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Switzerland v Czech Republic

sports Updated: Jun 06, 2008 21:39 IST
Mark Ledsom
Mark Ledsom
Reuters
Highlight Story

Euro 2008 gets underway on Saturday with co-hosts Switzerland pitting their promising young team against an experienced Czech Republic side keen to prove their best days are not behind them as yet.

Koebi Kuhn's Swiss squad are one of the youngest at these finals but include several players who have already experienced two major tournaments.

The former Czechoslovakia won Euro 1976 and recent successes for the side include an appearance in the 1996 final and a run to the 2004 semi-finals.

But the international retirements of Karel Poborsky and Pavel Nedved along with the loss through injury of captain Tomas Rosicky have raised doubts over the pedigree of this squad.

Neutral fans will hope to see plenty of goals with the Group A game bringing together two of the tournament's most prolific strikers.

Frei has scored 35 times in 59 matches for Switzerland while towering Czech forward Jan Koller boasts a record of 54 goals in 87 internationals.

Switzerland will struggle to contain the 2.02-metre tall Koller, particularly with regular central defender Patrick Mueller yet to prove his match fitness after missing the majority of the season through
injury.

Czech coach Karel Brueckner did not give any hints as to which of those options he would exercise but has faced repeated calls from the media to drop Milan Baros and play Koller alone up front.

Baros was Euro 2004's top scorer but has failed to find the net for his country since March 2007.

Co-hosts Switzerland play the Czech Republic in the opening match of Euro 2008 on Saturday.

Where: St Jakob Park, Basel

Capacity: 40,000

When: Saturday June 7 (1600 GMT)

Referee: Roberto Rosetti (Italy)

Teams: Likely formation, shirt numbers, age, caps and goals

Switzerland (4-4-2) Czech Republic (4-5-1)
1-Diego Benaglio 24-12-0 1-Petr Cech 26-59-0
5-Stephan Lichtsteiner 24-12-0 2-Zdenek Grygera 28-53-2
20-Patrick Mueller 31-78-3 21-Tomas Ujfalusi 30-68-2
4-Philippe Senderos 23-28-3 22-David Rozehnal 27-45-0
3-Ludovic Magnin 29-50-3 6-Marek Jankulovski 31-64-10
16-Tranquillo Barnetta 23-32-6 20-Jaroslav Plasil 26-37-2
8-Gokhan Inler 23-17-1 3-Jan Polak 27-38-6
15-Gelson Fernandes 21-8-0 17-Marek Matejovsky 26-10-1
22-Johan Vonlanthen 22-30-6 4-Tomas Galasek 25-66-1
9-Alex Frei 28-59-35 7-Libor Sionko 31-30-6
11-Marco Streller 26-28-11 9-Jan Koller 35-87-54
Also available Also available
2-Johan Djourou 21-17-1 12-Zdenek Pospech 29-8-0
6-Benjamin Huggel 20-25-0 13-Michal Kadlec 23-6-1
7-Ricardo Cabanas 29-49-4 5-Radoslav Kovac 28-23-1
10-Hakan Yakin 31-66-15 14-David Jarolim 29-16-1
12-Eren Derdiyok 19-3-1 18-Tomas Sivok 24-6-0
13-Stephane Grichting 29-18-0 19-Rudi Skacel 28-4-1
14-Daniel Gygax 26-34-5 8-Martin Fenin 21-5-0
17-Christoph Spycher 30-39-0 10-Vaclav Sverkos 24-2-0
18-Pascal Zuberbuehler 37-50-0 11-Stanislav Vlcek 32-10-0
19-Valon Behrami 23-16-2 15-Milan Baros 26-64-31
21-Eldin Jakupovic 23-0-0 16-Jaromir Blazek 35-14-0
23-Philipp Degen 25-30-0 23-Daniel Zitka 32-1-0

Coach: Koebi Kuhn (Switzerland) Karel Brueckner (Czech)

Injured: None (Switzerland) 12-Zdenek Pospech 29-8-0 (Czech)

Suspended: None (Switzerland) None (Czech)

Key status:
* The opening match of Euro 2004 in Portugal featured the two teams that contested the final. The hosts were defeated 2-1 by Greece in the opening match and lost the final 1-0.
* The last time these two sides met in Basel the Czech Republic ran out 2-1 winners in a friendly ahead of Euro 96 in England.

Previous meetings:
20.04.1994 Fr Zurich Switzerland 3 Czech Republic 0
1.06.1996 Fr Basel Switzerland 1 Czech Republic 2
18.08.1999 Fr Drnovice Czech Republic 3 Switzerland 0

Group A
Switzerland
Czech Republic
Portugal
Turkey

Next group matches

Saturday, June 7
Portugal v Turkey, Stade de Geneve, Geneva 1845 (GMT)

Wednesday, June 11
Czech Republic v Portugal, Stade de Geneve, Geneva, 1600 (GMT)
Switzerland v Turkey, St Jakob Park, Basel, 1845 (GMT)

Sunday, June 15
Switzerland v Portugal, St Jakob Park, Basel, 1845 (GMT)
Turkey v Czech Republic, Stade de Geneve, Geneva 1845 (GMT)