Portugal face a tricky fixture in the Quarter Finals against Czech Republic and will be hoping that captain Ronaldo comes up with another majestic performance to ensure semifinal place.
Czech side might not have their captain Tomas Rosicky in the squad who is sidelined by injury that also led to his exclusion in the final group match against co-hosts Poland. Soccerisma brings you with some interesting stats comparison between both teams as the Quarter final kicks off tomorrow.
In total, Portugal and Czech Republic have played 11 fixtures and the record is equal with both the teams having won 4 games and drawn 3. The only difference is that Czech have scored more goals than their opponents and lead with 12 goals to Portugal’s 9.
Seleccao and Narodak will collide for the third time in European Championships. Portuguese beat Czech side 3-1 in last competition in the group stages, whereas in Euro 1996 Karel Poborsky’s only goal for Czech eliminated Portugal from the quarter finals. The sides have never faced each other in a FIFA World Cup, instead they have only met in qualifiers where again the record is equal with both teams having won, drawn and lost 2 games in 6 meetings.
Czech Republic’s biggest win against Portugal came in Euro 1976 qualifiers where they won 5-0. Not to forget Czech went on to win their only major championship to date by beating Germany in Euro 1976 final on penalties. On the other hand, Portugese side defeated Czech 3-1 in Euro 2008 group fixtures for their biggest win; however Germans ousted them in quarter finals.
Having scored twice against Netherlands, Real Madrid star Ronaldo became only player to score in five major competitions for his nation. On the contrary, only Schmeichel has conceded more goals at European Championships than Czech Republic’s Champions League winner Petr Cech, who conceded his 15th goal versus Greece. The Chelsea goalie will have a tough task keeping out Ronaldo in case the Portuguese captain is firing on all cylinders.
Seleccao midfielder Veloso believes that defense has been the secret behind Portugal’s success. Stats show an interesting side that Portugal have conceded in 9 out of their last 10 games at European Championshps and Czech have only been unable to score once in their last 13 Euro fixtures.
As already mentioned, Portugal lost the last time they reached last eight of Euros, 3-2 against Germany. Last time Czech Republic qualified for quarter finals, they beat Denmark 3-0 in Euro 2004 thanks to a brace from striker Milan Baros who finished as tournament’s top scorer with 5 goals. The Galatasaray forward may well be starting again tomorrow even after not so impressive competition.
Past statistics do not show much differences between both sides. On paper, Portugal are clear favorites with no injury or suspension concerns. Czech Republic were not even considered favorites to qualify from Group A. Nevertheless, they topped the group with a negative goal difference. The Seleccao simply have more quality in their squad than their opponents, adding to that if Ronaldo is anywhere near his best then Czech may as well forget about winning tomorrow. To sum it up, majority are predicting a Portuguese win, however do not be shocked if Czech cause an upset in the first quarter final.
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