• Analysis

Match Preview: Czech Republic vs Kosovo

Czech Republic
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The Czech Republic welcomes Kosovo to the Doosan Arena in Plzen for their EURO 2020 qualifier encounter tonight at 20:45 (CET).

It is “winner takes all” kind of game in Plzen as the Czech Republic and Kosovo lock horns in Group A this evening.

The hosts will be looking to maintain momentum after a 2-1 victory over England in their most recent outing in the European Qualifiers one month ago.

A win in favor of the Little Lions this evening will end the uncertainty in the group and will officially promote the Czech Republic and the English national team, despite the result of their encounter with Montenegro, as UEFA EURO 2020 participants.

Kosovo, on the other hand, can not afford to lose in order to keep their hopes alive for a place at the European Championship before the last round of the qualifying campaign.

Officially independent from 2008, the Dardanians are looking to qualify for their first major international tournament. Even if they fail through the EURO qualifiers, the Balkan side will have another chance for this historic achievement through the UEFA Nations League playoffs.

Team news

The hosts have had two players withdraw from the squad through injury as uncapped Slavia defender David Hovorka and Kasimpasa midfielder David Pavelka are both ruled out.

Patrik Schick is the only player in the squad walking a disciplinary tightrope, while captain Vladimir Darida should lead the Czechs to a decisive victory.

Kosovo’s top goalscorer Vedad Muriqi, along with Zurich duo Mirlind and Hekuran Kryeziu, Grozny’s Bernard Berisha, and Reims’ Arber Zeneli will miss the trip to Plzen this evening.

Odd’s Elba Rashani or Sheffield Wednesday’s Atdhe Nuhiu will come into the side to lead the attack and cover Muriqi’s absence.

Stats

Kosovo registered a 2-1 win when they hosted the Czech Republic back in September. It was the first encounter between the sides.

The Czech Republic has won all three games they’ve hosted in the European Qualifiers, including a 2-1 victory over group leaders England.

The Dardanians scored and conceded a goal in each game they’ve played on the road and managed to only note one clean sheet in three home encounters.

They are the only side in Group A to have both scored and conceded double-digit amount of goals to this stage of the EURO 2020 qualifiers with a goal difference of 12-10.

The Czech Republic has played in all six European Championships since their independence, reaching the final in 1996 and the semi-finals eight years later.

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