The Czech Republic got off to a stellar start on matchday 1 of Group D with a 2-0 win over Scotland. Patrik Schick’s double – a first-half header and second-half goal from the halfway line – led the team to the win. The Czechs now go into matchday 2 of Group D needing a victory to potentially seal progression to the knockout stage.

Croatia were defeated 1-0 by England in a bore fixture on Sunday. Zlatko Dalic’s team conceded a goal just before the hour-mark and created little in the final third. Croatia tallied eight shots with two hitting the target. They tallied 51% possession and edged England in completed passes 457 to 453. Croatia need to be better in the final third against the Czech Republic to have any chance of progressing to the knockout stage as either the second-place finishers or one of the tournament’s four best third-place teams in the group.

The Czech Republic will play England on matchday 3 of the group. It could be their most difficult game of the group stage. Jaroslav Šilhavý needs the team to claim a point at the very least against Croatia. Four points could be enough to send the team through to the next round.

The teams have played just three times in their histories dating back to 1996. The Czech Republic have never beaten Croatia and have posted a record of 0W-1D-2L. The teams last met at the Euro 2016 tournament with the game ending 2-2.

Croatia vs Czech Republic Betting Odds

 

Despite winning against Scotland, the Czech Republic were on the backfoot at times during the match. Scotland were the better team in the opening 30 minutes and it took time for the Czechs to get into the game. They were lucky not to be down a goal or two early as goalkeeper Tomas Vaclik made saves early on to deny the Scots. The Czechs tallied 42% possession, 10 shots with seven on target and 349 passes versus Scotland.

Šilhavý’s team are at odds of 11/4 to win the match versus Croatia. They are underdogs going into the game, but showed themselves capable of pulling off a victory on matchday 2 of Group D. On paper, the game pits the two teams that are likely to finish second in the group. If the Czech Republic win the fixture, they will go into the final matchday of the group against England in a battle to finish first.

Croatia are at odds of 5/4 to win the game on Friday at Hampden Park. Dalic’s team are not of the same quality that reached the World Cup Final in 2018 against France. There is still quality in the side with Ante Rebic, Andrej Kramaric, Josip Brekalo, and Ivan Perisic all available to play in attack. England’s defence suffocated Croatia on Sunday.

The Czech Republic are unlikely to play as strongly in defence against Croatia. Their win to nil versus Scotland was partly due to Scotland’s lack of high-quality international attacking talent. The last meeting between the teams came at Euro 2016 and finished 2-2. The teams are at odds of 12/5 to finish in a stalemate.

Croatia vs Czech Republic Team News

Dalic has a few decisions to make for the match. There are capable goalscorers and creators in the team. However, none of those players were able to step up in the game versus England. Rebic, Kramaric, and Perisic all three started in attack, but each was ineffective. Dalic could start Brekalo or Nikola Vlasic in attack for either Rebic or Kramaric. Perisic should hang onto his spot in the starting XI.

Luka Modric will play in the middle of the pitch once more for Croatia. Modric played alongside the defensive duo of Marcelo Brozovic and Mateo Kovacic. The Real Madrid player failed to make a major impact on the day. He did complete 93% of his passes and tallied one shot. Modric needs to step up to get Croatia a win versus the Czechs.

Schick didn’t finish the match versus Scotland and was removed to prevent injury late in the game. His two goals led the team to victory and will be counted on to hurry and hustle Croatia’s defence. Vaclik’s brilliance in goal in the first half kept Scotland from taking an early lead. Šilhavý has no reason to alter the team’s starting XI.

Croatia vs Czech Republic Prediction

Both teams to score: YES @ 10/11 - BET NOW

 

Croatia lost to nil to England and the Czech Republic won 2-0 against Scotland in their first matches of the group stage, respectively. The teams should both get on the scoresheet in this fixture and the match could be similar to their Euro 2016 encounter that finished 2-2. Nine of Croatia’s last 14 games finished with both teams scoring. Seven of the Czech Republic’s last 14 fixtures finished with both sides scoring.

Patrik Schick to score anytime @ 13/5 - BET NOW

 

Schick had a so-so season at Bayer Leverkusen. He tallied just nine goals in 29 Bundesliga games which was a disappointment. Schick’s performance against Scotland was superb tallying two goals. His brilliant halfway line strike may already be the goal of the tournament. Schick has played 27 times for the Czech national team scoring 13 goals.

Over 2.5 goals scored @ 13/10 - BET NOW

 

Nine of Croatia’s last 14 matches finished with over 2.5 goals tallied. The team have conceded goals to opponents in 12 of their last 14 games in all competitions. Their defence isn’t as strong as it was three years ago at the World Cup. Therefore, Croatia could concede goals to the Czech Republic, who will have plenty of confidence going into the game. Seven of the Czech Republic’s last 14 fixtures finished with more than 2.5 goals scored.

The last time these teams met, the game finished 2-2 at the Euro 2016 tournament. Could we see another score draw? Croatia have the better attacking talent, but the Czech Republic will be confident after winning 2-0 versus Scotland. This could be a close fixture.