SCOTLAND take on Czech Republic in a friendly on Thursday. Proud Scot Chris Graham (@chrisgraham79) takes a look at the odds for us.
Czech Republic v Scotland | Thursday 19:45 | Premier Sports
One of these sides is going to Euro 2016, the other is not. We all know who’s not don’t we? Yes, good old Scotland, reliable as ever to revert to type and crumple in a heap.
This match is as unsexy as it gets for the nation. While 32 European sides are gearing up for the summer jamboree in France, Scotland are staying at home again and have this trip to Prague to contend with.
The Czechs have Spain, Turkey and Croatia in their group this summer and romped through qualifying, finishing up with 22 points in Group A which featured the ill-fated Netherlands and Turkey.
Pavel Vrba’s side won six of their opening eight matches in the group and disposed of the Netherlands and the early pacesetters Iceland in the opening half of the section.
They were less convincing in the second half of the campaign but still managed to beat the Netherlands again. The good work had been done though and thoughts had turned to this summer.
Like the Czechs, Scotland also endured a slump in the second half of their qualifying campaign. Unfortunately for the Scots though the work they had put into the first half wasn’t strong enough to secure a play-off place and they finished fourth behind Germany, Poland the Republic Of Ireland.
You’d have to question the morale and interest in the squad for this match. There’s nothing to play for and no competitive fixture on the horizon for six months.
Gordon Strachan has clearly made a smart move though in selecting two squads to keep as many players in the loop as possible at this very starting point of a new campaign.
This opening squad has been weakened by the absence of Steven Fletcher and it leaves only Tony Watt and Ross McCormack at the top end of the pitch.
I can’t imagine Strachan will be too bothered about the scoreline here and the object of this exercise will be to get as many people as possible involved and look at the next generation.
To be fair to the Scots their record in friendlies is pretty impressive with just one defeat in the last seven but I can’t imagine intensity levels will be too high.
I’ll have a suck on a couple of Correct Scores in this match. A 2-0 win for the hosts looks big at 15/2 with 888 Sport and I’ll back a 2-1 win for them too at 8/1. There’s more at stake for the Czechs here and if Strachan can come away from the game with positives in a defeat I think he’ll be fine with that.
Czech Republic v Scotland – Czech Republic to win 2-0 (15/2 888 Sport)
Czech Republic v Scotland – Czech Republic to win 2-1 (8/1 888 Sport)
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