Back the Czechs for a narrow win

Czech Republic v Albania
Tuesday 8 June, 19:15
Live on Sky Sports Red Button

After a nice winner on Ukraine’s pre-tournament friendly on Monday got us off to a good start this week, let’s try and keep the momentum going with another team looking to enter Euro 2020 on a high.

The Czech Republic were heavily beaten 4-0 by Italy on Friday and now need to restore some pride and momentum ahead of a tough group containing England, Croatia and Scotland.

In Albania they’ll have tough enough opposition to give them a genuine workout, but in the 66th-ranked team in the world it is a game they should be winning, especially at home.

Jaroslav Silhavy’s side have won 11 of their last 13 games against sides ranked in or around where Albania reside – and have done so with eight HT/FT victories.

There’s usually a winner when the Czech Republic play with just one draw in their last 38 internationals and they’ll hope to go into their seventh straight European Championship on the back of another victory.

For their part, Albania have kept five clean sheets in their last nine games although when you look at the teams they’ve kept out, only Wales are ranked inside the world’s top 100.

Albania games haven’t had a lot of goals of late, especially against better opposition, with just three of their last 12 producing over 2.5 goals. It’s usually a first goal the winner affair too, with the team bagging the opener winning eight of the last 11.

Just two of the last eight Czech Republic matches have gone over that 2.5 goals mark.

Motivation for Albania in their very last game of a long season will certainly be an issue, so the Czechs should have enough in hand to take this one.

With the hosts on the eve of a major tournament, and with a few nerves to settle and changes to make, however, there’s not a great prospect for goals.

It all points to a Czech Republic win and under 2.5 goals, which at 2.8815/8 is a good enough play for Tuesday’s bet.