Fussball Server previews Monday’s UEFA Nations League clash between Czech Republic and Scotland, including team news and predicted lineups.
Czech Republic take on Scotland in the second round of UEFA Nations League matches on Monday evening in Olomouc, despite the home side threatening to pull out of the match.
The Czechs announced on Friday they did not intend to fulfil the fixture due to coronavirus concerns, but UEFA say the Group B2 contest will go ahead as planned.
Jaroslav Silhavy‘s side kicked off their Nations League campaign with a 3-1 win away at Slovakia on Friday, courtesy of goals from Vladimir Coufal, Borek Dockal and Michael Krmencik.
An hour or so after the full-time whistle in Bratislava, though, the Czech FA announced on Twitter that Monday’s match with Scotland would not go ahead.
The Czechs’ preparations for that match were heavily disrupted as Tomas Soucek and Patrik Schick were made to self-isolate after coming into contact with a backroom staff member who tested positive for the virus.
To make matters worse for Silhavy, Slavia Prague asked for all seven of their national team players to be withdrawn from the squad.
However, UEFA pointed out to the Czech Republic that all fixtures must be played unless a team had fewer than 13 players, which is not the case for Monday’s match.
It has hardly been the ideal preparation for the hosts, and they enter this game on the back of a pretty mixed run of form, winning three and losing three of their last six games.
As well as beating Slovakia in their Nations League curtain raiser, Czech Republic also beat England 2-1 in October’s Euro 2020 qualifier, helping them to book a place in next year’s Euro 2020 finals.
Scotland still have work to do if they are to take part in the rescheduled tournament, having finished third in their qualifying group to set up a playoff with Israel.
Steve Clarke‘s men have already a trial run of sorts ahead of that huge match, having played out a 1-1 draw with the same opponents at Hampden Park in Friday’s Nations League clash.
Ryan Christie‘s penalty had the Scots in front at half time inside an empty Hampden, but Eran Zahavi earned the visitors a share of the points 17 minutes from time.
Clarke went with a different formation for that game and it remains to be seen if he will stick with it for this trip to the Czech Republic.
It is now crunch time for Scotland with some big games to come in multiple competitions, and they do at least have a bit of momentum on their side thanks to a run of three wins and a draw in their last four.
Czech Republic Nations League form: W
Czech Republic form (all competitions): WWLWLW
Scotland Nations League form: D
Scotland form (all competitions): LLWWWD
Clarke defended his use of three at the back against Israel, but he is expected to revert to a back four on Monday, possibly allowing Scott McTominay to shift into central midfield.
Queens Park Rangers striker Lyndon Dykes was handed his debut last time out and appears to have done enough to retain his place in attack.
Celtic midfielder Christie has been involved in seven goals in his past seven Scotland starts – two goals, five assists – and is a nailed-on starter.
As for Czech Republic, the availability of Soucek, Schick and the Slavia Prague contingent is not known.
Given his lack of options, Silhavy may opt for a similar XI to the one used against Slovakia.
However, Krmencik scored as a second-half substitute on Friday and is pushing for inclusion, likely in place of Adam Hlozek.
Czech Republic possible starting lineup:
Vaclik; Coufal, Celustka, Kalas, Boril; Darida, Kral; Masopust, Dockal, Janko; Krmencik
Scotland possible starting lineup:
Marshall; Palmer, Tierney, Cooper, Robertson; McTominay; Forrest, McGinn, Armstrong, Christie; Dykes
We say: Czech Republic 1-0 Scotland
Scotland beat Czech Republic 1-0 in their most recent encounter – a friendly in March 2016 – but that is one of only two victories in seven previous meetings between the sides. The hosts got their Nations League campaign off to a positive start and, despite the disruption, we can see them making it two wins from two.
Top betting tip
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