Scotland vs Czech Republic: Will Scots mark return with a bang or a whimper?

Scotland will take part in their first major tournament since the 1998 World Cup. Question is, can they mark their return in style?

When: Monday, June 14, 14:00 BST

How to watch: BBC One

Follow this game live via our score centre

Best Bets

Scotland to win 1-0 at 13/2

Match winning margin to be one goal at 5/4

John McGinn to score anytime at 15/4

Scotland fans have waited over two decades to see their side compete at the pinnacle of international football. This Monday, we will see whether good things really do come to those that wait.

Steve Clarke certainly has the tools to make Scotland's return a successful one. With a talented squad to his disposal, many are expecting the side to give a good account of themselves and challenge for a Last 16 spot.

Scotland boss Steve Clarke on the left
Scotland boss Steve Clarke on the left

Nine of the 26 players in the team are Premier League stars, including captain Andrew Robertson.

Czech Republic might not be blessed with the same volume of Premier League talent but they still represent a serious threat.

The likes of Matej Vydra, Tomas Soucek and Vladimir Coufal will be familiar names to many followers of England's top division. But others, such as Vladimir Darida, Jakub Jankto and Patrik Schick, are also likely to test the resilience of Clarke's defence.

Last Three Matches

Scotland 1-0 Czech Republic (Nations League - October 14, 2020)

Ryan Fraser's early opener helped Scotland to a slender victory over Czech Republic.

The win sent the team top of their group in the Nations League however, Scotland went on to surrender their top position after two subsequent defeats.

Nevertheless, this was still an impressive victory considering Czech Republic dominated possession, attempts and attacks.

Czech Republic 1-2 Scotland (Nations League - September 7, 2020)

Scotland showed a clinical side to their game when they picked up another impressive win over the Czechs.

Jakub Pesek opened the scoring for the hosts in the 12th minute but that goal never shattered Scotland's spirit.

Steve Clarke's men fought back and sealed the win with a goal from Lyndon Dykes and Ryan Christie's converted penalty. 

Scotland's shot-to-goal conversion rate proved critical as the visitors scored two goals from three efforts on target.

Czech Republic 0-1 Scotland (Friendly - March 24, 2016)

It was another joyful day for Scotland when they met Czech Republic in a friendly back in 2016.

Ikechi Anya scored the only goal of the game as Gordon Strachan's side sealed a narrow win in Prague.

Last nine head-to-heads

Scotland wins: 4

Draws: 1

Czech Republic wins: 4

Scotland goals: 11

Czech Republic goals: 12

Best team in years but still lacking up-front

It's been a long time since Scotland have been able to boast such a wealth of talent.

Clarke has a number of high-quality individuals to his disposal in defensive and midfield areas. However, there is a slight concern at the top end of the field.

Lyndon Dykes, Che Adams and Kevin Nisbet are the three recognised strikers in Scotland's squad.

During the qualifying campaign and recent friendlies, goals for Scotland have come from all over the park. A lack of a consistent goalscorer could be the team's eventual downfall.

Head-to-heads in Scotland's favour

Scotland have won three straight games against the Czechs - two of them inside the last year. Interestingly, all three have come by a single goal margin.

Clarke's men are also entering the tournament having gone five games without defeat.

Czech Republic squad back in March
Czech Republic squad back in March

Same cannot be said for Czech Republic who won just one of their last four games. More concerningly, they've lost four of their last five fixtures away from home. 

This is shaping up to be a close game which could be decided by one goal. Historically, this is not a fixture that produces many goals. In fact, four of the last six meetings have ended with the 1-0 scoreline.

Goalscorer bets

As previously mentioned, Scotland are lacking a goalscorer in their side.

However, in recent friendlies, two men have stood out in the goal getting department.

First one is John McGinn who has already bagged ten goals for Scotland in 33 appearances.

Scotland's John McGinn
Scotland's John McGinn

The other is Che Adams who could be the answer to Scotland's goalscoring problems.

McGinn is currently priced at 15/4 to score anytime. Adams, meanwhile, is 12/5 in the same market.

READ MORE: England kick off their Euro 2020 tournament with victory over Croatia