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Portugal vs Czech Republic, UEFA Euro 2024, Today Match Prediction

Red Bull Arena, Leipzig

Can Czech Republic slay down Portugal?

  • Portugal inform goal scorer, Rafael Leão (9 goals in 9 matches for AC Milan) will add firepower alongside Ronaldo.
  • Soucek will look to create a strong partnership with Patrik Schick, one of Czech Republic's top scorers (19 goals in 38 caps).
  • Captain Tomas Soucek (7 goals and 2 assists for West Ham) will be crucial in connecting the midfield with the strikers.

Portugal to Win (2-0)

Tournament: UEFA Euro 2024 | Venue: Red Bull Arena, Leipzig

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Two nations with vastly different experiences and achievements, Portugal and the Czech Republic, will clash in the 12th match of the competition. Both teams opening their accounts against each other will determine which one is more prepared to cause an upset or follow the script and win a vital tournament where several veterans might be retiring.

With Cristiano Ronaldo possibly playing his last European Championship tournament, Portugal will look to capitalize on early matches like this to get everyone in form and playing at their highest level. Since their disappointing finish at the 2022 World Cup, they have only lost twice - to Slovenia (2-1), who caught fire at the right time, and the ever-dangerous Croatia (2-0).

The Czech Republic finds itself in a similar position. They finished the Euro Cup qualifiers on a high note and dominated many of their pre-competition matches. Having only suffered a single 3-0 loss to Albania, they enter this tournament brimming with confidence. 

They've beaten teams that participated in the 2022 World Cup, including a 3-1 victory over Poland and a 1-1 draw. Upsets over Erling Haaland's Norway (2-1) and a dominant 7-1 win against Malta further fuel their hope of being a real threat to any opponent. 

Portugal Preview

Heading into their eighth straight European Cup appearance, Portugal will be striving to win their second trophy and further solidify Cristiano Ronaldo's legendary status. This tournament is crucial for Ronaldo's legacy, as it could determine how his career is remembered after being benched in the 2022 World Cup. His two decades of experience will be invaluable in guiding young talents like Rafael Leão (4 goals in 29 caps) and Vitinha (7 goals, 4 assists for PSG this year) to become future offensive stars. 

Players like João Palhinha (4 goals for Fulham) and Bernardo Silva (89 caps, 11 goals) have developed a strong connection over the past 17 months, which bodes well for Portugal's offense in the tournament. Defenders Diogo Dalot and João Cancelo will solidify the backline, alongside the ever-reliable Ruben Dias of Manchester City. 

Portugal Probable Starting XI: Diogo Costa(Goalkeeper); João Cancelo, Rúben Dias, Antonio Silva, Diogo Dalot (Defenders); Vitinha, Bruno Fernandes, João Palhinha (Midfielders); Rafael Leao, Bernardo Silva, Cristiano Ronaldo (Forwards)

Czech Republic Preview

the Czech Republic is also qualifying for the Euro Cup for the ninth straight time. However, their most impressive runs came in the late 1990s and early 2000s. The current team's defense has shown weaknesses recently, putting pressure on Tomas Soucek to find reliable offensive options who can step up in crucial matches. 

The 3-0 defeat to Albania in the World Cup Qualifiers raised concerns, despite the team being mostly undefeated during that period. Patrik Schick, with 7 goals for Bayern Leverkusen, could be key. If he can find a strong connection with Soucek (12 goals in 69 caps), their offense could put more pressure on opposing defenses while maintaining a balanced attack.  This team, with Schick, Soucek, and Adam Hlozek at their peak, has the potential to regain prominence. 

Czech Republic Probable Starting XI: Jindrich Stanek(Goalkeeper); Ladislav Krejci, Tomas Holes, David Zima (Defenders); David Jurasek, Lukas Provod, Tomas Soucek, Vladimir Coufal (Midfielders);  Adam Hlozek, Antonin Barak, Patrik Schick (Forwards)

Head to Head Record

In their five previous meetings, Portugal has dominated Czech Republic, winning four encounters. Two of these victories came in the Nations League during World Cup qualifying, while the other two Portugal wins occurred at the 2012 and 2008 Euro Cups. 

Bruno Fernandes and Bernardo Silva, along with Portugal's overall attacking strength, pose a significant threat to the Czech Republic defense. The Czechs' lack of experience performing at this high level could make it difficult for them to stop Portugal's highly skilled players. 

While the Czech Republic's defense may be considered less solid than some teams in the tournament, their demonstrably effective attacking unit offers a potential route to success. However, Portugal's well-drilled and athletic defense could force the Czech Republic to employ creative tactics to breach their lines. 

Portugal to Win (2-0)

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Author: Neev Chopra