Welcome to watch Czech Republic vs Portugal live football match on 21th June 2012. Portugal are firm favourites to dispose of Czech Republic on Thursday and subsequently secure their place in the semi-finals of Euro 2012. But the Czechs, who have grown into the tournament, are without the weight of expectancy on their shoulders, while nostalgia could yet play its part. Watch Czech Republic vs Portugal live stream online Euro 2012.
Michal Bilek's Czech Republic began Euro 2012 with a 4-1 defeat to Russia - their worst-ever loss at a major tournament - that threatened to suck the wind from their sails. Yet an early rampage against Greece thrust hope of a revival and their place in the knockout phase was assured when they recorded a combative 1-0 triumph over co-hosts Poland. They now head into their tie with Portugal in Warsaw, which English referee Howard Webb will officiate, in the knowledge they have reached their goal by making it this far, even topping Group A with a negative goal difference. Now that the celebrations have been brought back down to a simmer, focus turns to whether they could yet achieve something truly great.
Indeed, they have previous in the European Championship, having reached the semi-finals in 2004. Four years later, they were defeated by the Portuguese 3-1. This was a form of revenge for Portugal, after they were sent packing from Euro '96 via Karel Poborsky's delicious scoop. The Czechs reached the final of that tournament but were heartbreakingly undone by a golden goal from Oliver Bierhoff. Miroslav Kadlec played in the 1996 campaign, and his son, Michal, who has participated in all three of his country's matches this tournament, said: "Portugal are the favourites and if it ends up like in 1996, it would be a dream. We will do everything for it not to spell the end of the tournament for us."
Portugal played with a swagger against Netherlands, albeit a Dutch side of on and off-field disarray, with Cristiano Ronaldo finally displaying his star quality on an international stage. One would presume the Czechs will surely do a better job of attempting to snuff out the danger of Ronaldo, compared to the Dutch who afforded him embarrassing freedom. Paulo Bento's men edged out the Danes in the group stage though it began with a narrow 1-0 loss against Germany, to leave them second. With a central defensive base of Bruno Alves and Pepe, combined with a hard-working midfield, the threat of Ronaldo makes them a dangerous beast - one eager to right the pain of their 2004 final defeat to Greece.
Czech Republic player to watch: Vaclav Pilar.
Pilar is a buzzy left winger, capable of giving Joao Pereira a tough evening. The 23-year-old tests sides by cutting onto his stronger right foot, while he has an awareness for pockets of space that upset defenders. Already this tournament, he has scored twice in three outings - all of the Czechs' goals have come from midfield. Pilar will be plying his trade at Wolfsburg next season, joining the German club from Hradec Kralove after spending last season on loan at Viktoria Plzen.
Portugal player to watch: Fabio Coentrao.
Combining with Real Madrid team-mate Ronaldo on Portugal's left flank, Coentrao is a valuable asset for his nation. Boasting speed and stamina, he is the wing-back that never stops attacking. He demonstrated this willingness to get forward, and also deliver, with an assist to his name in the 3-2 success over Denmark, as his cross found Silvestre Varela, who struck home the winner. Enjoy & watch Czech Republic vs Portugal live Euro 2012 Quarter-finals.
Key battle: Theodor Gebre Selassie v Cristiano Ronaldo.
This has all the promise to be an absorbing battle. Selassie, like his namesake Haile, is a true athlete. His lung-busting runs down the Czechs' right flank have been a joy to watch this campaign. Indeed, he looks set to join Werder Bremen after the finals. With his athleticism, his marking of Ronaldo should be a tremendous match-up, and the Portuguese's confidence is potentially even higher than usual - his brace versus Netherlands oozed quality. Pilar, the Czech Republic player to watch, said of Ronaldo: "I always hoped we'd play Portugal in the quarter-final. Everybody is looking forward to playing against such a great player. These matches are a reward that one has to enjoy."