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Czech Republic v England: A 10/1 Same Game Multi for the Three Lions' Friday fixture

England keeper Jordan Pickford
Jordan Pickford can concede again
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England's presence in next summer's European Championships is all but confirmed, but Max Liu is backing the Three Lions to concede on Friday night in his multiple bet.

"It's tempting to simply back both teams to score at 9/10 but sloppy starts have been a feature of England's campaign so far - they went behind to Kosovo in the first minute and to Montenegro in the 17th - so I'll take the 4/1 on both teams scoring in the first half."

England beat Czech Republic 5-0 at Wembley a couple of months ago and there's been no subsequent let-up in their scoring, with the Three Lions putting five past Montenegro and Kosovo and hitting four against Bulgaria. It would be a big surprise then if the Czechs, who have conceded eight in their matches so far, were to stop England scoring on Friday night.

Are England really Europe's second best?

England flag at Wembley 956.jpg

It's pretty astonishing to see England [6.0] as second favourites behind France [5.5] for next summer's Euros and I still think it says a lot about the transitional state of some of the traditional European powers - Germany and Spain, for example.

But this England squad is evolving fast and the World Cup 2018 vintage that surpassed expectations by reaching the semi-finals now looks dated, with Jadon Sancho establishing himself as a first choice pick, James Maddison knocking loudly on the manager's door for inclusion as well as Trent-Alexander Arnold and Ben Chilwell providing width, balance and verve at full-back.

It's at the back, though, where England still have issues. A lack of concentration was exposed by Kosovo at St Mary's last month and, without taking anything away from our opponents that night, England can forget challenging next summer if they keep defending like that.

England to keep on scoring

Harry Kane training 1280.jpg

In their 5-3 victory over Kosovo last time out, England's front three of Harry Kane, Raheem Sterling and Jadon Sancho were scintillating, arguably as good as any England attacking performance this century. The prospect of Trent-Alexander Arnold properly linking up with Sancho down England's right is mouthwatering.

Kane and Sterling were both on target in the only other away fixture so far in this qualifying campaign - the 5-1 win over Montenegro - and I'm going to back the latter to find the net on Friday night at 5/4.

England's defensive issues mean both teams can score

Harry Maguire celebrates 1280.jpg

More interesting than how many England will score perhaps is whether or not they can keep a clean sheet. They have two shutouts in their four matches so far but both came at Wembley and the second half against Kosovo gave Gareth Southgate plenty to ponder. You can't simply rely on a brilliant attack, certainly not at the finals next summer, but even before then it will catch up with England sooner or later if they don't tighten up.

Harry Maguire has looked ponderous at times for Manchester United this season while his England defensive partner Michael Keane is also playing in a struggling team in Everton. The Czechs have scored nine in this campaign, with England the only side to keep a clean sheet against them. In Prague, in front of their own fans, I can see likes of Michael Krmencik or Lukas Masopust putting one past Jordan Pickford.

It's tempting to simply back both teams to score at 9/10 but sloppy starts have been a feature of England's campaign so far - they went behind to Kosovo in the first minute and to Montenegro in the 17th - so I'll take the 4/1 on both teams scoring in the first half.

Combined with England's ability to score, and the fact they haven't hit fewer than four in any qualifying match so far, this means over 3.5 goals at 21/10 on the night has to be final piece in our treble which pays at a little over 10/1.

Max Liu,

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