- Czech Republic can clinch first place in Group D with a win over England on Tuesday at Wembley Stadium
- England will secure a place in the knockout rounds if it can avoid defeat here
- Read on for match odds, a full preview and a best bet for the final round-robin game for both teams
The battle for first place in Group D – and a last-16 meeting with either France, Portugal or Germany (or even Hungary) – comes down to this Tuesday lunchtime clash between the only two unbeaten sides in the group.
Both teams have a win and a draw to their name so far at Euro 2020, with the Czech Republic currently holding on to first place courtesy of a better goal difference.
Czech Republic vs England Odds
|Czech Republic vs England||CZE +1.5 (-235) | ENG -1.5 (+190)||CZE +650 | ENG -167 |
|Ov 2.5 (+125) | Un 2.5 (-152)|
Odds as of June 21 at DraftKings
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Schicking With the Plan
For the Czechs, their keys to victory seems solitary and clear – get the ball to striker Patrik Schick. With three goals in two games, the Bayer Leverkusen striker is the joint-highest scorer in the tournament alongside Cristiano Ronaldo, and he is the only Czech player to find the net so far.
3 – Patrik Schick has scored all three of the Czech Republic's goals at EURO 2020; the most by a player at a major tournament for the country since Milan Baros at EURO 2004 (5). Focal. #CZE #EURO2020 pic.twitter.com/ZRtMTuQbzC
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) June 18, 2021
The target man picked up a knock when he was elbowed in the head by Croatia’s Dejan Lovren in the last game – before dispatching the resulting penalty to put his team in front. However, he is still expected to lead the line here, and his presence will be crucial to Czech hopes of further unsettling an unsettled England team.
England Has History Onside
If the Czechs are to reach the knockout stage at the Euros for the fourth time since becoming an independent nation, they will have to likely improve their record against England. In four meetings, the Czech Republic has one victory against two losses and a draw.
However, it won the most recent meeting between the sides, 2-1 in October 2019, during qualifying for this tournament. That was the return fixture in Prague, following on from a 5-0 thrashing the Czechs received at Wembley, when Raheem Sterling, the scorer of England’s only goal so far this tournament, bagged a hat-trick.
In Kane We Trust
England’s captain and talisman Harry Kane has had a tournament to forget so far. The leading scorer at the 2018 World Cup has been held without a shot on target, and has been subbed off in both games.
Alan Shearer’s analysis of Harry Kane on BBC was excellent. Striker’s eye. Talking about not always coming short, highlighting lack of service and demanding that earlier ball (the Rice footage). Plus backing Kane to come good. Just as Venables backed Shearer before Euro 96. #ENG
— Henry Winter (@henrywinter) June 19, 2021
But a player with 34 goals in 55 international appearances cannot be taken lightly, and England manager Gareth Southgate has already confirmed that the Tottenham striker will once again lead the line on Tuesday.
The opposition could hardly be better for a player who has scored just twice in his past 11 games and is also looking to break out of what is now a three-game scoreless slump. Kane has scored two goals in two games against the Czech Republic, and managed to rack up seven shots in those games.
Can Three Lions Press Their Case?
Despite what is to many onlookers a squad of exceptional players, Southgate has so far been unable to find the right combination of players and tactics to get this England team firing on all cylinders.
A team leaving out Jadon Sancho twice must be phenomenal in attack.
— Raphael Honigstein💙 (@honigstein) June 18, 2021
The law of averages says that eventually he will stumble upon the right formula, but he has so far seemed unwilling to deviate from a set idea and formation. That involves using a pair of defensive midfielders to protect a back four, and he has named the same unchanged four attacking players in both games so far, with a paltry 1.9 xG to show for it.
Jadon Sancho has 114 goals/assists in 137 games for Borussia Dortmund. 💛
He hasn't played a minute so far at #EURO2020
— 90min (@90min_Football) June 18, 2021
With the likes of Jadon Sancho, Jude Bellingham and Dominic Calvert-Lewin, to say nothing of Aston Villa captain Jack Grealish, all waiting in the wings, it seems unlikely that England won’t figure things out at some stage. But whether that ‘Eureka moment’ comes against the Czechs or afterwards is the pertinent point here.
Czech Republic vs England Key Stats
|1-0-1 (1st in Group D)||Record at Euro 2020||1-0-1 (2nd in Group D)|
|LLWWD||Form in Last Five Matches||WWWWD|
Does Either Team Actually Want to Win?
To the victors go the spoils… and probably a much greater chance of an early exit from Euro 2020. With the winner of this game very likely to lock themselves into a last-16 contest with defending champions Portugal, reigning World champions France, or perennial contenders Germany, who looked awfully good in thumping Portugal 4-2 on Saturday, winning Group D seems more a curse than a blessing.
Fully focused on Tuesday.
— England (@England) June 20, 2021
The team that finishes runners-up, however, would book themselves a possible matchup with Spain, but it could just as equally be Sweden, Slovakia or Poland. While it’s unlikely either team will have knockout permutations on its mind in the midst of Tuesday’s maelstrom, stranger things have happened in international soccer.
Best bet: Draw (+255)
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