June 4, 2022 Sports Betting
When Spain travels to the Sinobo Stadium to face the Czech Republic on Sunday night, they will be looking for their first win in League A Group 2 of the UEFA Nations League at the second attempt.
In their first match in the top flight, the hosts defeated Switzerland 2-1, while La Roja had to settle for a draw with old adversaries Portugal.
The Czech Republic owed their promotion to the highest tier of the Nations League to a wonderful stroke of luck in their inaugural match against Switzerland.
As Noah Okafor had cancelled out Jan Kuchta’s effort on the stroke of halftime, Djibril Sow’s name was added to the dreaded own goal tag after his 25-yard deflection beat Yann Sommer.
Jaroslav Silhavy’s team may consider themselves lucky to be top of the rankings after the first matchday, but their effort to stay in League A for a second consecutive cycle has gotten off to the greatest possible start for the Euro 2020 quarter-finalists.
Speaking of quick starts, the world’s 33rd-ranked nation scored first in a home Nations League encounter for the sixth time in a row on Thursday, and it was their third straight triumph in all tournaments at their Prague headquarters.
Silhavy’s team hasn’t lost on home soil since September 2020, and they haven’t drawn a game in the Nations League since its existence, although the home crowd would gladly accept a draw.
Luis Enrique’s preparations for the 2022 World Cup, which appeared to be fighting off attention from Manchester United with ease, did not get off to the best start in Seville, as Iberian rivals Portugal came back late to salvage a point in a 1-1 draw.
With Cristiano Ronaldo on the bench, a defensive blunder by Portugal allowed Pablo Sarabia to feed Alvaro Morata for the first goal after 25 minutes, but substitute Ricardo Horta scored his first goal for his country eight minutes later to ensure a draw.
In the 2020-21 Nations League, Spain lost at the final hurdle to France, but Enrique was pleased with his side’s efforts in Seville on Thursday evening – the sixth draw in a row between Spain and Portugal, and one that puts Enrique’s side third in the early standings.
Spain’s game against the Czech Republic on Sunday is the first of a two-game series with the Czech Republic before the end of the month, and Enrique’s side has now scored in each of their last 15 games across all tournaments, though they have yet to leave an away game in the Nations League with a clean sheet.
However, La Roja appears to have found the right defensive formula against the Czech Republic, who have failed to score in four of their five encounters with the 2010 world champions and have yet to win this match as an independent nation.
The absence of several key players had little bearing on the Czech Republic’s chances of a positive result on matchday one, but it will almost surely do so in a match in which they have traditionally struggled.
Given their options in reserve, Spain is better placed to deal with the quick turnaround, and we can only expect Enrique’s team to dent the Czechs’ momentum with a straightforward victory.