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EURO 2024: PORTUGAL VS. CZECH REPUBLIC: PREVIEW, PREDICTION & BETTING PICKS

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EURO 2024: PORTUGAL VS. CZECH REPUBLIC: PREVIEW, PREDICTION & BETTING PICKS
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PORTUGAL VS. CZECH REPUBLIC: PREVIEW, PREDICTION & BETTING PICKS

Portugal versus the Czech Republic at Euro 2024 is a highly anticipated encounter, drawing significant attention given the contrasting trajectories and histories of the two teams. Both nations are placed in group F, alongside Turkey and Georgia, and are looking to start their tournament campaigns positively. This match, taking place on Tuesday, promises to be a compelling contest, reflecting the different styles, strengths, and ambitions of the two sides.

  • Date: 18/06/2024
  • Kick-off time: 16:00 EST
  • Location: Red Bull Arena, Leipzig

Match Result

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Portugal To Win @ -200
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Cristiano Ronaldo To Score

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Yes @ -105
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Over 2.5 goals

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yes @ -125
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Portugal Eyes Dominant Start to Euro 2024 Campaign Against Czech Republic

Portugal enter Euro 2024 with high expectations, touted by most as one of, if not the favourite to lift the trophy. This optimism stems from the talent in the squad combined with their impressive qualifying campaign under new manager Roberto Martínez, who replaced Fernando Santos after a disappointing end to the 2022 World Cup. Santos' tenure ended with a shock defeat to Morocco in the quarter-finals, prompting a change in leadership. Martínez, known for his tactical acumen and attacking philosophy, has revitalised the team, leading them to an impeccable qualifying run.

In qualifying, Portugal won all ten of their matches in a group featuring Slovakia, Luxembourg, Iceland, Bosnia-Herzegovina, and Liechtenstein. They scored a remarkable 36 goals and conceded only 2, showcasing both offensive prowess and defensive solidity. This dominant performance has not only boosted the team's confidence but also highlighted their potential to perform on the biggest stage.

Portugal's style of play under Martínez is characterised by fluid, easy-on-the-eye attacking systems and tactical flexibility, an approach that has made them arguably the most entertaining team in Europe, capable of dismantling defences with their dynamic play. At 39, Cristiano Ronaldo remains a pivotal figure in the squad, his experience and goal-scoring ability invaluable. Alongside him, Milan’s Rafael Leão provides a significant X-factor, capable of turning games with his pace and creativity.

One of the unsung heroes of this Portuguese side is Fulham midfielder João Palhinha. His role in midfield is crucial, as he disrupts opposition transitions, allowing Portugal to commit numbers forward without leaving themselves vulnerable at the back. Palhinha's defensive work ensures that the more attacking players have the freedom to express themselves.

Historically, Portugal's best performance in the European Championship came in 2016, when they were crowned champions. However, since then, their journey in major tournaments has been less fruitful. They exited both the 2018 World Cup and Euro 2020 at the round of 16 stage and were knocked out in the quarter-finals of the 2022 World Cup. This pattern of underachievement in recent tournaments adds a layer of pressure and motivation for the current squad to go beyond these stages and contend for the title.

Czech Republic Aims to Upset Favored Portugal in Euro 2024 Opener

In contrast to Portugal, the Czech Republic approach Euro 2024 with modest expectations but a quiet sense of confidence. Their qualifying campaign was less spectacular, finishing second in Group E on goal difference to Albania. This group also included Poland, Moldova, and the Faroe Islands. Although their performance was not particularly dominant, they lost only one match, indicating their resilience and difficulty to beat.

The Czech Republic have a strong tradition in the European Championship, having qualified consistently for the last seven editions. Their historical success includes winning the tournament in 1976 (as Czechoslovakia) and finishing as runners-up in 1996. They also reached the semi-finals in 1960, 1980, and 2004, and the quarter-finals in two of the last three tournaments, including Euro 2020, where they defeated the Netherlands 2-0 in the round of 16.

This rich history in the competition gives the Czech team a foundation of experience and belief. The current squad, managed by Ivan Hašek, includes some very good talents including key players like goalkeeper Jindřich Staněk of Slavia Prague, striker Patrik Schick of Bayer Leverkusen, and midfielder Tomáš Souček of West Ham. Staněk and Schick are vital for their respective roles in keeping the defence organised and leading the attack, while Souček’s presence in midfield adds leadership, a physical presence and a goalscoring threat.

Despite not qualifying for the World Cup since 2006, the Czech Republic's consistent appearances in the European Championship suggest they cannot be underestimated. They have shown a capacity to perform well in this competition, and with most of their key players fit and healthy, they are likely to approach the tournament with optimism.Historically, Portugal and the Czech Republic have faced each other five times, with Portugal winning four of these encounters. The Czech Republic's only victory came in their first meeting, while Portugal have dominated the recent fixtures, including two matches in 2022, which Portugal won 4-0 and 2-0.

Portugal's current form and tactical flexibility under Martínez suggest they will adopt an attacking approach, looking to control possession and create numerous scoring opportunities. Their ability to transition quickly and use wide areas effectively will be crucial, especially with players like Leão and Ronaldo leading the charge.The Czech Republic, on the other hand, is expected to adopt a more pragmatic approach. They will likely focus on a disciplined defensive structure, aiming to frustrate Portugal and exploit opportunities on the counter-attack. With Staněk in goal, they have a reliable last line of defence, while Schick’s ability to finish chances could be decisive in turning the game in their favour.

As Portugal and the Czech Republic prepare to face off, the match promises to be a fascinating clash of styles and aspirations. Portugal, with their attacking flair and tactical versatility, will aim to justify their favourites tag and make a strong start to their Euro 2024 campaign. Meanwhile, the Czech Republic, with their history of resilience and capability to surprise, will look to build on their consistent European Championship performances and challenge the Portuguese dominance.

Team News

Portugal Team News:

Cristiano Ronaldo will likely lead the line for Portugal while Man City's Rúben Dias will partner a 41-year-old Pepe at centre-back.Bruno Fernandes will start in midfield, while Bernardo Silva should start on the right wing. Expect Diogo Dalot and João Cancelo to start as the full-backs.

Czech Republic Team News:

The Czechs favour a 3-5-2 formation that usually sees Tomáš Souček deployed in a deeper midfield role while Patrik Schick leads the line with one of Jan Kuchta or Adam Hložek.Vladimír Coufal will start at right-back, while forward Tomáš Chorý often offers a crucial depth role off the bench.

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FORM GUIDE

Portugal's form very good, as they come into this game having won three and lost two of their last five games. Their most recent game was a 3-0 hammering of the Republic of Ireland in a friendly, where a Cristiano Ronaldo brace alongside a goal from João Félix was enough for the win.That victory followed a 1-2 defeat to Croatia in a friendly, which was preceded by a thumping 4-2 win over Finland thanks to goals from Bruno Fernandes (X2), Diogo Jota and Rúben Dias.Prior to that, Portugal were beaten 2-0 away Slovenia, a result that followed a 5-2 Victory to Sweden courtesy of goals from Rafael Leão, Matheus Nunes, Fernandes, Bruma and Gonçalo Ramos.The two friendly defeats in this five-game stretch are Portugal's only losses under Martínez.

The Czech Republic are amidst a strong run of form having won all of their last five games. Their latest outing saw them run out 2-1 winners over North Macedonia with the goals coming from Patrik Schick and Antonín Barák.That result followed a 7-1 battering of Malta where Barák, Mojmír Chytil (X2), David Jurásek, Ondřej Lingr, Matěj Jurásek and Václav Černý all registered on the scoresheet.Before that came successive 2-1 wins, first over Armenia thanks to goals from Ladislav Krejčí and Tomáš Chorý, and second over Norway where David Zima and Barák were the men of the moment.Last but not least in their latest five-game stretch, goals from David Douděra, Chorý and Tomáš Souček gave the Czechs a 3-0 Win Over Moldova.

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FlashPicks Predicition

Portugal are the overwhelming favourites to top this group and even more so to win this game, where anything other than a Portugal win would be quite a shock. Given how they've been playing both defensively and in attack, it may well end up a rout. Portugal 3-0 Czech Republic.

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