DISCLAIMER: ODDS AND ARTICLE UPDATED 12/10/2019, 12:01.
England will be hoping to bounce back from their defeat to Czech Republic when they take on Bulgaria in their latest Euro 2020 qualifier on Monday. We take a look at the betting opportunities.
It was 10 years since England had been beaten in a European Championship qualifying match, but the Czechs cared little for history when securing a deserved 2-1 victory over the Three Lions on Friday in Prague. The result has left the nations level on 12 points in Group A and so Gareth Southgate's men will be looking to get back on track against the basement side.
Having beaten Jaroslav Silhavy's side 5-0 at Wembley in March this year, England were favourites to down the Czechs, but put on their worst display under Southgate and questions will start to be asked about the actual quality of the team for next summer's showpiece. They can still qualify on Monday by beating Bulgaria - as long as Kosovo do not beat Montenegro - but there are worrying signs.
A chaotic 5-3 success over Kosovo last time out rang the alarm bells and defensive frailties returned on Friday, with Jordan Pickford called into action many times to keep the visitors in the game. It was a young side and the balance appeared all wrong, so it seems inevitable there will be changes for the next encounter.
Bulgaria are yet to win a match in the group and, along with Montenegro, have three points from three draws, but they will be tougher than when surrendering meekly 4-0 at Wembley last September.
Southgate must address both his defence and midfield, with the front three of Harry Kane, Raheem Sterling and Jadon Sancho starved of service in Prague. The experiment of Declan Rice and Jordan Henderson anchoring midfield did not work as there was no creativity and it might be that Ross Barkley is given the nod in Sofia.
Full-backs Danny Rose and Kieran Trippier were ineffectual and there will be calls for Trent Alexander-Arnold to be given a run-out, while Michael Keane might be under pressure from Tyrone Mings. Harry Maguire will keep his place and needs others in the rearguard to step up
While there has been much negativity regarding England's insipid last performance, it has to be remembered this is a young team still finding its feet, so there will be a few bumps in the road along the way. The ultimate aim for this group of players is to win silverware for the first time since 1966 and, with the squad that the manager has to work with, it seems that now is their best chance for half a century.
They should be able to take all three points at the Vasil Levski National Stadium and, with what has happened in the past two games, Southgate would settle for that, regardless of how they play on the night.
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