MX23RW : Wednesday, August 4 22:09:11| >> :600:2205508:2205508:

A look at Scotland's opening opponents at Euro 2020

A look at Scotland's opening opponents at Euro 2020
© Reuters
A closer look at Jaroslav Silhavy's side, and previous fixtures.

Scotland host the Czech Republic at Hampden as they kick-off their Euro 2020 campaign.

Steve Clarke will be hoping to start Group D with a win as he looks to become the first manager to lead the Scots past the group stages at a major finals.

Here is the lowdown on Monday's visitors:

Form

Scotland's Ryan Christie fires home a penalty to kill off the covid-hit Czechs make-shift second string
Scotland's Ryan Christie fires home a penalty to kill off the Covid-hit Czechs make-shift second string (Radek Petrasek/PA)

The Czechs booked their slot at Euro 2020 after finishing runners-up to England in their qualifying group. But that was more than 18 months ago and since then their form has been rather patchy with seven wins from 13 games. They lost home and away to the Scots in last year's Nations League clashes but had the coronavirus to blame for the 2-1 defeat in Olomouc after their entire first-choice squad was forced to quarantine, forcing the Czech FA to scramble together a new team at just 48 hours' notice. There was an encouraging draw at home to Belgium – FIFA's number one ranked side – in March's World Cup qualifier but a 4-0 hammering from Italy last week has sent alarm bells ringing in Prague. Tuesday's 3-1 win over Albania means they have recovered some momentum ahead of tomorrow's trip to Glasgow.

Manager

Czech Republic manager Jaroslav Silhavy
Czech Republic manager Jaroslav Silhavy (Nick Potts/PA)

Jaroslav Silhavy was given the task of getting the team back on track after their failure to reach the 2018 World Cup. Before being appointed to coach the national team, the former Czechoslovakia defender was twice a winner of the Czech title as a boss with Slovan Liberec and Slavia Prague. This will be his first meeting with Steve Clarke having had to sit out both of last year's clashes with the Scots as the Czechs were rocked by a double dose of coronavirus chaos.

Key Players

There are plenty of familiar faces to Scotland fans in the Czech ranks, with the West Ham pair Vladimir Coufal and Tomas Soucek plus Burnley's Matej Vydra all key figures. Bayern Leverkusen striker Patrik Schick is one to watch having scored six goals in his last 10 games for his country. Those who witnessed Rangers' recent Europa League showdown with Slavia Prague will recall Tomas Holes, David Zima, Jan Boril, Lukas Masopust and Petr Sevcik but there is no place for centre-back Ondrej Kudela – who misses the tournament after being handed a 10-game ban for racially abusing Glen Kamara at Ibrox.

History

Since the dissolution of Czechoslovakia in 1993, the Czech Republic have now reached seven successive European Championships, starting with the 1996 tournament in England, where they lost to Germany in the final. However, they have not had so much luck when it comes to World Cups – with their sole appearance coming in 2006, when they failed to make it past the group stages.

Previous meetings

The Czechs have every right to be sick of the sight of Scotland after seeing preparations for both of last year's meetings disrupted by coronavirus. First an outbreak forced Silhavy and his entire squad to quarantine when Clarke's team visited in September, with goals from Lyndon Dykes and Ryan Christie sealing victory over the hosts' makeshift line-up. There were further positive cases a month later as the Czechs travelled to Glasgow, with an early Ryan Fraser strike this time doing the damage. The teams first met in 1999 as Craig Brown's team were twice beaten, missing out on reaching Euro 2000. A Scott Brown goal in Craig Levein's first match in charge of the national team handed Scotland their first win over the Czechs in 2010. However, the new manager's decision to start without a recognised striker when the teams met again in qualifying for Euro 2012 seven months later did not go down well with the Tartan Army, especially as they lost 1-0 to a side not exactly brimming with attacking threat. The overall record stands at four wins apiece, with one draw.

ID:451186: cacheID:451186:1false2false3false:QQ:: from db desktop :LenBod:restore:9886:
Restore Data
Share this article now:
Did you know...?
Former Newcastle United coach John Carver pictured in December 2017
Read Next:
John Carver confident Scotland can progress to Euros knockout rounds
>

rhs 2.0
Olympic medal table header
CountryGold medalSilver MedalBronze MedalT
ChinaChina32221670
United StatesUnited States25312379
JapanJapan2171240
Great BritainGreat Britain15181548
AustraliaAustralia1541736
Today's Olympic highlights header

Thursday's key events


ATHLETICS
· The women's heptathlon continues with the long jump, javelin and 800m, with Katarina Johnson-Thompson now out of contention following an injury (1.10am-1.40pm)
· Andrew Pozzi pursues his dream of an Olympic medal in the men's 110m hurdles final (3.55am)
· Tom Bosworth and Callum Wilkinson are among the British hopes in the men's 20km race walk (8.30am)
· Holly Bradshaw aims to improve on fifth in Rio to challenge Greece's Katerina Stefanidi and Anzhelika Sidorova of Russia for an unlikely medal in the women's pole vault (11am)
· London 2012 champion Kirani James goes up against current world champion Steven Gardiner in the men's 400m final (1pm)

MARATHON SWIMMING
· One of the toughest Olympic events takes place in Tokyo Bay as GB's Hector Pardoe takes on the men's 20km marathon swim (10.30pm Wed)

BOXING
· Galal Yafai takes on takes on Kazakhstan's Saken Bibossinov for a spot in the gold medal bout of the fly (48kg-52kg) class (6.48am)

DIVING
· Lois Toulson and Andrea Spendolini-Sirieix (daughter of First Dates' Fred Sirieix) line up for the women's 10m platform (semi-final 2am; final 7am)

HOCKEY
· Australia face Belgium in the men's final (11am)

> Today's schedule in full
Todays Game Header Right
Tables

Subscribe to our Newsletter


Transfer Talk Daily
Match previews - twice weekly
Morning Briefing (7am UTC)
Ultra close-up image of Kevin De Bruyne [NOT FOR USE IN ARTICLES]Get the latest transfer news, match previews and news direct to your inbox!