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Czech Republic v Portugal Euro 2012 Preview & Tips
The first Euro 2012 quarter finals match is between Czech Republic. Witness the game in Warsaw on the 21st of June, 18:45 GMT.
Czech Republic didn’t disappoint when the team bagged the first ever Euro 2012 quarter finals spot by beating co-hosts Poland 1-0. Petr Jiracek scored the lone goal of the game; his two goals in three group games propelled the Czechs to the summit of group A after dismally losing to Russia in their opener. As a reward of sorts, Czech Republic faces an easier match-up from the Group of Death: group B runner-up Portugal. A group A runner up finish would have condemned them to a match against Germany, a dreadful prospect to say the least.
Captain Tomas Rosicky couldn’t feature against Poland in their last group game. The Arsenal midfielder encountered an Achilles problem and is currently receiving treatment. He could feature against Portugal though pending a fitness test in the build up to the game.
Group B isn’t only the tournament’s ‘Group of Death’ as it’s also the ‘Group of Surprises’. The first surprise came in the form of the Holland team that didn’t even win a game en route to their early elimination from the tournament. The second surprise comes in the package of Portugal, a team that has received criticisms left and right but did just enough to silence all that jazz.
Portugal’s road to the knockout round wasn’t easy. Losing the opener against Germany, a late Silvestre Varela goal against Denmark bailed them out of trouble before dispatching Holland with a come-from-behind win thanks to a Cristiano Ronaldo brace. And while they couldn’t edge out Germany come the final day of the group stages, Paulo Bento should be beyond contented. His team wasn’t all that sharp to begin with after all, but they did catch enough breaks to make it to the tournament’s second round.
Czech Republic v Portugal Betting Preview
Portugal looks stronger than they did in the last round – and all the way back from qualification – but remember, this is the knockout stage and teams don’t need to be star-studded enough to win it all. Teams like the Czech Republic have proven that they can squeeze the juice and produce results which makes this match all the more sumptuous.
This game is quite difficult to call but considering all factors, Czech Republic look good value to take this match.
Verdict: Czech Republic to win, 2-1.
Tip: Portugal is the odds-on favourite in this match at 1.70, but Czech Republic’s resilient displays make them better value at 5.25 to win this match and 3.25 to qualify to the next stage of the tournament.
Cristiano Ronaldo’s 2.10 to score anytime are able to entice but not satisfy as much as other prospects. And given that the Portuguese defense’s leakiness could be exposed here, you’d rather count on Czech duo Vaclav Pilar (6.00 to score anytime) and Petr Jiracek (7.50 to score anytime).
All odds are from Bet365.com (£200 FREE BET!).