Czech Republic captain Pavel Nedved is the most high-profile of eleven players who will be living on their nerves ahead of the UEFA EURO 2004™ semi-finals.
Champions League blow
Nedved – who missed the 2003 UEFA Champions League final through suspension after receiving a late yellow card in Juventus FC's semi-final second leg against Real Madrid CF – was cautioned during Sunday's 3-0 quarter-final victory against Denmark, and another booking against Greece would rule the playmaker out of a possible final.
Two more booked
Two more Czech players, defenders Marek Jankulovski and Tomáš Ujfaluši, were also cautioned against Denmark, while two Greece players - Georgios Karagounis and Theodoros Zagorakis – are also one booking away from suspension having been shown the yellow card as Greece eliminated holders France.
In the other semi-final, three of Portugal's key players are walking a disciplinary tightrope as Ricardo Carvalho, Costinha and Deco all collected bookings in their dramatic quarter-final success against England.
Portugal's opponents in the last four, the Netherlands, also had three players cautioned in their quarter-final with Sweden, with Frank de Boer – who is likely to sit out the semi-final through injury in any case – Roy Makaay and Andy van der Meyde all picking up yellow cards.
However, two players who will not be holding back in the semi-finals are Portugal's Pauleta and Zisis Vryzas of Greece, who are both available for selection again having sat out their teams' respective quarter-finals.
Players one booking away from suspension
Czech Republic: Marek Jankulovski, Pavel Nedved, Tomáš Ujfaluši.
Greece: Georgios Karagounis, Theodoros Zagorakis.
Netherlands: Frank de Boer, Roy Makaay, Andy van der Meyde.
Portugal: Costinha, Deco, Ricardo Carvalho.
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