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Before England and Scotland lock horns at Wembley, all eyes will be on Hampden Park as the Czech Republic look to seal their place in the round of 16 against Croatia.

The 2018 World Cup finalists come into the game needing to win following their opening day defeat to Gareth Southgate’s side last Sunday.

Zlatko Dalić’s side are the only team in Group D to not register a point at this year’s tournament, and Friday’s game is a must-win if Croatia are to continue their journey in the competition and try to make up for that World Cup final defeat three years ago.

Although stifled by Raheem Sterling’s 57th minute winner, the likes of Luka Modric, Ivan Perisic, and Andrej Kramaric all showed glimpses that they will continue to be a threat for the remainder of the tournament, with the Czech Republic firmly in their sites.

Patrick Schick scored a wondergoal

The Czech’s opening day win over Scotland has lifted their spirits going into the game, knowing a point could all but confirm their place in the last-16 before their final group game against England on Tuesday evening.

All eyes will be on their number ten, Patrik Schick, who produced a stunning display against Steve Clarke’s side, including an early Goal of the Tournament contender with an effort from the halfway line that left Scotland ‘keeper David Marshall with a red face.

In terms of team news for Croatia, both Modric and Perisic were the only non-defenders not to be substituted against England, which proves their importance in midfield and attack.

However, do not be surprised if Mario Pasalic or Nikola Vlasic start from the off, with tempo required to break down the Czech’s solid defence.

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For the Czech Republic, there is no doubt that Schick will once again start up top, with Vladimir Darida playing off the lone striker.

These two combined very well when trying to counterattack Scotland and that could also be their game plan against Croatia.

Do you think Croatia will bounce back from defeat? Let us know in the comments below.

Both Tomas Soucek and Alex Kral dominated the Scotland midfield on Monday and will seek to impose that same physical presence on Modric and Marcelo Brozovic during the game.

Jakub Jankto should start on the left to provide that attacking threat and dangerous balls into the box for Schick to attack.

Croatia struggled to create genuine openings versus England and will not exactly have it easy against the Czechs either.

For a team who rely on the vision of Modric, they will need to ensure he gets space to orchestrate their attacks and not be shut down by Soucek.


Croatia – 57/50

Draw – 12/5

Czech Republic – 13/5

*Odds are supplied by Grosvenor Sports and are subject to change. Please gamble responsibly.

How to watch Croatia v Czech Republic

The game will kick off at 5pm on BBC One, with Gary Lineker hosting the broadcast from 4:35pm alongside analysis from former England man Rio Ferdinand, and Jurgen Klinsmann.

On commentary, the match will be presented by Dion Dublin and Steve Bower.

The game will also be available to stream via the BBC iPlayer.