Prague (AFP/APP): Eight players from reigning Czech champions Slavia Prague have been called up to face England in next week’s Euro 2020 qualifier, Czech Republic coach Jaroslav Silhavy said Tuesday.
The Czechs face England on October 11 and Northern Ireland in a friendly three days later, both in Prague. Seeking their seventh straight Euro appearance, the Czechs will be without two centre-backs, captain Marek Suchy from Bundesliga side Augsburg and Bristol City’s Tomas Kalas, who are both out injured.
“It’s not ideal when you lose your captain, but we have other options,” Silhavy told reporters. Silhavy has called up the entire Slavia back line, including national team newcomer David Hovorka, and has not ruled out starting with it. Defence was a cause for concern for the Czechs when they played against England at Wembley in March as they lost 5-0, suffering their worst defeat since the country’s independence in 1993.
England top Group A with 12 points from four games and a game in hand, while the Czechs sit in second on nine points from five games, a point ahead of Kosovo. Slavia are top of the table in the Czech league, having earned nine wins and two draws in 11 games, conceding only two goals.
They stunned Inter Milan with a 1-1 Champions League draw at San Siro last month and face Borussia Dortmund in their next game on Wednesday.
Czech Republic squad:
Goalkeepers: Tomas Vaclik (Sevilla/ESP), Ondrej Kolar (Slavia Prague), Jiri Pavlenka (Bremen/GER)
Defenders: Ondrej Celustka (Antalyaspor/TUR), Filip Novak (Trabzonspor/TUR), Pavel Kaderabek (Hoffenheim/GER), Ondrej Kudela (Slavia Prague), David Hovorka (Slavia Prague), Vladimir Coufal (Slavia Prague), Jan Boril (Slavia Prague), Jakub Brabec (Viktoria Pilsen)
Midfielders: Jakub Jankto (Sampdoria/ITA), Tomas Soucek (Slavia Prague), Lukas Masopust (Slavia Prague), Josef Husbauer (Slavia Prague), David Pavelka (Kasimpasa/TUR), Alex Kral (Spartak Moscow/RUS), Vladimir Darida (Hertha/GER), Jan Kopic (Viktoria Pilsen), Ladislav Krejci (Bologna/ITA)
Strikers: Michael Krmencik (Viktoria Pilsen), Patrik Schick (Leipzig/GER)