The Czech Republic is seen as a European backwater in terms of the quality of football on show but the Gambrinus Liga can be a gem of league to boost your accumulator. Like I mentioned in my Which Leagues Yield the most Returns article, finding a lesser a known league and becoming an expert can only boost your chances of picking out some nice priced winners.
Best site for betting on the Czech league: Bet365
Bet365 are the best bookmaker that I have come across in terms of coverage for the Czech League. I found a great range of markets to bet on for pretty much every match.
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The Main Contenders
Sparta Prague – they are the biggest team in the Czech Republic despite not winning the league for four years. On paper they have the strongest team and their league form has been outstanding this season, however, their odds have been fairly prohibitive for single backers but if you’re looking for regular bankers for your multiple then keep Sparta onside.
Viktoria Plzen – have been the success story over the last few seasons. They play attractive, passing football and score lots of goals. They made the Champions League group stages twice and shocked a few teams along the way. But their European adventures has hindered their league form somewhat. Like Sparta, their odds can be short in the league, but I would rather look towards the goal markets when Plzen play – when they are on form they can be relentless (they splattered Slovan Liberec, who are a very good Czech side, 6-0 earlier this season).
The Chasing Pack
Teplice – have come to the fore this season and bring plenty of goals to the table. A notable 7-0 away win against the famous Slavia Prague got people talking.
Mlada Boleslav – they recruited well over the summer but haven’t really clicked as well as expected.
Slovan Liberec – Won the league a couple of years ago and performed really well in Europa League this season, knocking out Udinese along the way. But their league form suffered as a result.
The Fallen Giants
Slavia Prague – most punters will include Slavia in their multiples based on their name, big mistake. The club has been a mess for 4 years now, they can’t score goals and change their managers on a regular basis. Avoid like the plague when selecting your multiple – Jekyll and Hyde just about sums them up.
Banik Ostrava – a once famous name has fallen on hard times. Poor side, especially away from home. However, when they play at in front of their own fans they can pull off surprise results. A recent 1-1 draw with Sparta Prague was well deserved.
Jablonec v Slovan Liberec – located just a few miles apart it’s a fierce local derby that produces goals.
Banik Ostrava v (Any team from Prague) – not a local derby but Ostrava really dislike any Prague side and will put up a strong performace.
Slavia Prague v Sparta Prague – the big one in terms of history and location, Sparta have upper hand.
Sparta Prague v Viktoria Plzen – the new big rivalry in Czech football. No love lost here, good for yellow/red card betting which can be a nice boost to your accas.
In terms of relegation the bottom 5-6 teams are very evenly matched. The newly promoted teams in the divisions often start the season very well, so don’t automatically think they are cannon fodder. The gap in quality between the second flight and the Gambrinus Liga isn’t as big as you think.
Teams competing in Europe, if they make past the qualifying rounds, will suffer domestically. Slovan Liberec are a perfect example, they just don’t have the squad to compete on both fronts so look to oppose teams who are returning from European duty – they also lack motivation for domestic duties. After battling with the likes of Sevilla, Udinese and other European names, a tired squad often struggles to get themselves up for an away game at Jihlava the following weekend.
Finally, the Czech league season is split into two. They have an extended winter break from Dec – Feb so be aware! A lot can happen over those two months in terms of teams losing their best players and perhaps signing better ones. Dukla Prague are a great example of how a team’s form can vary from one half of the season to the next. They ended the autumn season flying in third place, but have been woeful since the spring season started. So keep an eye on what is happening over the winter months!