The first quarter-final of EURO 2012 is between the Czech Republic and Portugal, Thursday June 21st. This matchup marks their reunion in previous European Championships back in Euro 1996 and 2008. EURO oddsmakers have listed Portugal as -150 moneyline favorites to beat the Czech Republic (+465) with a DRAW at +265. The over/under is currently set a 2.5 goals. Be sure to make your 2012 EURO Cup Czech Republic vs Portugal Predictions before the match begins.
Czech Republic began their Euro 2012 campaign with a loss to Germany. But Paulo Bento’s men managed a narrow 3-2 win against Denmark while Netherlands were eliminated courtesy of Cristiano Ronaldo’s double strike.
The Czechs, criticised for their loss to Russia, will be confident when they clash against the likes of Ronaldo, Nani and Raul Mereiles. However, the Czech back-line will be tested when Ronaldo tries to fly down the left wing, while Nani can pose similar threats on the other channel. Czech right-back Theodor Gebre Selassie will be given the task to hault Ronaldo’s run while Fabio Coentrao will look to open gaps with his forward movement.
While Cristiano Ronaldo may be an awesome opponent, plenty of Czech players are looking forward to grappling with a flesh-and-blood Ronaldo for the first time. “We are going to enjoy the match,” said Michal Kadlec. “Portugal are favourites as Ronaldo is in an excellent form.”
Goalie Petr Čech can offer first-hand experience of Ronaldo’s shooting abilities. “His shots are tremendously powerful, and can shoot with both feet. He hits the target in every situation, and is an excellent header of the ball. He’s the perfectly-equipped footballer. We hope he is not going to score against us. None of us want him to succeed.”
Portugal have made it to the quaterfinals five times including two wins and two losses. The last time they won was in 2000 (vs Turkey) and 2004 (vs England). In-form Portuguese star Ronaldo fired two goals to eliminate World Cup runners-up Netherlands from ‘The Group of Death’. After losing to Germany in their opening encounter, Bento’s men fought back to win 3-2 against the Danes. Real Madrid defender Pepe opened the scoring while striker Helder Postiga gave Portugal a two-goal advantage. Super-sub Varela’s late strike sealed an important victory for Portugal after Nicklas Bentdner’s double.
It is unlikely that there will be any let-up against Michal Bílek’s Czech side. His right-back, Theodor Gebre Selassie, has been one of the stars of the tournament, getting forward with gusto throughout. However, just as the Netherlands’ offensive approach left room for Ronaldo to attack, the space behind Gebre Selassie seems sure to invite a reprise from both the captain and Fábio Coentrão. Fireworks lie ahead in Warsaw.
The Bottom Line: Portugal must have Ronaldo at his best, he scores in league play but struggles on the international stages. Want to dominate the books this season with some of the best EURO Picks Experts in the business? Then sign up right now and get EURO Picks Free!
Czech Republic vs Portugal
When: Thursday June21st, 2:45 PM ET
Pick: Portugal -150
Point-Spreads recommends you make your 2012 EURO Cup Czech Republic vs Portugal Predictions before the match begins.