Czech Republic take on the visitors Portugal in the round 5 match of UEFA Nations League (League A). The match will be played on Friday, September 24th at Fortuna Arena (Prague).
Czech national team traditionally miss the world cap. Yaroslav Shilgava's wards will not fly to Qatar either. In the spring, they lost in the first round of the playoffs - in overtime they lost on the road to Sweden. But at the same time, last year the Czechs shone at the Euro. Especially Patrick Schick, who became the top scorer of the tournament. With the help of his goals, it was possible to reach the quarterfinals of the continental championship, where they lost 1-2 to another breakthrough of the tournament - Denmark. The national team looked worthy in the first, home matches in June, with which the Nations League began. The Czechs defeated Switzerland 2-1, and a goal from Iñigo Martinez prevented a repeat of the same score with Spain in the 90th minute. But on the road it did not work out to catch at least a point. Both in Portugal and with Fury Roja away, everything ended with an defeats – both 0-2.
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Portugal reached its peak under the current coach, Fernando Santos. In 2016, Ronaldo and company were able to sensationally win the Euro, defeating in the final the hosts - France. After that, it was the Portuguese who became the first winner of the Nations League. That's just Cristiano and other leaders objectively aged. Yes, there are new bright players, but still everything is still too “tied” to playing for a long-term leader. Yes, and they are used to the pragmatic style in general. They do not fail, but both at the World Championships and at the Euro they flew out in the very first round of the playoffs. And in the last two qualifications they came to the finish line 2, losing the lead first to Ukraine, and last fall to Serbia. It was lucky that they managed to break into the World Cup: after knocking out Turkey, the Portuguese learned that North Macedonia had won sensationally against Italy. The Balkans did not have enough strength for the second sensation. In the League of Nations, the wards of Fernando Santos looked worthy: they drew a dispute with their neighbors, the Spaniards, on the road, defeated Switzerland and the Czech Republic at home. But in Geneva, having conceded in the first attack, the “chosen ones” could not answer with anything.
The Czech Republic beat Portugal at the successful Euro 96. But then the “chosen ones” won three head-to-heads in a row. Bookmakers consider Portugal to be the favorite of the pair. But the Czechs are also good, especially at home. We recommend betting that the hosts will not lose in this match in Prague.
Prediction for the match: Portugal to win with +0.5 handicap (X2).