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Saturday, February 4, 2012

Michal Bílek And A Czech Trimuph? A Preview Of the Czech Republic Ahead Of EURO 2012


Will we see the Czech celebrating their first ever EURO triumph this June?

Following the Velvet Revolution in 1989, Czechoslovakia saw its regime transform from Stalinism to capitalism. A couple of years later, the country split into two, namely the Czech republic and Slovakia, after the two ethnic groups most peacefully decided that this break up would be best for them. After gaining independence, the Czech Republic has never managed to replicate some of the feats that the nation pulled of, prior to their independence years.

The European Championships have been the Czech Republic's strong point as they were runners-up in 1996 and semi-finalists in 2004. The Czech have been blessed by being drawn into the easiest group of the tournament. Placed alongside co-hosts Poland, EURO 2004 winners Greece and 2008 semifinalists Russia, the Czech will be fairly confident of booking a place in the knockout stages. Poland is by far the weakest team in the group and the Czech will know just how important it is to be clinical against them. Russia and Greece are the wily old horses and will prove to be much stiffer competition.

Under Michal Bilek, the Czech have formed a formidable defensive unit. Blessed with the experience of Petr Cech, Tomas Rosicky and Milan Baros, Bilek will know that he can rest his faith in these players and get the desired result. Youngsters like Tomas Necid and Tomas Pekhart will add some spark to this aging Czech squad.

Players To Watch Out For

Michal Kadlec

The Czech Roberto Carlos? A lot shall depend on this man's coveted left foot

The Leverkusen left back was instrumental in the Czech Republic's qualifying campaign as he ended as the top scorer for his team. Marauding runs down the left , a thunderous  shot with his left foot and a great deal of impeccability from the penalty shot are his characteristic traits. Along with his fellow Bundesliga defenders Zdenek Pospech and Roman Hubnik, he will be expected  to maintain a solid defensive backline.


Tomas Rosicky

The captain will be looking to break his EURO goal drought in Poland

Being the captain of the Czech national team shows just how irreplaceable Rosicky is to Bilek. By far the most creative player at the coach's disposal, Rosicky will be expected to pull the strings  from behind the strikers and also chip in with a few goals himself. His tantalizing runs and stupefying passes will indeed terrorize  defenders across Europe,  but his fitness  will be  the question. As long  as their supremely talented captain  remains fit, the Czech shall have high hopes of qualifying.

MY VERDICT

With a highly disciplined midfield and defensive unit, it will be hard for opponents to break down the Czech. Greece, Russia and Poland  do not boast the biggest attacking threats and this will work  highly in favour of Czech Republic. It seems very likely that The Czech will qualify  for the quarter finals , and then face a team  from the "Group of Death" , either Germany, Netherlands, Denmark or Portugal. To eliminate one of these powerhouses and move into the semi-finals looks almost impossible at the moment. I find  it extremely hard to imagine the Czech Republic going past the quarter-finals. 



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