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Poland push for more Czech success

Poland and the Czech Republic will be looking to end Group A with a flourish although it is the UEFA EURO 2012 co-hosts who have had the better of the teams' recent meetings.

Background: Czech Republic v Poland ©Cyfrasport

UEFA EURO 2012 co-hosts Poland have recent history on their side as they look to end Group A with a victory against the Czech Republic having won three of the teams' last four encounters.

• Poland have drawn both games so far 1-1, against Greece and Russia respectively, while the Czechs bounced back from their opening 4-1 defeat by scoring twice in the first six minutes to defeat Greece 2-1.

• That means both teams will advance with a win. However, while Poland will be eliminated should they draw or lose, the Czechs could even afford to draw unless Greece beat Russia by five goals or fewer.

Head-to-head record
• Poland's record in five games against the Czech Republic is W3 D0 L2. The designated home team has won all five fixtures between the two teams.

• Their most recent encounters were in a pair of 2010 FIFA World Cup qualifiers; Poland won 2-1 in Chorzow but lost the return fixture 2-0 in Prague.

• Their first friendly meeting was in Ostrava on 12 March 1997, when the Czech hosts went 2-0 up through Pavel Kuka and Karel Rada, Jacek Zieliński pulling one back for Poland in the last minute.

• Poland reversed the score in a Warsaw friendly on 28 April 1999 thanks to Mirosław Trzeciak (15) and Artur Wichniarek (49), with Vratislav Lokvenc (79) replying for the Czech visitors.

• Almost nine years passed before the next friendly meeting in Larnaca, Cyprus on 6 February 2008. Wojciech Łobodziński (6) and Mariusz Lewandowski (29) gave the Poles a 2-0 win. Marcin Wasilewski, Dariusz Dudka, Łukasz Fabiański, Jakub Wawrzyniak and Rafał Murawski all featured for Poland.

• Poland's record in 17 games against Czechoslovakia and the transitional Republic of the Czechs and Slovaks was W3 D4 L10.

• Czech Republic coach Michal Bílek made his international debut against Poland, marking the occasion with Czechoslovakia's sole goal in a 3-1 defeat in Bratislava in 1987 just two minutes after coming on as substitute.

• Polish legend Włodzimierz Lubański made his last international appearance in a 1980 friendly draw against Czechoslovakia in Chorzow. His penalty in the 1-1 draw was his 48th goal for the national team – a Polish record which still stands.

Selected previous meetings
10 October 2009: Czech Republic 2-0 Poland (Necid 51, Plašil 72) – Prague, 2010 FIFA World Cup qualifying
Czech Republic:
Čech, Pospěch, Sivok, Hubník, Jankulovski, Plašil, Rosický (Jarolím 78), Hübschman, Pudil (Štajner 86), Papadopulos (Necid 46), Baroš.
Poland: Kowalewski, Rzeźniczak, Głowacki, Polczak, Gancarzyk, Błaszczykowski (Peszko 67), Iwański, M Lewandowski, Obraniak, Grosicki (Janczyk 81), Jeleń (R Lewandowski 64).

• Both teams missed out on a place in South Africa, the Czech Republic finishing third in qualifying Group 3 with 16 points from ten games, two places higher and five points more than Poland. Bílek was assistant to Ivan Hašek for this game, but ten days later was appointed head coach.

11 October 2008: Poland 2-1 Czech Republic (Brożek 27, Błaszczykowski 53; Fenin 87) – Chorzow, 2010 FIFA World Cup qualifying
Boruc, Wawrzyniak (Krzynówek 43), Dudka, Roger Guerreiro, Smolarek, Brożek (R Lewandowski 69), Murawski (Jodłowiec 90), Wasilewski, Żewłakow, Błaszczykowski, M Lewandowski.
Czech Republic: Čech, Grygera, Rozehnal (Sionko 58), Kováč, Jankulovski, Slepička (Svěrkoš 58), Šírl, Pospěch, Plašil, Baroš (Fenin 81) Ujfaluši.

• Martin Fenin's goal was his first at senior international level.

Form guide
• The Czech Republic have played at every EURO since splitting from Slovakia in 1993, reaching the final at EURO '96 and the semi-finals at UEFA EURO 2004.

• The Czechs also beat the co-hosts at UEFA EURO 2008, securing their only win of the finals against Switzerland, 1-0.

• This is only Poland's second UEFA European Championship finals tournament. By contrast, they have featured in seven World Cups, starting with a brief appearance at the 1938 finals in France.

Team ties
• Goalkeepers Wojciech Szczęsny is a team-mate of Czech captain Tomáš Rosický at Arsenal FC.

• Czech defender Roman Hubník was a team-mate of Łukasz Piszczek at Hertha BSC Berlin in the second half of 2009/10. Hubník's brother Michal, also an international, has played in Poland for Legia Warszawa since January 2011.

• KKS Lech Poznań met AC Sparta Praha in the third qualifying round of the 2010/11 UEFA Champions League, the Czech side winning each game 1-0. Grzegorz Wojtkowiak and Sławomir Peszko (now with 1. FC Köln) were in the Polish team's lineup.

• Pavel Hapal, who won 31 caps for the Czech Republic in the 1990s, is now in charge of Polish club Zagłębie Lubin.

• Vratislav Lokvenc collected 74 caps for the Czech Republic between 1995 and 2006, but will have divided loyalties; his mother is from Poland.

Competition format
• If two or more teams are equal on points on completion of the group matches, the following criteria are applied to determine the rankings:
a) Higher number of points obtained in the matches played between the teams in question;
b) Superior goal difference resulting from the matches played between the teams in question;
c) Higher number of goals scored in the matches played between the teams in question;
d) If, after having applied criteria a) to c), two teams still have an equal ranking, criteria a) to c) are reapplied exclusively to the matches between the two teams in question to determine the final rankings of the two teams. If this procedure does not lead to a decision, criteria e) to i) apply in the order given;
e) superior goal difference in all group matches;
f) higher number of goals scored in all group matches;
g) position in the UEFA national team coefficient ranking system (see annex I, paragraph 1.2.2);
h) fair play conduct of the teams (final tournament);
i) drawing of lots

• The Group A coefficients are as follows:
Russia 33.212
Greece 32.455
Czech Republic 29.602
Poland 23.806

• If two teams which have the same number of points, the same number of goals scored and conceded play their last group match against each other and are still equal at the end of that match, the ranking of the two teams in question is determined by kicks from the penalty mark provided no other teams within the group have the same number of points on completion of all group matches. Should more than two teams have the same number of points, the criteria listed under paragraph 8.07 apply.

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