BETTING & MATCH PREDICTION
On Friday night, the Czech Republic host Wales in Group E of qualifying for next years World Cup.
The home side are in unconvincing form heading into this potentially pivotal encounter. Jaroslav Silhavy’s team are currently second in the group, nine points behind group leaders and favourites Belgium. However, they are neck and neck with their third-place opponents for that all-important second spot. The home team are only ahead of the visitors due to a superior goal difference of one.
A 3-0 defeat in Belgium in their last qualifier means that the Czech Republic have now won just once in their previous four World Cup qualifiers.
The Czech Republic’s recent home form in qualifying has been inconsistent. Although they have won three of their last five home qualifiers, those wins are their only qualifying victories in 11 matches on home soil.
The Dragons will still feel they have an excellent chance of taking second spot in Group E. Robert Page’s team has experienced mixed results of late, though. They are unbeaten in three matches but have also won just once in their last five outings.
However, the visitors are now three games unbeaten in qualifying, having picked up two wins and a draw. That run kicked off with a 1-0 home win over the Czech Republic in Cardiff.
Wales have a good recent away record in World Cup qualifying, as they have won three of their previous four qualifiers on their travels.
The Czech Republic have no reported absentees. In-form Bayer Leverkusen striker Patrik Schick is once again set to lead the line for the home team.
Wales have seen Tom Lockyer, Robson Hal-Kanu and Rhys Norrington-Davies withdraw from the squad. However, the biggest absentee is star forward Gareth Bale, who is absent through injury.
There is not much between these two teams in the standings. We are predicting that this clash will finish in a draw.
PREDICTION – DRAW
Odds correct at time of publication – please check with your bookmaker before placing a bet as fluctuations can occur.