Euro 2012
Euro 2012: Czech Republic v Poland

Euro 2012 co-hosts Poland welcome the Czech Republic to the Municipal Stadium in Wroclaw on Saturday, for a crunch clash in the final round in Group A as both teams look to confirm their place in the knockout stages.

Build up:

Having drawn their opening two games, Poland must win this match to qualify for the quarterfinals. A draw could be enough for the Czech to progress, unless Greece manages a shock win over Russia in the other group game.

The Poles could manage only 1-1 draws against Greece and Russia and have only two points, while the Czechs came back from a 1-4 defeat to Russia in the opening game to beat Greece 2-1 and are now second in the group table with three points.

Both teams have injury concerns over influential players going into this crucial game and the home crowd could have a huge role to play as the Poles take to the field with a quarterfinal spot at stake.

Tactics and team news:

Poland: Franciszek Smuda will stick to his new 4-1-4-1 formation, which looked threatening against group leaders Russia on Tuesday, rather than revert to the 4-2-3-1 used in the first game against Greece. Centre-back Damien Perquis has been ruled out of this match due to a knee injury, with Grzegorz Wojtkowiak set to replace him in the line-up. Holding midfielder Dariusz Dudka, who is expected to play in front of the back four, also remains an injury doubt.

Smuda is facing a major selection dilemma on whether to recall goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny (who has completed his one-match suspension) or keep faith in Przemyslaw Tyton, who saved a penalty against Greece and looked sharp against Russia as well. There is also a slight doubt regarding the selection of midfielder Ludovic Obraniak. The Bordeaux man reacted angrily to being substituted against Russia but has since apologised and could keep his place for this game.

Czech Republic: Michel Bilek will continue with the 4-2-3-1 formation and hope to field the same players who beat Greece. Enforcer Tomas Hubschman will play at the heart of the formation, along with Jarosalv Plasil. Petr Jiracek is set to continue on the right of the midfield.

However, captain Tomas Rosicky is a major injury doubt for this clash. The Arsenal midfielder is struggling with an Achilles problem and did not take to the pitch for the second half of the game against Greece. In addition, he also skipped Friday's training sessions. If Rosicky is ruled out, Daniel Kolar could be deployed in the playmaking role. Meanwhile, goalkeeper Petr Cech has recovered from a shoulder injury and is expected to start the game.


  • Poland have not played in the knock-out stages of a major competition for 26 years
  • Poland and the Czech Republic have faced each other five times so far, with the Poles winning three and the Czechs triumphing in two
  • The two were in the same group for the 2010 World Cup qualifiers. Poland won 2-1 in Chorzow and the Czech 3-2 in Prague, though both missed out on qualifying for the tournament

Probable starting line-up:

Poland (4-1-4-1): Szczesny; Piszczek, Wasilewski, Wojtkowiak, Boenisch; Dudka; Blaszczykowski, Polanski, Murawski Obraniak; Lewandowski

Czech Republic (4-2-3-1): Cech; Gebre Selassie, Sivok, Kadlec, Limbersky; Hubschman, Plasil; Jiracek, Rosicky, Pilar; Baros

Where to Watch Live:

You can follow the game live from 7.45 pm BST on BBC One, as well as BBC Radio 5 live and the official UEFA Web site. You can also catch highlights on BBC One and the BBC Sport Web site.

Match Report:

You can read the full IBTimes UK match report, here.