The Czech Republic national football team face an away match against Israel on 11 October that will be critical for their Nations League campaign. The team has won one game and lost one game in the football tournament, and hopes are high that Jaroslav Silhavy’s team can improve their mediocre performance in last season’s Nations League.
September saw the Czech Republic making a positive start to their Nations League campaign. The team beat their rivals Slovakia 3-1 on 4 September. It was a tough away match that saw a goalless first half before Vladmir Coufal scored just after the restart. This was swiftly followed up by Borek Dockal scoring a penalty, while Michael Krmencik sealed the win with a fine goal in the 86th minute. While Ivan Schranz scored a consolation goal for Slovakia, it was too little and too late.
However, things came unstuck when the Czech team faced Scotland on 7 September. The Czech Republic suffered a 1-2 defeat despite Jakub Pesek scoring early on after a fine pass from Stanislav Tecl. But from here, Scotland started to gain momentum, and Lyndon Dykes scored midway through the first half. There were plenty more chances for either side to score, but Ryan Christie scored Scotland’s second goal from the penalty spot, and the Czech Republic had to leave empty-handed.
It was a particularly bitter result to take as the Czech team had to put together a makeshift squad for the match. This is because the entire squad who beat Slovakia just a few days prior had to enter quarantine after two players tested positive for Covid-19. This also meant that Jaroslav Silhavy couldn’t coach his squad, and David Holoubek had to act as a stand-in coach and pick nine debutants for the game.
The result has left the Czech Republic in second place in their Nations League B2 table. Only getting the top spot would ensure that they get promoted to League A. Scotland are just one point ahead of the Czech team. All of which makes the side’s game against Israel a critical match to win. Thankfully, the Czech Republic squad will have had time to recover after the Covid-19 scare, plus the side has a well-timed away friendly against Cyprus on 7 October.
But the Czech team’s game against Israel on 11 October won’t be easy. Israel held both Slovakia and Scotland to tough 1-1 draws. It will be interesting to see how the Czech Republic forwards cope with a solid Israel defense, but there is enough hope that talented young strikers like Adam Hlozek have what it takes to score. Many bookmakers featured at betting resources such as www.betting.co.uk give the Czech Republic decent odds to win this Nations League game.
Following this match, the Czech team travels to Scotland on 14 October before hosting Israel on 15 November. In this year’s Nations League group matches, the Czech Republic’s final game will be a mouth-watering home tie against Slovakia on 18 November.
Above all, Jaroslav Silhavy’s side will want to improve last year’s Nations League performance that saw them win two games and lose two games. This meant that the Czech team finished behind Ukraine in the Group B table and failed to be promoted to League A.
It’s been a tricky time for Jaroslav Silhavy since he became the Czech side manager on 18 September. But with nine wins out of 15 games, there are plenty of positives to take from his time in charge. The highlight must be when the Czech Republic beat England 2-1 in October 2019. This was a hugely impressive result seeing as England had thrashed the Czech team 5-0 just a few months previously.
Plus, with other notable wins over the likes of Montenegro and Kosovo, there’s plenty to suggest that the Czech team is on an upward trajectory. Nobody would have been able to predict they would have had to play Scotland with a makeshift squad, and hopes are high that the Czech team will be at full strength when they take on Israel next month.