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Tips On Portugal Czech Republic Betting – Czechs Send Portugal Packing On Thursday

Posted by Todd Shale on 6/19/2012 3:44:19 PM

Online betting sharps looking for an upset at Euro 2012 will get it on Thursday as the quarterfinals get underway with Portugal and the Czech Republic, and even though the latter got roasted in their first game, the defense has stepped up and they’ll power the Czechs to the semifinals.

What: Soccer Betting
When: Thursday, June 21st, 2:45 PM ET
Where: National Stadium, Warsaw, Poland
Pick: Czech Republic

Why Bet On Portugal

Captain Cristiano Ronaldo finally broke through with a huge performance in a 2-1 win over the Netherlands to wrap up second place in Group B, scoring twice and it isn’t like he hasn’t been trying; Ronaldo has taken 21 shots in three games, but he just wasn’t able to finish until the last game, and finish he did. The rest of the team has stepped up with Ronaldo not being able to find his shooting boots and in particular, Varela’s late goal against Denmark after Ronaldo missed a fantastic chance to put the game away may have been the biggest moment of the tournament so far for the Portuguese. However, Nani should receive a special shoutout as he has been brilliant opposite Ronaldo, using his tricks to confound the opposition, and he has been hitting targets with his crosses, which is something that tailed off during his club campaign with Manchester United. While Helder Postiga continues to play up front and has scored one goal, Ronaldo and Nani are Portugal’s goal-scoring threats.

And the Portuguese will need to score goals because the defense has been suspect, although they’ve been active. Portugal allowed four goals in three games, and they’re prone to lapses in concentration, which really showed against Denmark as Portugal should have won that game easily. Bruno Alves and Pepe will definitely give their all for their national team, and Pepe was Portugal’s best player against Denmark, but they need to be stronger in front of Rui Patricio, who has just 14 appearances for the Portuguese team and could feel the pressure of the quarterfinals, a spot that Portugal has reached at five European Championships in a row.

Why Bet On Czech Republic

The Czechs managed to come out on top of a Group A that turned out to be much more exciting than anyone expected as they beat Poland 1-0 in the final match to secure first place, and not only that, the team that romped to a 4-1 win over the Czechs (Russia) in their first game didn’t get through. The Czech Republic didn’t panic after their terrible performance against Russia, and they have allowed their midfield to take control as Petr Jiracek and Vaclav Pilar have stepped up in the face of an injured Tomas Rosicky as the Czech captain missed the Poland game with an ailing Achilles. Rosicky dominates a lot of the ball when he is in the lineup, and deservedly so, but Jiracek and Pilar make the Czechs play faster on the outside, which opens up the middle of the field. The Rosicky injury has also allowed Tomas Hubschman to come in and sit in front of a defense that had to be in shock after the first match, and the back four has certainly responded, which makes things easier for keeper Petr Cech.

Rosicky still has to pass a few fitness tests before Thursday’s kick-off, but if he is healthy, manager Michal Bilek will have a decision to make: does he leave out his captain and stick with the team that put in the best performance of the group stage for the Czechs, or does Rosicky earn a spot and learn to play with Jiracek and Pilar? This is going to be a very interesting situation if Rosicky is healthy, but he has battled injuries throughout his career and you have to wonder if there aren’t a few soccer betting players that hope he’ll sit up.

How It Will Play Out

Portugal enters the quarterfinals as a -142 soccer betting favorite in this contest against the Czechs, who are rated at +400 and a draw comes in at +250. There isn’t much of a head-to-head history between these two as the Czechs took a 1-0 meeting at this stage of the 1996 edition of the European Championship, but Portugal got some revenge with a 3-1 win in the group stage of 2008.

This is going to be a tough game between two teams that had to go through a lot to get to the quarterfinals, but an upset is in the making as the Czechs have the edge on defense, and while Ronaldo had a huge game in the last match, can he do it again? At this point in the tournament, defense is what takes you to the next level. The Czech Republic should be your sports betting pick.

Portugal Czech Republic Betting Pick: Czech Republic


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