Friday, May 30, 2008

Euro 2008 Team Profiles: Czech Republic

With all due respect to Precious Roy and his Spain preview, Czech Republic are going to win Euro 2008. It all comes down to one man, Special Ed himself in the goal, Petr Cech. Of course, that depends on him not getting another kick to the face, but since Stephen Hunt and Tal ben Haim aren't taking part in these championships, such an occurrence should not happen.

Czech Republic's roster:
GK: Cech (Chelsea), Blazek (Nuremburg), Zitka (Anderlecht)
Def: Grygera (Juventus), Kovac (Spartak Moscow), Jankulovski (AC Milan), Pospech (Copenhagen), Kadlec (Sparta Prague); Ujfalusi (Fiorentina), Rozenhal (Newcastle United)
MF: Polak (Anderlecht), Galasek (Nuremburg), Sionko (Copenhagen), Jarolim (Hamburg), Matejovsky (Reading), Sivok (Sparta Prague), Skacel (Southampton), Plasil (Osasuna)
FW: Fenin (Eintracht Frankfurt), Koller (Nuremburg), Vlcek (Anderlecht), Baros (Portsmouth), Sverkos (Banik Ostrava)

So, yeah. Cech in the goal. And three of four defenders playing in Italy, where they know a thing or two about choking off the offensive side of the game. I say that this is a team that advances out of Group A without much problem. They may face a fight in the sandwich Portugal game, but will easily overrun the host Swiss to start and Turkey to finish the group. I see 7 points in their future. Look for Koller to be especially effective in the first and last game of the group.

If they do avoid second place in Group A, that will probably mean that the Czechs avoid Germany in the second round. One win there and they are in the Semis. From there it's anyone's game. But especially the Czechs, since they will win Euro 2008 (I said it again in case you missed it above).

Could England beat this team? No. England are not scoring on this team. A draw might happen, but there is no win for England here.
Breakout Player? Koller will get some goals, but look for Milan Baros to re-emerge on the European stage, just in time for Portsmouth to make a UEFA Cup run.
Biggest Question Mark? The midfield is thin on star players. As long as crosses can be made and/or balls played through for Baros, the team will be alright.
Worst Player? (Way)Back-up forward Vaclav Sverkos will earn his first cap if he makes it off the bench. Don't count on it.
Can this team win Euro 2008? Yes. On defense and counterattacks.
What is the squad's pre-made excuse for not winning Euro 2008? No Pavel Nedved. Even though he is old, he could still make a difference coming on as a sub. No Rosicky either. This team is weak in the center of the field. As such, they will be reliant on goals from up front, but that should happen without problem.


JT said...

Jankulovski's their shit-bird. Jermaine Pennant made him look pathetic in the 2007 CL Final. Thus, Jankulovski is terrible.

Keith said...

Baros? Really? That guy has the footballing brain of a hummingbird. Always turns the wrong way for through balls, more often than not offside, and really can't pick out good runs.

Andrew said...

FIFA 08 boldy declares Jankulovski to be a winger, not merely a measly back. How dare you go against the mighty word of EA sports?

Aside from Jarolim, I am almost wholly unfamiliar with their middies. And if the Czechs are relying on a Koller/Baros tandem to carry them to the title, there will be crying on the streets of Praha.

Mike Georger said...

wow im so happy JT covered the athens performance, thought i was going to have to do it.

methinks there are a FEW players in the tournament who will be able to penetrate down the right like .. something sexual


The NY Kid said...

@Mike - hey, us Gunners weren't going to do it. Blame the Red Scouse.

JT said...

lol Jan Koller is still playing