Scotland play their first European Championship game in 25 years against a Czech Republic side that is gearing up for the seventh successive appearance at the quadrennial tournament.
European Championship 2020
Venue: Hampden Park
After missing out on direct qualification by finishing third in their qualification group, Scotland needed to make do with the UEFA Nations League route to secure a place in the main tournament, seeing off both Israel and Serbia in the playoffs on penalties.
They enter this 2020 edition on a five-match unbeaten run and have lost just twice in their last 16 games, eight of which were won.
Scotland and Czech Republic were in the same UEFA Nations League group last year and Scotland got the better of the Czechs on the two occasions they faced off, so the hosts will be feeling confident going into this one.
Czech Republic come into this game on the back of a comfortable 3-1 victory over Albania which they needed after being demolished by Italy 4-0 four days prior to the win.
The Czechs come into this game as slight favorites and with just four places separating them on the FIFA world rankings, it is easy to see why the odds are so close. However, Czech Republic do not have the best history against the Scots, and at a venue like Hampden Park — the ancestral home of Scottish football, they will be cautiously optimistic about their chances.
Steve Clarke will have the luxury of a fully fit squad to choose from here.
Ondrej Celustka and Tomas Kalas are both injury doubts feature against Scotland, with both players missing the last friendly against Albania.
Scotland’s last five games: DDWDW
Czech Republic’s last five games: WDLLW
Scotland are unbeaten in their last six games at Hampden Park (W4 D2)
The Czech Republic have played six games at Hampden Park and have never won. (D1 L5)
Seven of Scotland’s last ten games have seen less than three goals scored whilst six of the last ten games for the Czechs saw less than three goals scored as well. Then, four of the last six meetings between the sides had ended in a 1-0 win three times for Scotland and once for the Czech Republic. These are two teams not particularly known for their scoring prowess and it could yet again prove to be the case of a cagey affair in Hampden on Monday.
At odds of 1/2, Under 2.5 goals is the best pick for this game.
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