The Czech national football team will enter the 2024 European Championship qualifiers on Friday. The home game against Poland will be one of the key battles to qualify for the tournament, which will be hosted by Germany next summer.
The Czech national team has very good memories of the last European Championship. They came out of a group with Scotland, England and Croatia in third place and then made it through to the quarter-finals via the Netherlands.
Traditionally, a qualifying round precedes the repeat of this success, in which the Czechs were given four playable opponents. In the company of Poland, Moldova, Albania and Faroe Islands, they need to finish in second place.
“It’s a certain obligation. We need to get to the big tournament and raise the profile of Czech football a bit,” Pavel Kuka told Radio Sport.
The Czechs will start their journey through the group with a home match against the favourites from Poland. The neighbouring team will also face off against offensive threat Robert Lewandowski of Barcelona and Piotr Zielinski, who is on a roll in Naples.
The following game against Moldova should be a given, but it is not advisable to underestimate your opponents. For example, in the qualification for the European Championship in France (2016), the Netherlands failed to make it through the group with the Czech Republic, Iceland, Turkey, Latvia and Kazakhstan, finishing fourth and failing to qualify.
“Every group like this is tricky. Sometimes it can derail teams, but I think the boys will be careful now,” continued the League Cannonball Club member.
Friday’s game against Poland could be very specific. While in recent years Lewandowski has dragged the rest of the lineup, which has given mediocre performances, now he is under the blanket of Lew. Surprisingly, Barcelona are doing well despite his restlessness in the end.
Still, the Poles will be the favourites. Among other things, they can rely on the form of Lech Poznan players; last year’s Ekstraklasa champion got past the favoured Norwegian Bodo Glimt in the Conference League, then knocked out Sweden’s Djurgarden.
“It would definitely be good to make it through the game on Friday, either to win or at least not to lose. Poland is a very good team. I have a lot of respect for Lewandowski, he is a great goal scorer,” added Kuka.
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