Ace Football previews the World Cup qualifier between Wales and Czech Republic, and offers betting tips, odds, line-ups, and team news.
Wales welcome an in-form Czech Republic to the Cardiff City Stadium on Tuesday night for a World Cup qualifier.
The fourth-placed hosts hope to kick-start their qualifying campaign after losing 3-1 to Belgium in their Group E opener. Czech Republic, on the other hand, sit top of the table on four points from two games.
An intense and close affair could be on offer between two sides who haven’t met since 2007. Wales have a home advantage, but the Czech Republic are in excellent form and cannot be underestimated for this one.
Wales Form & Stats
The Dragons, who are still without manager Ryan Giggs, fell to a disappointing 3-1 defeat to Belgium last week. Harry Wilson may have scored the opening goal, but the Red Devils’ class enabled them to bounce back with a convincing win. Points in Cardiff on Tuesday, therefore, are necessary to keep hopes of heading to Qatar alive.
Saturday’s morale-boosting 1-0 friendly win over Mexico was a good warm-up. Interim coach Robert Page essentially changed the entire team, in a game that saw Chris Gunter win his 100th cap. Kieffer Moore’s early goal sealed a decent victory, but the true test starts on Tuesday.
Simply put, Wales cannot afford to drop points against a direct rival. Page’s men can win this one and have been in good form at home, having won nine of their last 11 games in all competitions (D2). They’re also tough to break in defense.
Key Team Stats
- Won 3 of their last 4 games in all competitions (L1).
- On an 11-match unbeaten run at home (W9 D2).
- Kept 8 clean sheets in their last 11 home games in all competitions.
- 4 of their last 6 outings produced under 2.5 goals.
- Kieffer Moore and Harry Wilson have scored 2 goals in their last 3 games.
Czech Republic Form & Stats
Despite Romelu Lukaku’s second-half equalizer, Czech Republic impressed against FIFA’s top-ranked team. They pushed Belgium hard in Prague, created more scoring opportunities, and won a decent and hard-earned point. It kept them on top of the Group E table, having previously thrashed Estonia 6-2 in their first match.
Jaroslav Silhavy’s side now head to Cardiff hoping to preserve their lead. A four-match unbeaten run (W3 D1) leaves them in good shape, although they have lost two of their last three away games to nil against Scotland (1-0) and Germany (1-0).
A key player in the Welsh capital could be Tomas Soucek. The in-form midfielder scored a hat-trick in the space of 16 minutes against Estonia and has been a big influence in West Ham’s surprise top-four challenge in the Premier League.
Key Team Stats
- On a 4-match unbeaten run (W3 D1).
- Lost 2 of their last 3 away games to nil.
- Tomas Soucek has scored in 2 of his last 3 games for the national team and 9 goals in 29 Premier League games with West Ham.
- Over 2.5 goals in their last 10 games in all competitions.
Out: Joe Allen, Rabbi Matondo, Hal Robson-Kanu, Tyler Roberts.
Out: Tomas Kalas, Ondrej Kolar, Alex Kral.
Wales (3-4-3): Hennessey; Lawrence, Rodon, Mepham; Williams, Ampadu, Morrell, Roberts; James, Wilson, Bale.
Czech Replublic (4-1-4-1): Vaclik; Boril, Celustka, Kudela, Coufal; Holes; Jankto, Soucek, Barak, Provod; Krmencik
|02/06/07||Euro qualifier||Wales||0 – 0||Czech Republic|
|02/09/06||Euro qualifier||Czech Republic||2 – 1||Wales|
|27/03/02||Friendly||Wales||0 – 0||Czech Republic|
Below are some head-to-head stats on each team’s recent form in the World Cup.