Scotland face their third game in less than a week but there's confidence in the camp. Betfair's Frankie Monkhouse expects Clarke's men to secure a draw...
"The home defence hasn’t conceded a goal in their last two games with Czech Rep the last side to find a way through."
Games come thick and fast
Scotland face their third home match in less than a week when hosting Czech Republic in the UEFA Nations League on Wednesday evening at Hampden Park. The locals enter this latest outing sitting top of Group B2 and would tighten their grip over the pool by taking three points against their rivals.
The home team are chasing down what would be their third win following a penalty shootout victory over Israel in a Euro 2020 playoff semi-final last Thursday before downing Slovakia in this competition on Sunday. Legs are weary in the home dressing room, but confidence is high in the camp as Steve Clarke's men strive to continue their impressive form.
Scots unbeaten in a year
Scotland began their Hampden triple header with a nail-biting win over Israel in the Euro 2020 qualifying playoff. The stadium may have been without the famous Tartan Army support but there was tension in the air as both teams struggled to create clear goal-scoring chances. After 120 minutes of open play, the night went to penalties and Scotland held their nerve, winning 5-3 from the spot to progress to the playoff final where they'll line-up against Serbia next month.
A win over Slovakia followed and it wasn't any more attractive for supporters watching from home. Former Livingston striker Lyndon Dykes netting on 54 minutes to keep his team top of Group B2, unbeaten in three Nations League games and one point ahead of Wednesday's opponents. That narrow win over Slovakia means Scotland are unbeaten in more than a year with their last defeat coming against Russia. That purple patch consists of seven games with five wins and two draws as Clarke begins to drive the national team forward.
The Czech Republic seeking revenge
The Czech Republic arrive in Glasgow sitting second in the pool knowing victory would see them leapfrog their hosts into top spot. The visitors have six points on the board thanks to two wins separated by defeat. The spare came in the form of a 2-1 home loss against Scotland last month and it's a result those camped inside the away dressing room will be eager to avenge.
Czech got off to a winning start in Group B2 with a 3-1 victory away to Slovakia, but it came at a cost. Members of the team then returned positive coronavirus tests and that led to the entire squad and coaching staff having to self-isolate. A new team was drafted in and they were led by a stand-in manager. Despite the setbacks, Czech took the lead against Scotland but failed to hold onto their advantage and were beaten by goals from Dykes and a Ryan Christie penalty.
Hosts to keep it tight
Scotland were strong betting favourites to win in the Czech Republic which was understandable given the circumstances. This is a level playing field and that has been factored into the pre-match betting. The Betfair Sportsbook has Scotland priced at 9/4 for the win with the Czech Republic available at 13/10 and the draw 21/10.
The home defence hasn't conceded a goal in their last two games with Czech Rep the last side to find a way through. Manager Clarke will be eager to keep things tight at the back again and Betfair traders offer under 2.5 goals at 13/20 with over 2.5 goals a 6/5 option.
Value in the draw
The Czech Republic will believe they would've had a 100% record and nine points on the board heading into this match had it not been for the coronavirus issue. The visitors are stronger than they were last month and will provide their opponents with a much tougher test. A more competitive match is expected.
There will be a few tired legs in the Scotland camp and Clarke is sure to rotate his squad in an attempt to get them over the line and send players back to their clubs in one piece. The gaffer has plenty of experience sitting back and hitting on the break when in charge of Kilmarnock and it's likely the locals would see the value in a low-scoring draw.