STAR PREVIEW Fri: Czech Republic v Wales

Rob Page’s Wales continue their World Cup qualifying campaign with a crucial away match against the Czech Republic at the Sinobo Stadium on Friday night.

Wales currently sit in third-place in Group E with Czech Republic one place above them in second – albeit only on goal-difference – making this an absolutely massive game for Page’s side.

The winning side would head into pole position for that second qualifying spot behind Belgium whereas a defeat for either side would be crushing for their hopes of reaching the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

Page will be disappointed that his team don’t already have a points advantage over their Czech counterparts, though, after being held to a frustrating goalless draw against Estonia last month. However, this is their chance to make amends and put them back in the driving seat for a spot in Qatar next year.

They will have to be without their main man in Gareth Bale, though. The Real Madrid star will be missing for this international after picking up a hamstring injury and, although Wales will be boosted by Aaron Ramsay’s return, Bale will obviously be a huge loss.

Czech Republic v Wales
FIFA World Cup 2022 Qualifier
19:45 S4C / Sky Sports Football

HEAD-TO-HEAD RECORD
(Maximum 10 matches)
MAR 2021 FIFA WORLD CUP Wales 1-0 Czech Republic
JUN 2007 UEFA EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIP Wales 0-0 Czech Republic
SEP 2006 UEFA EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIP Czech Republic 2-1 Wales
MAR 2002 INTERNATIONAL FRIENDLY Wales 0-0 Czech Republic

A point would be better for Czech Republic than Wales, but there is little doubt that Jaroslav Silhavy’s men will be going for the win in order to strengthen their bid for World Cup qualification.

Czech Republic arguably exceeded expectations in EURO 2020 by reaching the quarter-finals of the tournament with striker Patrick Schik unlucky to miss out on the golden boot with five goals.

They’ve proven themselves to be a tough nut to crack, especially at their home ground, but Wales were able to beat them in the reverse fixture at the Cardiff City Stadium thanks to a late strike from new Leeds United signing Daniel James.

Without Bale in their side, this is going to be a tough ask for Wales. Czech Republic proved in the summer that they’re a strong team and we’re backing them to win to nil on Friday night.

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PROFIT/LOSS (OCTOBER 2021): LOSS -9.58 points
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