England can secure their spot in the Euro 2020 finals with victory over the Czech Republic on Friday night. George Pitts is backing them to do so.
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Czech Republic v England
England have cruised through Euro 2020 qualifying, netting an impressive 19 goals in four games and three points on Friday will be enough to guarantee their place in next year's finals. If Czech Republic pull off a shock, victory over Bulgaria on Monday will still be enough.
They hit five without reply in the reverse fixture, Raheem Sterling netting a hat-trick along with a Harry Kane penalty and Tomas Kalas own goal.
Considering the Czechs' recent international record on the international stage, it was surprising to see them lose so heavily and you would expect a better showing from them in front of their own fans, even with a number of injuries to contend with, with the added confidence of winning back-to-back games to leapfrog Kosovo in Group A.
With England's defence showing frailties, there is a temptation to back the hosts to register at least four shots on target at 6/4, but the preference is on the Three Lions to be in the goals once again.
They have scored at least four in their last four European Championship qualifying matches and, while it is expected to be closer this time around, they can at least net three and the 7/4 price available certainly catches the eye.
With the front three of Sterling, Kane and Jadon Sancho, combined with Mason Mount, Jordan Henderson, Ben Chilwell and Trent Alexander-Arnold likely to be providing support, England can do the job here to secure qualification.
England were given a test by Kosovo last time out, but Sterling, Kane and Sancho all got on the score sheet and all look threatening when on the attack in a Three Lions shirt. The shackles are off and they appear to enjoy playing for their country, with the feel-good factor clear in Gareth Southgate's squad.
With those defensive issues highlighted by Kosovo last time out, the hosts can at least get on the score sheet and top goalscorer Patrik Schick is worth a look at 15/4 anytime.
The RB Leipzig forward is the figurehead of this team and has four goals in qualifying and against a defence in which Kosovo bagged three, Schick will fancy his chances and that price is worth considering for a small play if you feel the Czechs can get on the score sheet.
Prediction: Czech Republic 1-3 England (Sky Bet odds: 11/1)
When is the Euro 2020 draw?
The draw for the finals will take place in Bucharest, Romania on November 30, with group games set to be played in 12 stadiums across 12 European countries.
- Group A: Rome and Baku
- Group B: Saint Petersburg and Copenhagen
- Group C: Amsterdam and Bucharest
- Group D: London and Glasgow
- Group E: Bilbao and Dublin
- Group F: Munich and Budapest
Because each group has been assigned two stadiums and host nations play two of their three group games at home, we know England will go into Group D. As well as Wembley, their other group game will take place at Hampden Park, as Glasgow is the other host city assigned to Group D.
- This is the first time Czech Republic have hosted England since March 1992 (as Czechoslovakia), in a 2-2 friendly draw in Prague.
- England are unbeaten in their last seven meetings with Czech Republic/Czechoslovakia, winning five and drawing two.
- England’s only competitive away game against Czech Republic/Czechoslovakia ended in a 1-2 defeat – a EURO 1976 qualifier in October 1975 under Don Revie.
- England have scored at least four goals in all four of their EURO 2020 qualifiers so far, including a 5-0 win against Czech Republic in the reverse fixture.
- Czech Republic have won their last three home qualifying matches (EURO and World Cup combined). They last won four in a row between March 2007-October 2008.
- Raheem Sterling has scored eight goals in his last eight appearances for England – he’d netted just two in first 45 for the Three Lions.
- 19 of Harry Kane’s 26 England goals have been when he’s started the match as captain. Only Vivian Woodward (23), Alan Shearer (20) and Bryan Robson (20) have scored more goals as skipper of the Three Lions.
- Patrik Schick has scored four goals in his last four appearances for Czech Republic.
Odds correct as of 2230 BST on 09/10/19
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