Vaclik, Coufal, Brabec, Celustka, Boril, Kral, Soucek, Darida, Masopust, Jankto, Schick
Czech Republic predicted team to play Scotland.