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Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Euro 2008: Czech Republic and Portugal Facing Each Other in their Quest to Reach the Quarter Final

Czech Republic and Portugal, the two winners of the opening day of Euro 2008, will face each other in an important Group A match on Wednesday at the Stade de Geneva. The winner of the match might ensure a quarter final berth as the first team of the competition, however, it would happen only if the other Group A match between Switzerland and Turkey ends up in a draw. However, a draw in Czech Republic vs Portugal match would keep the quarter final hopes of Switzerland and Turkey alive in the tournament.

Portugal defeated Turkey 2-0 convincingly in the tournament opener, while Czech Republic edged past co-hosts Switzerland thanks to the solitary goal from Vaclav Sverkos in the opening match of Euro 2008. Thus, both the teams are leading the point table with equal 3 points, with Portugal secures the top place in goal difference.

No doubt, the way Portugal played in the first match proves their ability as a favorite of the tournament. So, Portugal will go into the match as favorite, though Czech Republic is expected to put up a tough challenge for the beaten finalists of the previous Euro tournament four years ago. Czech Republic played in the final of Euro 1996 and semi final in Euro 2004.

Portugal is considered as one of the top most favorites of Euro 2008 tournament, considering the presence of some of the talented footballers of present time. Cristiano Ronaldo is one of the top favorites for the upcoming FIFA World Player of the Year Award, after spending an incredible season at Manchester United. There are some other young players like Nani, Pepe who along with the likes of Nuno Gomes, Simao Sabrosa and Ricardo Quaresma could be lethal for any side in their days.

Czech Republic emerged winner in the only previous encounter with Portugal in Euro 1996 thanks to a second half goal from Karel Poborsky. However, this time it is expected that the Czechs are going to face a tougher Portugal, though it is also true that Portugal would find it a bit more difficult to crack Czech Republic than what they did against Turkey in the opening match.

So, I think, the match would be exciting one as both sides will look to win the match in order to go another step closure to quarter final. However, still, Portugal is favorite opn pen and paper. What do you think about the match?

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