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It’s coming home… maybe?
We’ll take another step towards finding out if football is indeed returning to its rightful abode or whether it’s said “balls to that, I’m staying out for another pint or four and sleeping in the dog house” as Sir Gareth of Southgate leads his Brave Boys into battle against a marauding horde from the East… end of London – West Ham United to be precise – with big Tommy Soucek, wee Vladdy Coufal and the rest of their old pals from Prague hoping to upset the Three Lions in the final round fo Group D fixtures.
Tuesday 20:00 – Czech Rep v England
ITV / RTÉ Two
The Czechs put in a creditable performance against Croatia in their last game, earning a 1-1 draw. Adding that to the three-points they picked up thanks to a cracking pair of Patrik Schick specials against Scotland in their opener means they’ve strong claims on a last 16 spot, and could even top the group if they win tonight.
England, meanwhile, reversed those results, with a win over the Croats and a disappointing draw versus the Auld Enemy, but that’ll all be forgotten if they can get their act together for the knockout stages, starting tonight.
Can they do it? Who knows? Can you put together a decent bet on it? You sure can, thanks to Andy Robson, who has kindly provided a stats-packed cheat sheet for you to build a great bet…
Schick has been one of the stand-out players at this summer’s tournament and is tied with the great Cristiano Ronaldo for the golden boot with 3 goals. Although he is unlikely to get loads of chances, I still expect him to trouble Jordan Pickford’s goal. He also has a massive 2.5 shots on target average over the cheat sheet stats and has tested the keepers 6 times in the opening two matches.
Despite Southgate expected to rotate, I think Mount’s withdrawal means Foden has to start this game. Foden looked lively in the opener against Croatia but is yet to have the impact he and many English fans expected thus far. He could be used in the 10 role tonight and against a Czech side that will sit deep, the youngster should find plenty of shooting chances. He has the highest average shots on target per 90 in the England squad at 1.27!
From what I have seen, Jack Grealish is set to replace Phil Foden in the England lineup. The Villa captain was the most fouled player in the league last season and has been fouled a ridiculous 7.83 times per 90mins for England via the cheat sheet. Coufal will be tasked with defending him and I can see Grealish drawing a card from the Czech defender.
England know that the Czech’s are most dangerous from set pieces and will be wary of conceding corners. I also think that England will dominate the ball as the onus is on them to get a result here while a draw would see Czech Republic top the group.
- Patrik Schick 1+ shots on target
- Foden 1+ shots on target
- Vladimir Coufal to be carded
- Czech Republic under 4.5 corners
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