Euro 2012: The Contenders – Czech Republic




Devoid of big stars and players from big clubs, Group A is easily the weakest pool of the four comprising of Euro 2004 Champions Greece, co-hosts Poland, unpredictable Russia and the erratic Czech Republic.

Euro 2012: The Contenders - Czech Republic

Euro 2012: The Contenders – Czech Republic

On form, the Czech Republic are expected to qualify for the second round along with former champions Greece but the Russians led by Andrei Arshavin are no walkovers and with a partisan crowd supporting them, Poland do make Group A much more evenly matched.

Czech Republic:

Pavel Nedved’s team did threaten to gatecrash the party four years ago when Czech Republic reached the semifinals in 2004 but since the legendary Juventus midfielder’s retirement, the Czechs have been a shadow of the team that lit up Portugal eight years ago. The 26th ranked team in fact have failed to get out of the group stage in any competition since the Euro 2004 and failed to qualify for the World Cup in 2010. Michal Bilek, who has been at the helm of affairs since the Czech’s failure to qualify for the World Cup, saw his team through the qualifiers after a playoff against Montenegro and would be pleasantly relieved to be drawn in a weaker group thus giving the Czechs a backdoor opportunity to sneak into the latter stages of the tournament.

Key Player: There aren’t many household names in the Czech Republic lineup but one man they will be banking on getting them through to the last eight would be Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech. Cech played a pivotal role in getting the Czech through to the Championships after keeping two clean sheets against Montenegro and also comes to Poland on the back of a Champions League success with the Londoners.

Other Stars: Tomas Rosicky, Milan Baros, Theodor Gebre Selassie, Tomas Pekhart

Prediction: Quarterfinals, possibly topping the group.

There are no real expectations from the Czechs after their poor qualifying campaign and an injury to the Euro 2004 top scorer Milan Baros depletes the team even further.  A weak group gives Bilek’s team a realistic chance of topping the pool and make it to the last eight but a miracle would be required for the Czechs to re-live their past glory.

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Monish Menon

Author:

Hi, I am Monish Menon from Hyderabad and currently working at Franklin Templeton Investments as a Compliance Business Analyst. Sport has always been my passion since I was a kid and I invest all my non-existent free time by watching, playing, writing and analyzing various sporting events across the world. Apart from being a diehard Manchester United fan and a Ferrari supporter, I believe that Roger Federer is still the best tennis player and Sachin Tendulkar is God. I play club cricket and I also am a part of my organization’s cricket and football squad. Being such a sports fanatic, writing about it is something that came naturally to me and I am glad that I got an opportunity through thesportsmirror.com to share my thoughts with the rest of the world. For other articles written by me, you can visit my blog at www.monishmenon.wordpress.com

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