The Slovakian national team had a good last year’s World Cup for its level – then the Slovaks left the group, but in the first round of the play-offs they flew away to the Finns, although in the match against the Scandinavians Slovakia was leading 2:0. This year, Slovakia will perform far from the strongest line-up: there are few names known to most viewers. The Slovak team found themselves in a group that is quite comfortable for them: it will be difficult to compete with Canada and the Czech Republic, but the Slovaks will have to fight for the two remaining places in the playoffs with Latvia, Norway, Slovenia, Switzerland and Kazakhstan. The very next day after the battle with the Czechs, Slovakia will have to play a much more strategically important duel with Latvia. It is unlikely that the Slovaks will be able to show their best side against the strong Czechs.
Recently there was information that Pasrnak, Krejci and Nosek will not help the Czechs at the 2023 World Cup. But the Czech Republic has a stronger squad than Slovakia: Gika, Zogorna, Sedlak, Kubalik, Cervenka, Sobotka and all the rest have a place in the game. The Czechs were lucky with the group: Canada will definitely not give up the first place in the table, but the Czechs are simply obliged to take second place. The Czechs need to solve tournament problems quickly to have time to prepare for the start of the playoffs. In favor of betting on the Czechs, the fact that the “lions” had a training match on the home stage of the Eurotour shortly before the start of the Ice Hockey World Championships – the Czech Republic competed against Sweden, Finland and Switzerland. Slovakia is clearly inferior to the Czech Republic in the level of composition, so today the nominal guests deserved to be called a serious favorite.
The Czech national team should start the World Cup with a victory. The Czechs have created a harmonious team that is obliged to show its best side. Today, the “lions” will face Slovakia, which, perhaps, should focus on matches with other opponents – for example, with the same Latvia. I propose to bet on a certain victory of the Czechs.