Portugal v Czech Republic Betting Tip Portugal – Thursday 21st June 2012

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Ronaldo - Veloso (Portugal)

Portugal v Czech Republic

Portugal booked their place in the last eight of the competition after an impressive victory over the Netherlands on Sunday. Cristiano Ronaldo stamped his mark on the tournament with two impressive finishes and he could have had a hat-trick, if not more, with the opportunities he had. His confidence was clearly not affected by the criticism aimed at him for his wastefulness infront of goal against Denmark in the previous match. Portugal as a whole have grown into the tournament and have looked very dangerous going forward. The pace of Ronaldo and Nani has been a real problem for anyone coming up against them and they are lightening on the break. At the back they look strong with Bruno Alves and Pepe forming an excellent partnership whilst both fullbacks have impressed in their willingness to get forward, as well as their positional sense when asked to defend.

I don’t mind admitting I was totally wrong when assessing the Czech’s chances of getting out the group. I thought they would be lucky to get a point in this tournament – let alone qualify – and after their first game against Russia, they looked up against it. However, they have regrouped and won back to back games to end up topping the group. Without doubt their two best players to date have been Petr Jiracek and Vaclav Pilar. The duo have added a real spark to their attacking play and have been essential to their success in the tournament. Tomas Rosicky was injured for their last group game against the host nation but he is expected to start on Thursday as his country looks to reach the last four of the European Championships for the third time in five tournaments.

Ronaldo was sensational against Holland on Sunday evening and if he continues to turn in performances like that, it is going to take a very good team to get the better of Portugal. Most observers will note that Helder Postiga is probably short of a top level striker but his inclusion allows Ronaldo to adopt the same role he has for his club and we all know how prolific he has been for Real Madrid.

Pilar and Jiracek will face their toughest test yet as they are coming up a resolute backline. Fabiio Coentrao and Joao Pereira have been terrific thus far and have so far nullified the likes of Robben, Van Persie and Ozil. The Czech’s will have to find a way of dragging them out of position as it’s the fullbacks positioning which offers so much protection to both Alves and Pepe.

I have got the Czech’s wrong so far but I think they have been flattered with the group they have qualified from. Russia destroyed them on opening day and Portugal play in a similar way which should see them very hard to beat.

Portugal 4ts, 4/5 @ PaddyPower

*We had a mixed third round of matches and I doubt I will be the only one disappointed in the likes of France, Holland and Spain. As it stands, we go into the knockout stage with 32.11pts but our level stakes profit has dropped to 0.09.