Looking back, it wasn’t exactly the easiest starts for the Czech Republic as they got their Euro 2020 qualification bid underway in March. In fact, it was a real baptism of fire.
England is in excellent form following a trip to the World Cup Semi Final and having booked a place in the last four of the Nations League, and a trip to Wembley was always going to be the most difficult fixture once Group A had been drawn.
And that is exactly how it played out. A fixture to forget for Jaroslav Silhavy’s men, going down 5-0 to a world-class performance from Raheem Sterling and one that really needs to be moved on from.
The Czech side haven’t had a fixture to bounce back within the qualifiers, and that doesn’t come until June, which will play on their mind, but with Montenegro also going down similarly to the Three Lions, all is not lost, and there’s still every chance second in the group is a strong possibility.
Most bookmakers are still backing the Czech Republic to qualify for the tournament, most likely in second behind England, although you can still back them at 25/1 to finish as Group Winner.
You’ll find good odds on them to qualify despite England’s demolition of them with most bookies, and it’s an ideal time to place your bets before they take on Montenegro in June. It’s really hotting up in the Euro 2020 qualification betting stakes already, and more and more are making it easier to place your bets.
Payment methods are particularly making it easier, with brands such as Instadebit now making it easier than ever before, as well as the likes of PayPal, Neteller, and more. You can find Instadebit review pages all over the web, promoting safer betting, and if you’re looking for the best odds on the Czech Republic, it’s best to do so before their big game with Montenegro.
Despite picking up no points in the first round of qualifying, they can still move up to second with their game in hand, where bookmakers have tipped them to stay. Bulgaria and Montenegro both dropped points, with England taking maximum and second place now on two points, with the Bulgarians drawing both their fixtures.
Montenegro will be the Czech Republic’s next game, a fixture in which should provide three points for the nation, but will still be a stern test.
On paper, they are the better side, and they are 8/13 favorites with Paddy Power to win this fixture. The likes of Patrik Schick and Jakub Jankto are promising stars, although they will have to be aware of players such as Stevan Jovetic and Stefan Savic who provide Montenegro with experience at the highest level.
The next game away in the Adriatic country will give fans a much clearer idea of how the Czech Republic’s chances of progressing play out.
Two teams qualify from the Euro 2020 qualifying groups automatically, and the Czech side will be wanting to avoid the playoffs, which may not even be possible given they finished second in their Nations League group.
What that would rely upon is the Ukraine finishing top of their qualifying group, which includes reigning European Champions, Portugal.
Should the side end up in the playoffs, they will then have to go through one of the paths in which they play a two-legged Semi-Final and a one-leg Final. Three games which in reality they will want to avoid.
Despite a 5-0 drubbing against England, there’s every opportunity for the Czech Republic and even after two games could find themselves in a good position of qualification, should they get a positive result against their closest rivals, Montenegro.
Kosovo and Bulgaria should prove easier fixtures and the games in which they look to take maximum points, while home fixtures will be key in ensuring they can secure a second place.
Euro 2016 proved a miserable tournament for the country, picking up just one point and finishing bottom of their group. England aside, Silhavy has a real chance in making amends in this tournament, and that begins on June 10.
The Montenegrins managed to test England more than what the Czech’s did, but that was in their own backyard, and also looked incredibly nervy at the back. Taking advantage of that and settling the crowd will be key.
It could be the tie of the group in Podgorica, and a win will certainly settle the nerves and put the Czech’s on a much smoother path to Euro 2020 in the summer. There’s still a long way to go yet, and points on the board need to be secured sooner rather than later.