After suffering defeat first time out, Wales look to put their first points on the board in World Cup qualifying when they welcome the Czech Republic to Cardiff City Stadium on Tuesday evening (7.45pm; TV: Live on Sky Sports). The visitors will be hoping to maintain their unbeaten record in Group E.
Wales come into this fixture off the back of beating Mexico by a goal to nil in friendly action at this venue just three days ago. On that occasion, the Welsh delivered a reasonably disciplined display. They offered only a small amount going forward, but were compact and resilient at the back, so much so that they shut out a visiting side that hadn’t failed to score since 2019. However, if we are talking about competitive action, Wales come here off the back of tasting defeat. They lost by three goals to one in Belgium last week, and it’s not as if they were unlucky either.
In contrast, Czech Republic, who’ve amassed four points from their first two World Cup Qualifiers, are on the up. They made light work of beating Estonia first time out, scoring six goals in the process, while they held the talent-filled Belgians to a 1-1 draw at the weekend. They did have the benefit of playing that match on home soil, though the way in which they nullified a fierce attack was impressive, as was the fact that they outshot their opponents by 13 to 9.
Strong home record
The Welsh didn’t exactly cover themselves in glory in Belgium, rather they went down with something of a whimper, though they ought to be reasonably confident ahead of this fixture, given that their recent home record makes for pleasing reading. Since September 2020, Wales have played five times in Cardiff, winning four and drawing one. They have also conceded just a single goal during that time. Furthermore, Wales are unbeaten on home soil since losing to Denmark in 2018.
Czech’s not easy to beat on their travels
While Wales have delivered some strong efforts at home over the last six months or so, Czech Republic have held their own away from home. Their win in Estonia allowed for momentum to be built ahead of their clash with the Belgians, while they’ve also gone away from home and beaten the likes of Israel, Cyprus, and Slovakia in recent times. In between that trio of wins and their high-scoring victory against Estonia, Jaroslav Šilhavýs men lost away against both Scotland and Germany, though each of those defeats were by just a single goal. Czech Republic have conceded more than once in just one of their last six travelling matches. However, they are without a clean sheet during that time, a stat which should fill the hosts with confidence.
Both accustomed to scoring
If we look at the efforts of both teams against Belgium, it’s probably fair to say that both have something to offer offensively, even if the Welsh showed less in that respect. Both teams found the net against Group E’s big hitters. Moreover, neither side has made a habit of misfiring in recent times, each scoring at least once in their last eight matches combined.
Can both teams find the net?
In the betting, ‘Both Teams to Score’ appeals. Those who are taken by Wales’ pleasing home record may fancy a bit on the hosts to win, which at the current odds, probably isn’t the worst bet in the world, especially given their tendency to avoid defeat at Cardiff City Stadium. However, given what we’ve seen from the pair in recent times, ‘Both Teams to Score’ gets the nod.
Not only have both teams made a habit of scoring goals, but both showed defensive frailties against Belgium, while the visitors, for all they flexed their attacking muscles, didn’t look too clever defensively when conceding twice in Estonia. In addition, Czech Republic have made a habit of conceding (as well as scoring) on the road in recent times, keeping a clean sheet in none of their last six. Both teams have scored in four of those six.
More from Moore?
Kieffer Moore notched Wales’ only goal against the Mexicans last time out, and the towering striker looks a decent bet at the prices to find the net again. The 28-year-old is in the middle of a fine campaign domestically, having scored 16 times for Cardiff in the Championship so far, while he has not been averse to scoring for Wales in recent times either, scoring last time out, as well as finding the net twice in three Nations League starts.
In that competition, the centre forward averaged a pleasing 1.72 shots per 90, as well as 0.86 shots on target per 90. Against a Czech defence that doesn’t keep clean sheets on a regular basis, should he get the nod from the start, at odds of 13/5, the big man looks a good bet to score for the second time in three days.
So these are the betting tips for this Wales vs Czech Republic preview:
Wales vs Czech Republic Match Betting Odds