If this was an ice hockey tournament and the year was say, 1974, Russians against Czechs, you’d expect to witness a mini war out on the ice and a high degree of tension. Why? The Czechs hated the Russians. Why? Politics. Thousands of Russian troops were occupying then Czechoslovakia and the natives were naturally not very happy. Today things are much calmer, but might have a bit of tensed when these two teams meet up.
Last 6 matches:
Russia: 3 wins – 3 draws – 0 loose
Czech Rep: – 4 wins – 1 draw – 1 loose
The last six matches, Russia had 3 wins, including the shocking 3 – 0 over Italy away. Form the last match against Italy, we can conclude two things: a) Italy had a poor game due to the match fixing issues b) Russia is capable of upsetting any big teams. But other than that, Russia last 6 match run weren’t that remarkable too. They could only get a draw with Lithuania and Greece. In the meantime, Czechs had 4 wins in their last 6 matches. They beat Serbia both home and away. And they even thrashed Lithuania 4 – 1 away.
Since the Euro is held ins Poland and Ukraine, both the teams will feel like playing away. So lets see their away record
Russia : D-W-D-W-D-W (3 wins – 3 draws)
Czech Rep: D-L-D-W-W-D (2 wins – 3 draws – 1 loose)
Head to Head:
Russia and the Czech Republic met for the only time at EURO ’96, and both will be eager to make a positive start in UEFA EURO 2012 Group A when they face off again in Wroclaw. The sole encounter between Russia and the Czech Republic came at the finals in England 16 years ago. In the final Group C fixture in Liverpool on 19 June, the Czechs needed a point to advance at the expense of Italy and Russia – and achieved their aim with a 3-3 draw.
Russia is capable of scoring more goals during the second half. Meanwhile, Czech looks dangerous during the first 30 minutes. So I am assuming, Czech will hold possession during the first half. Most of the current Russian squad play their football in the Russian league so there should be great understanding between them. So I am expecting, Russia to take control of possession during the second half. If Czech scores in the first half, then Russia can able to make a comeback during the second half due to high possession of the ball.
Russia: Dirk Advocaat
The Dutch always seems to have some magic. When Guus Hiddink left in 2010 many were skeptical about the new coach, fellow Dutchman Advocaat, but he has won the supporters over with qualification for this tournament and keeping a balance between established players (and favorites) and newcomers. From the stats, he has 57% of winning percentage. Looks impressive
Czech Rep: Michal Bílek
47 year old manager Michal Bilek is inexperienced when it comes to tournament football and hasn’t yet convinced the fans that he is the man to take them to the next level.
Back Header’s Prediction:
This just has to be a win for Russia and by two clear goals. The only way the Czech Republic can squeeze a draw out of this one is if Petr Cech has one of those days and stops everything the likes of Arshavin and Co can throw at his goal.
Russia 2 Czech 0