The Czech Republic recovered from a disastrous 1-0 home loss to Lithuania to squeeze their way into the playoffs before overcoming Montenegro and booking their place in this summer’s finals but there’s little to enthuse potential Czech backers. The kind draw has given the side hope but a lack of depth, an over-reliance on Tomas Rosicky and the lack of a clear goalscorer make qualification unlikely.
- If we include their play-off, they kept a clean sheet in exactly half their qualifying matches – five from 10 – while both teams scored in just three.
- Scored first in seven of those 10 games, which includes away in Spain and kept seven first-half clean sheets in those 10 qualifying matches.
- Defender Michal Kadlec was their top-scorer in qualifying with four, three of which came from the penalty spot. No other player scored more than twice in qualifying.
Wigan: One of the smaller nations with a smaller fan following than other nations. Perhaps punching above their weight in the competition with the resources they have available.
Any Other Business
When your top scoring player in qualifying is your left-back Michal Kadlec, you know where the problem lies. The Czechs are an energetic side but will struggle to score the goals to earn qualification. Milan Baros netted just once in qualifying while the centre-back pairing could be vulnerable.
Milan Baros bagged a solitary goal in qualifying as the Czech’s struggled for goals on their road to Poland and Ukraine. Without an obvious solution to the problem, take the Czech Republic to be the tournament’s lowest scorers at 10/1 with Paddy Power – it could be one of the tournament’s best bets.