Group A preview: Czech Republic, Georgia, Portugal, Sweden

Hosts Georgia are joined by the Czech Republic, Sweden and Portugal in an even-looking Group A, with all four coaches predicting the section will go to the wire.

The four Group A coaches: (left to right): Jan Suchopárek (Czech Republic), Giorgi Kipiani (Georgia), Hélio Sousa (Portugal) and Claes Eriksson (Sweden)
©Sportsfile

Czech Republic
Previous final tournaments: 5
Most recent: 2011 (runners-up)
Best performance: runners-up, 2011
Qualifying round: Estonia 5-0, Slovenia 2-1, France 0-2 (Group 9 runners-up)
Elite round: Hungary 2-1, Scotland 1-0, Austria 3-0 (Group 6 winners)
Top scorer: Daniel Turyna, Ondřej Šašinka – 3

Jan Suchopárek, coach: "Our aim was to get to these finals. There's no favourites from my point of view. Portugal and Sweden are very experienced teams, but we all have similar opportunities. It'll be important to acclimatise properly out here. Our squad is at its best."

Giorgi Kipiani, Georgia coach
Giorgi Kipiani, Georgia coach©Sportsfile

Georgia
Previous final tournaments: 1
Most recent: 2013
Best performance: group stage, 2013
Friendly results: Bulgaria 2-1 Georgia, Bulgaria 0-1 Georgia, Georgia 1-0 Russia, Georgia 1-0 Russia, Georgia 0-1 Netherlands, Georgia 0-4 France, Georgia 0-3 Spain

Giorgi Kipiani, coach: "Participation in a European Championship is an honour. Some teams might have more experience but we all have more or less an equal chance – the three matches will all be even, and it could mean qualification will be decided in a single match. The team is aware of the high responsibility on them, but this shouldn't be a psychological pressure for us. They're young players, doing their best, and I'm sure they'll be able to show their best qualities."

Portugal
Previous final tournaments: 8
Most recent: 2016 (semi-finals)
Best performance: runners-up 2003, 2014
Qualifying round: Bulgaria 0-1, Belarus 1-1, Denmark 2-1 (Group 8 runners-up)
Elite round: Croatia 2-1, Turkey 1-2, Poland 3-1 (Group 4 winners)
Top scorer: Miguel Luis, Rui Pedro – 2

Hélio Sousa, coach: "Our aim is always to qualify, it's a unique opportunity for young players. It will make them stronger in the future. We'll try to play our style, using our strengths. It will be an open group, you have to be strong in every game and we'll try to be at our best in each game to show what we can do."

Sweden after reaching their first finals
Sweden after reaching their first finals©SvFF

Sweden
Previous final tournaments: 0
Most recent: N/A
Best performance: N/A
Qualifying round: Malta 4-0, Moldova 1-0, Serbia 3-2 (Group 10 winners)
Elite round: Belgium 1-2, Republic of Ireland 3-0, Italy 1-0 (Group 7 winners)
Top scorer: Isac Lidberg – 3

Claes Eriksson, coach: "It's a great honour for Sweden to qualify for the first time – a great honour. It will give us lots of experience; the players will remember this tournament for the rest of their lives. This group is very open, all the teams are good, with good skills, and I expect it to be decided in the third round of games. There's lots of team spirit, of course – that's the Sweden way – and hopefully some individual skills can help us get the three points in each game."

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