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Written By Jacobs Dunga

These two teams are pre tournament favourites to advance from this very unpredictable pool. Portugal and Czech Republic have their share of histories when it comes to the Euros with both teams being past winners.


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Portugal 

The Selecao lifted their first major trophy in 2016, beating hosts France, 1-0 in Paris. Four years later, Fernando Santos’ side couldn’t do much to defend their title as they crumbled to Belgium, 0-1 in the second round. Fast forward to 2024, Portugal are being coached by the man who ended their title defence three years ago. Roberto Martinez is out to prove every point he could not with the Belgian national team, he is on course to revive his reputation with this multi-talented Iberian side, going by the excellent results in the qualifying rounds.

Czech Republic

Czech Republic are not devoid of confidence heading into the tournament. They only lost once during the qualifiers, and that was to eventual group winners Albania who topped on goals difference. Ivan Hasek could be new to the job, but he has already created a telling identity on this team. Coming off the back of a five game winning streak, Czech Republic can only hope to better their quarter finish from the last tournament as they begin their quest against Portugal.

Head To Head

Portugal have won all of their last four matchups against Czech Republic. The first and only victory for the latter as an independent nation came as far back as Euro 1996 where Karel Poborský’s exquisite chip over Vítor Baía gave Czech a 1-0 win. Portugal have also not conceded to Czech Republic in the last three matches between them.

Key Players 

Cristiano Ronaldo cannot be mentioned after any player in the history of the Euros, his record sixth tournament is the most of any player and his goals are more than any other player’s in tournament history.

Picking from where he left off in 2020, Patrik Schick will be inspired by his club success with Bayer Leverkusen as he goes head to head again with Ronaldo for the golden boot. Both players scored five goals apiece in the last tournament to share the golden boot.

Verdict

With the Selecao out to prove a point following the disappointment of 2020, coupled with their disgraceful World Cup exit, Roberto Martinez will be determined to begin his first major tournament with Portugal on a victorious note. 

Portugal 2-0 Czech Republic

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