Just one point separates the Czech Republic and Albania at the top of Euro 2024 qualifying Group E and it’s a section that is throwing up plenty of interest.
Moldova and Poland are still firmly in qualification contention and Thursday night’s Eden Arena clash could play a big part in the progression chances of the two sides.
Albania were beaten in Poland, but bounced back with a pair of victories over Moldova and the Faroes, while the Czechs are unbeaten in three qualification contests.
Fiorentina’s Antonin Barak and star striker Patrik Schick are out for the home side. However, Adam Hlozek, Mojmir Chytil, Vladimir Coufal and Tomas Soucek are set to be involved.
Albania will be without Chelsea forward Armando Broja and they have been dealt a further blow by the injury to Roma defender Marash Kumbulla.
Czech Republic -1 handicap @ 7/4
The Czech Republic have cut a rejuvenated side in recent matches and Jaroslav Silhavy’s men can take control of Group E with a comfortable victory over Albania in Prague.
The Czechs started their Euro 2024 qualifying campaign with an excellent 3-1 victory over Poland and that was followed by an unfortunate 0-0 draw in Moldova.
Silhavy’s men got back to winning ways against the Faroe Islands in June and that 3-0 win was followed by a 4-1 friendly hammering of Montenegro.
Albania have collected six points from three matches, but those two wins came in kind fixtures against Moldova and the Faroes and they look to face a far tougher test here.
It’s an Eagles side that will be without Broja and Kumbulla for the trip to the Eden Arena and they may struggle to stay in the game.
Over 2.5 goals @ 6/5
It’s early days in Group E, but games in competitive sections can often develop a cup-tie feel and backing over 2.5 goals at 6/5 looks like a play.
The Czech Republic are a forward-thinking outfit that have scored 16 goals in their last six matches, while Albania have seen six goals hit in their last two games.