The return of Scotland to the major international tournament since 1998 World Cup deserves to be celebrated. There is no better time than next Monday when they are taking on Czech Republic at the first game of the delayed EURO 2020. What’s more, it will be contested on their own home soil . Steven Clarke’s side has been waiting for this opportunity for far too long and surely they will strive not to blow it. However, such task would be challenging too as Antonin Barak and Co one of the few teams which could beat Belgium, the leader of FIFA rank in the past few years.
Both teams’ latest news
The Tartan Army’s squad has been a combination of senior and youngster names. The goalie are all above 32 years old, even the main one, David Marshall is 36 years old. Yet, the young talented figures seem to be preferred for the active roles on the pitch such as Chelsea’s Billy Gilmour, Arsenal’s Kieran Tierney, Ranger defender Nathan Peterson, Celtic man David Turnbull and Southampton man Che Adams. However, some regular players in the qualifying round are Leigh Griffiths, Ryan Jack and Kenny McLean.
Meanwhile, Czech Republic made no surprise in their squad except the exclusion of Borek Dockal. The rest would be the regular names including the key figures of the team such as Antonin Barak, Patrick Schick, Tomas Soucek, Vladimir Scoufal and Sevilla goalie, Tomas Vaclick
The former Jose Mourinho’s assistant in Chelsea, Steven Clarke, has been known for his winning formation 3-4-2-1 or 4-3-3 for more offensive one against the weaker side. To maximise their potential for winning the first game, the former tactical approach might be more suitable since Czech Rep has been considered equal to Scotland. Che Adams is likely to get a nod upfront. He would be supported by two Ryans, Ryan Christie and Ryan Fraser behind the Southampton man.
His counterpart Jaroslav Silhavy, seems to be quite confident employing the offensive 4-2-3-1 formation with the transition to 4-1-4-1. Bayer Leverkusen man Patrick Schick will be leading the attack upfront as well as the skipper Vladimir Darida as the number ten or playing wide when necessary. Hellas Verona’s Antonin Barak will be the functioning as holding midfielder while Tomas Soucek will be the stopper in front of the backline.
Players to watch
The skipper and Liverpool man, Andrew Robertson has been the great addition to Scotland’s revival. His pace, physical prowess as well as long crosses or shot are needed to guide them for their better campaign here. Another key man to watch is Che Adams who just switch his nationality from England to Scotland. He has netted two goals in four matches.
Czech Rep counts on the versatile Antonin Barak. This towering midfielder can feature as the targetman. Some other vital figures in the squad are Jakub Jankto, the former RB Leipzig man Patrick Schick and Tomas Soucek
Scotland vs Czech Rep prediction
It is definitely a tight affair. Scotland should have the advantage to win here as the did twice in UEFA Nations League last year. Yet, Jaroslav Silhavy’s men have improved since then and they are more solid on the second line and defence. Both sides are more likely to share spoils here.