Despite an announcement that from the Czech FA that this game would not go ahead, with their whole main squad in quarantine following their 3-1 win away in Slovakia, they will take to the field in Olomouc though with an entirely different set of players and stand in manager David Holoubek.
Only two of the new 24-man squad have ever been capped before. 36-year-old defender Roman Hubnik, who scored against Scotland back in 2010, is out of retirement having previously made 29 appearances for the national side.
Meanwhile, 30-year-old forward Stanislav Tecl has five caps and no goals, so this is a squad desperately short on experience at this level. However, six of the selection are taken from Sigma Olomouc, with this game taking place at their home stadium, so they’ll hope familiarity between those players can stand them in good stead.
Scotland boss Steve Clark has warned his side not to be complacent, but it’s understandable that they start as clear favourites against vastly weakened opposition.
However, their 1-1 draw hosting Israel on Friday hardly inspired confidence and was disappointing not just because of their visitor’s second-half equalizer.
They failed to properly examine an Israeli backline that had hardly been watertight in previous fixtures, as Lyndon Dykes was left isolated in attack on his international debut.
Scotland haven’t always been at their best on their travels either and so we wouldn’t want to back them in the outright. They’ve lost six of nine road trips since May 2018, which includes thrashings by the likes of Belgium (4-0), Russia (3-0) and Kazakhstan (3-0) since 2019, with the last of those results particularly depressing.
Even the three games they did win came over weak opposition in the shape of Albania, San Marino and Cyprus, and having put just two goals past minnows San Marino, we wouldn’t expect Steve Clarke’s men to simply run away with this one.
Both Teams To Score (No)
Scotland have scored 12 times in four games now, but nine of those came at home against San Marino (6-0) and Kazakhstan (3-1).
They’re not a free-flowing outfit as their latest appearance demonstrated and with just seven goals from their past nine road trips, it’s hard to see them delivering a dominant scoreline.
With the Czech Republic likely to be under pressure by more experienced opponents, but with their visitors low on output, this could be a low-scoring affair.
At least one team or the other has failed to score in 16 of Scotland’s 20 away days since September 2015, including five of the last six, while we wouldn’t read too much into the Czech’s past form given the sweeping changes.