Team profile: Czech Republic

Their FIFA ranking should inspire confidence, however qualifying out of the group might be another story. The Czechs will be looking to their midfield tyros to provide the impetus as they look to prove their positive showing at Euro 2004 was no fluke.

    FIFA ranking: 2

    Coach: Karel Bruckner

    Key players: Pavel Nedved, Tomas Rosicky, Milan Baros

    World Cup record: First appearance (eight as Czechoslovakia, including runners-up 1938, 1962)

    Qualifying route: Defeated Norway in European playoffs

    Key question: The Czechs impressed plenty of people at Euro 2004 and followed that up by being the highest scoring European team in qualifying. Can they score enough goals to make a big impact?

    Squad:

    Goalkeepers #
    Petr Cech 1
    Jaromir Blazek 16
    Antonin Kinsky 23
    Defenders
    Zdenek Grygera 2
    Pavel Mares 3
    Marek Jankulovski 6
    Martin Jiranek 13
    Tomas Ujfalusi 21
    David Rozehnal 22
    Midfielders
    Tomas Galasek 4
    Radoslav Kovac 5
    Vladimir Smicer 7
    Karel Poborsky 8
    Tomas Rosicky 10
    Pavel Nedved 11
    David Jarolim 14
    Jiri Stajner 17
    Jan Polak 19
    Jaroslav Plasil 20
    Forwards
    Jan Koller 9
    Vratislav Lokvenc 12
    Milan Baros 15
    Marek Heinz 18

    Group matches:

    v USA, 16:00 GMT, Monday 12th June - Gelsenkirchen

    v Ghana, 16:00 GMT, Saturday 17th June - Cologne

    v Italy, 14:00 GMT, Thursday 22nd June - Hamburg

    SOURCE: Aljazeera


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