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Pick 8 Rollover Preview: England To Defeat Inconsistent Czech Republic

Pick 8 Rollover Preview - Our Top 4 Picks

The estimated £50,000+ Pick 8 Rollover kicks off at 19:45 (GMT) on Thursday night, challenging players to predict the outcome of eight fixtures to win a huge Jackpot.

To offer you some insights, our in-house tipster has penned his thoughts on Austria vs Poland, Belgium vs Russia, England vs Czech Republic and Portugal vs Ukraine.

 

Austria vs Poland

Thursday, 21st March, 19:45

Austria will approach this encounter with greater confidence than Poland, who have endured a year to forget.

Poland crashed out of last summer’s World Cup at the group stage after suffering defeats to Senegal and Colombia. In an equally disastrous Nations League campaign, they were relegated from a group containing Italy and Portugal after failing to win a match.

That they have claimed a solitary victory from nine games will be of enormous concern to head coach Jerzy Brzęczek, who will expected a greater return than seven goals from a strikeforce containing Krzysztof Piątek and Robert Lewandowski.

Austria’s form has been patchy, winning three of their previous seven fixtures, though two of those victories were over Northern Ireland. They have been weakened by injuries in the build up to this fixture, though will be able to call on West Ham outcast Marko Arnautovic.

It is worth noting that Poland’s problems have largely come on home soil recently, where they have lost four of their last five. Conversely they are unbeaten in three away matches, drawing two of them. With the talent in their ranks I believe Poland can claim something from this match so will be backing the draw.

Result: Draw

 

Belgium vs Russia

Thursday, 21st March, 19:45

Belgium thoroughly enjoyed their trip to Russia last summer, storming to a third place finish in the World Cup. Unfortunately for Russia, it seems highly unlikely that they will enjoy the return visit quite as much.

The Red Devils were on the wrong end of an uncharacteristic 5-2 thumping at the hands of Switzerland in their most recent fixture, that saw the Swiss leapfrog them to top spot in the Group Two table.

However, that shouldn’t take the gloss off a sensational patch of form that has seen Belgium defeated only twice in their previous 32 fixtures, winning 24 of them. It is an absurd run, during which they scored 93 goals at a rate of nearly three a game. Simply put, they should have far too much quality for Russia.

Despite a solid home World Cup where they were eliminated in the quarter-finals by eventual runners-up Croatia, this isn’t a vintage Russian side. Additionally they travel badly, losing four of their last five away matches, and have kept only two clean sheets from eight, a recipe for disaster against a lethal Belgium side who should stroll to victory.

Result: Home

 

England vs Czech Republic

Friday, 22nd March, 19:45

Until recently, this was the sort of fixture that England might view as a potential banana skin. However, that is no longer the case under Gareth Southgate who has enjoyed unprecedented success since becoming England manager.

After reaching their first tournament semi-final since 1996, Southgate expertly navigated England through a tough Nations League group including Spain and Croatia.

He has gradually retired many of England’s unsuccessful old guard, ushering in an exciting new group of youngsters. The results speak for themselves with just three defeats in 23 matches, in two of which Southgate put out a significantly weakened side.

The Czech Republic are inconsistent, winning nine and losing five of their last 14 outings. Though certainly not a dreadful record, it is significant that four of those defeats were away fixtures including a 4-0 and 5-1 drubbings at the hands of Australia and Russia respectively.

They will travel to Wembley fearing the worst and a comfortable English victory should follow.

Result: Home

 

Portugal vs Ukraine

Friday, 22nd March, 19:45

Portugal continue to be the ultimate footballing enigma.

Their golden generation repeatedly reached the business end of tournaments in the 2000s, yet always fell just short. Then, in 2016, when nobody gave them a hope they won the European Championships, having finished third in their group and drawing six of their seven matches in the tournament.

Examining their recent form does little to help unravel the conundrum. They’ve won just five out of 14 matches yet have suffered only one defeat. They are a side who impressively defeated Italy yet drew with Iran and Tunisia. They are a strange side to analyse but their performance in the Nations League, winning the group by three points, suggests that they may have finally turned a corner.

Ukraine have been similarly inconsistent and are seemingly unable to string together a consistent run of results. In fact their most recent results have been extremely underwhelming and they have only won once in four matches including a 4-1 hammering by Slovakia in November.

Portugal’s recent improvement coupled with the return of the talismanic Cristiano Ronaldo, is enough to convince me that they should have Ukraine’s number here.

Result: Home

 

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