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Bilek's squad facing elimination; selection headache for Santos

Last updated: 11th June 2012   Subscribe to RSS Feed
Michal Bilek Czech Republic
Michal Bilek: Czech Republic Must avoid defeat by Greece if they want to stand a chance at the Euros
 Fernando Santos
Fernando Santos: Has to contend with injuries and suspension in his squad

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Czech Republic's Euro 2012 hopes could come to an end after just two matches if they lose to Greece in Group A on Tuesday.
Michal Bilek's squad got their finals off to a terrible start as they fell to a 4-1 defeat by Russia on Friday, and another reverse at the hands of the 2004 winners will leave them with no hope of advancing to the quarter-finals.
But Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech says the Czechs have learned from the mistakes they made in their tournament opener and will be fiercely motivated to put the heavy defeat behind them.
"The lessons we learned were not to make unnecessary mistakes and to play much more aggressively," said Cech.
"They had a lot of space and they have some very good players, so they were able to use that.


"We attacked them too late in the game, and they had already created their chances and scored them. We do not want to repeat those same mistakes and we will, of course, play more solidly in defence."
Bilek is set to make changes to his starting line-up, with Michal Kadlec set to revert to centre-half after struggling at left-back against the Russians and David Limbersky likely to start.
Cech admits that there was plenty of frustration in the Czech dressing room on Friday, but says that has given way to a steely focus ahead of this vital fixture.
"I think the anger has changed into determination. Determination to fix the bad start we had in the tournament," he said.
"We felt the disappointment immediately afterwards, for sure. We did not succeed in any way in that first match, but we know we have another 180 minutes to play to allow us to qualify for the quarter-finals. So we're determined to do just that."
Greece coach Fernando Santos, meanwhile, faces a selection headache when it comes to picking his starting XI.
The Greeks drew 1-1 with co-hosts Poland on Friday, but the result came at a cost.
Defender Sokratis Papastathopoulos is suspended after his harsh first-half sending-off in Warsaw while Avraam Papadopoulos suffered a torn cruciate ligament.
Kyriakos Papadopoulos is set to come into defence but midfielder Giorgos Fotakis is another absentee with a thigh injury.
Santos says he has paid no attention to the Czechs' opening result and expects a stern test.
"It changes nothing that they lost against Russia. They're compact, and have a lot of pace," he said.
"In the game against Russia, the Czechs had the upper hand in the opening 20-25 minutes. I think they showed their qualities, despite their 4-1 loss."
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