A key game in Group E of European World Cup qualifying sees the Czech Republic host Belgium at the Sinobo Stadium in Prague on Saturday night. Given the quality their visitors possess, this is likely to be an uphill battle for the Czechs.
Where and when: Sinobo Stadium – 27 March, kick-off 19:45
Where you can see Czech Republic vs. Belgium: Sky Sports
Last time: Michy Batshuayi and Marouane Fellaini were on target for Belgium, as the Red Devils saw off the Czech Republic 2-1 in a 2017 friendly in Brussels.
Czech Republic v Belgium Predictions and Preview
That game between the Czech Republic and Belgium nearly four years ago was their first meeting since 2009. Both countries have won three of the last seven meetings between the teams, but as that run stretches back to 1999, we can’t read too much into that this weekend.
The Czech Republic have some good players and have recorded the odd good result over the last couple of years. However, Jaroslav Silhavy’s side have usually come unstuck against the better sides over recent years, and that is a category into which Belgium certainly fall.
They may be yet to lift a trophy, but the Red Devils are the world’s top-ranked team. With players like Kevin De Bruyne, Romelu Lukaku, Thibaut Courtois and Youri Tielemans all featuring, they’re a scary proposition for this Czech team.
|Our Eurotips||Odds||Free bets||Bookie|
Belgium to win to nil
Belgium to win 2-0
Belgium to win both halves
The hosts are the 5/1 underdogs in these Czech Republic v Belgium predictions, as they go in search of an unlikely result. Their 2-1 comeback victory over England in October 2019 aside, the Czech’s have disappointed in the big games of late.
They’ve lost to Germany, Brazil, England, Northern Ireland, Bulgaria and Kosovo in recent matches, while Scotland beat them home and away in the Nations League last year. This is not a strong Czech squad, even if West Ham United’s in-form Tomas Soucek is a standout name.
The opposite is true of Belgium, even without their injured captain, Eden Hazard. Roberto Martinez is still trying to mould his collection of talented individuals into a winning team on the grandest stages though, with another chance for silverware looming on the horizon at this summer’s rearranged Euro 2020.
Les Diables Rouges need to build some momentum ahead of that tournament, and they’ve certainly been doing that over the last couple of years. Belgium’s loss to England in October is the only time they’d suffered defeat in their 18 fixtures prior to Wednesday’s clash with Wales. They won 16 of the other 17, scoring 57 goals in the process and conceding only eight.
There’s no question that Belgium are the clear favourites for the win this weekend, although odds of 8/11 may still be relatively attractive in the outright market. If you think the Czech Republic can come away from this tough fixture with a point, the draw here is priced at 14/5.
One to watch for Czech Republic: Tomas Soucek has been a revelation in the Premier League this season. He’s chipped in with nine goals as West Ham have built a challenge for the top four, with the midfielder well worth a look in the anytime scorer market on Saturday.
One to watch for Belgium: There’s no doubt about who the favourite will be for the opening goal. Romelu Lukaku is available for Belgium following a Covid-19 outbreak at his club, Inter, and the striker will look to extend his record as his country’s record goalscorer.
Long shot: Considering the quality of the Belgian squad, any form of win for the Czech Republic is a long shot. If they’re to pull it off, you fancy the hosts will need to put in a superb defensive performance and snatch something at the other end, potentially from a set piece. With that in mind, a 1-0 home win is priced at 18/1 in our Czech Republic v Belgium tips, while you could add Soucek as the scorer for even bigger odds.