Czech Republic vs. Portugal: Preview and Match Analysis

Czech Republic vs. Portugal: Preview and Match Analysis

Czech Republic vs. Portugal: Preview and Match Analysis
By Ryan Stetson
Covers.com

Czech Republic vs. Portugal

Odds:
Portugal -138, Draw +250, Czech Republic +450

Total: 2.5 – Over +120, Under -154

About Czech Republic:

FIFA ranking:
No. 27

Captain Tomas Rosicky (Achilles) has returned to training with the team but is still very doubtful to play Thursday. He missed the final Group A game to get treatment for the injury in Prague. If he is unable to go, Daniel Kolar will take his spot again, but Kolar doesn't bring Rosicky's creativity to the attack.

After giving up four goals in a blowout loss in the group opener against Russia, the club has allowed just one goal. Coach Michal Bilek continues to stress compact defending – especially on the wings – against the Czechs.

Defender Theodor Gebre Selassie is set with the task to mark Cristiano Ronaldo, while the Czech Republic heads into the quarterfinals as the only remaining team with a negative goal differential.

About Portugal:

FIFA ranking:
No. 10

Portugal heads into this match healthy and bursting with confidence after overcoming an early deficit in the final group game against Netherlands. Ronaldo was a big part of that 3-2 victory, finally breaking through with a pair of goals while also hitting the post a couple of times.

Portugal has five goals in the last two games since shifting its approach to move the ball to the wings immediately instead of looking to press up the middle.

However, Portugal still has some defending concerns. They have allowed three headed goals in the tournament and have yet to keep a clean sheet.

Tactics and lineups:

All four of the Czech Republic’s goals have come from midfield with Vaclav Pilar and Petr Jiracek netting a pair and the club will crowd the middle of the pitch with five midfielders again, hoping to slow Portugal’s attack. They’ll be using a 4-5-1 with the trio of Jiracek, Kolar and Pilar supporting Milan Baros, the lone striker.

Czech Republic’s possible lineup: Cech, G. Selassie, Sivok, Kadlec, Limbersky, Hubschman, Plasil, Jiracek, Kolar, Pilar, Baros

Nani and Ronaldo could give the Czechs some problems as they push the ball upfield in support of central striker Helder Postiga, who gave Portugal a two-goal advantage over the Netherlands. While Portugal’s healthy, they do have some card concerns. Postiga, Ronaldo, Fabio Coentrao, Raul Meireles and Joao Pereira will all face suspensions should they receive a booking.

Portugals’s possible lineup: Rui Patricio, Joao Pereira, Alves, Pepe, Coentrao, Meireles, Veloso, Moutinho, Nani, Postiga, Ronaldo

Prediction: Portugal 2, Czech Republic 1

Blade
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Re: Czech Republic vs. Portugal: Preview and Match Analysis

Steam into Portugal, they are better in every single dept and will win in regulation.

Mike Smith
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Re: Czech Republic vs. Portugal: Preview and Match Analysis

Ronaldo to the rescue  wink

Blade
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