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Czech Republic European Cup 2012: Euro 2012 Odds & Group A Predictions

Petr Cech, Tomas Rosicky To Make One Last Stand For Czech Republic Euro 2012: In 1976, Czechoslovakia won the UEFA Euro Championship. Since that point, the team has had mixed reviews in this tournament, finishing as the runners up in 1996 and semifinalists in 2004. In 2000 and 2008 though, there were a number of failed attempts at getting out of the group stages. Now, the question is definitely worth asking whether the Czech Republic is finished being one of the European powers, a question that might be answered here at Euro 2012.

It took a win in a home-and-home UEFA Euro Cup playoff against Montenegro to get the Czechs into Euro 2012. Even that wasn’t the easiest task in the world, knowing that Montenegro is one of the up and coming soccer programs in Europe. A 3-0 victory over the course of the two matches though, proved to be more than enough to get the Czechs back into this tournament, though there is a real question as to whether or not the team is still going to have enough to get into the quarterfinals out of Group A, especially after getting clocked in the team’s last warm-up match for Euro 2012 in a 2-1 defeat at home against Hungary.

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Euro 2012 Schedule for Czech Republic
Friday June 8th: Russia vs. Czech Republic 2:45 p.m. (ET) (ESPN Deportes)
Tuesday, June 12th: Greece vs. Czech Republic 12:00 p.m. (ET) (ESPN)
Saturday, June 16th: Czech Republic vs. Poland 2:45 p.m. (ET) (ESPN2)

The big question is going to be the health of Tomas Rosicky. He has made the cut for the final team roster, and he is one of the most electric players that the Czech Republic has to offer. However, at 31 years old, especially off of the tremendously long and competitive year for Arsenal, Rosicky might have some troubles to face. The rest of this midfield just isn’t good enough to afford Rosicky not being in the fold, and it could all be bad news for the rest of the way for the Czechs if they don’t have one of their team leaders healthy.

Elsewhere offensively, there are definitely some stars, though those stars are aging quite a bit. Milan Baros is now 30 years old, and he is now out of the Premier League and playing at Galatarsaray. He has 40 career goals, the most for any Czech player, and he is going to be the man that has to make sure that he finds the back of the net for this team to get out of Group A.

But of course, in net, matters are a heck of a lot different. Petr Cech is one of the best net minders in the entire world, and he is going to be on display in this tournament for sure. The long-time Chelsea goalkeeper has 89 career appearances for his country, and he is going to be asked to carry the load in this tournament. Of course, the last time that we saw Cech in a European competition in 2008, he was allowing three fluky goals right at the end of regular time against Turkey that saw the Czechs booted out of the tournament in shocking fashion.

The schedule pans out well for the Czechs, as they are the last team that is going to have to take on Poland in Group A. Getting a point from Russia and three from Greece would be the ideal situation, and it is one that is entirely possible as long as Cech plays well in net. That being said, recent form has been suspect at best, as games against Ireland and Hungary just haven’t gone the way of the Czechs.

Czech Republic 2012 Euro Championship Tips & Euro 2012 Betting Odds: BetOnline Sportsbook is featuring the Czechs as the third choice on the board in Group A at +350. On top of that, the squad is one of the biggest underdogs on the board on the odds to win Euro 2012 at 60 to 1. We remain awfully concerned about Rosicky and the rest of the big players for this team, and if the defense isn’t going to be good enough to stop the Russians in that opening match, it could be a long, uphill battle just to get into the knockout round. Even if they do, the Czechs probably don’t stand much of a chance against Germany, Holland, or Portugal, all of which would be heavy favorites in this prospective quarterfinal matchup. Still, this is a nice price on a team that does have the talent, if it can get on a roll like Russia did four years ago, to make a lot of noise in this tourney.

This TSS post was written by:

- who has written 19 posts on Total Soccer Source.

Wolf is the newest member of the Total Soccer Source team, and he is a welcome asset. He's a German native, residing just outside of Berlin. He has been following the Bundesliga for over 20 years, and he has covered games for local German news outlets for the past decade.

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