Euro 2012 Preview: Czech Republic

Euro 2012 Preview: Czech Republic
COACH
BEST SHOWING

QUALIFICATION
CURRENT WORLD RANKING
HIGHEST WORLD RANKING
LOWEST WORLD RANKING

TOURNAMENT ODDS
Michal Bilek
Runners Up 1996: Won in 1976

Group I runners-up. (Won Play Off)
27
2 (Sep 1999)
67 (Mar 1994)
100/1 (Coral)


FIXTURES
June 8th – Russia (1945 BST, Wroclaw, ITV)
June 12th – Greece (1700 BST, Wroclaw, ITV)
June 16th – Poland (1945 BST, Wroclaw, BBC)


Poor in qualifying, the Czechs needed to defeat Montenegro just to make it to the finals and there were some very iffy performances on the way, a humiliating 1-0 home loss to Lithuania was followed by them needing a very generous penalty decision to get a draw against Scotland and a 3-0 friendly defeat against Norway hardly set the pulses racing.

A change of tactics for the Montenegro matches saw the Czechs assert themselves and end up qualifying 3-0 on aggregate.

Bilek abandoned the 4-2-2-2 formation that was uninspiring and reverted to a 4-2-3-1 giving more impetus to his flair players Jaroslav Plasil and Tomas Rosicky, the resulting performances have seen the Czechs approach the Championships with a renewed optimism.


Champions League winner Petr Cech will start between the sticks and in recent months has started to rediscover the form that made him one of the world’s elite goalkeepers.

In front of him he has the solid if unspectacular combination of Hertha Berlin’s Robert Hubnik and Besikta’s Tomas Sivok with Theodor Gebre Selassie as back up although the Czech’s first player of African descent may play at right back.

In midfield the veteran Tomas Hubschman has missed out in recent games with Petr Jiracek being preferred to play alongside Plasil.

Rosicky plays in the hole behind the ageless Milan Baros. Youngster Tomas Necid could also play a part, he has been named in the provisional squad despite missing a lot of the season through injury.

Vaclav Kadlec, one of the stars of last summer’s under-21 Euros misses out.


ONE TO WATCH – JAROSLAV PLASIL

Plasil was a man lost at times in qualification being ineffectual in Bilek’s system.

One of the beneficiaries of the changed tactical systems, Plasil dropped into a deeper midfield role and as a result looked rejuvenated, getting involved in play and linking up with star man Tomas Rosicky to great effect.

Plasil may adopt the Semedo role in the team, snuffing out opposition attacks and looking to start attacks for his own team.


HERE COMES D-JUDGE

The Czechs looked rejuvenated once they changed the tact that had saw them score just 12 goals in qualifying but that was against Montenegro.
In the weakest group, they too have a chance of advancing but they need their midfield to click, key to that is Tomas Rosicky, he’s had a difficult time at Arsenal but in recent months he’s resembled the player that impressed at Euro 2004.The Czechs are a team in transition with a mixture of veterans and youth with not a lot in between that.

VERDICT
They have a little bit about them but not enough to advance.

Danny (D-Good)
Owls Alive
E-MAIL: admin@owlsalive.com
TWITTER: @OwlsAlive or @DGood83


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