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Czech Republic to face San Marino with first-choice attack in Euro 2008 qualifier

Czech Republic to face San Marino with first-choice attack in Euro 2008 qualifier

The Czech Republic will be able to field its first-choice attack for the first time since June in Saturday's 2008 European Championship qualifier against San Marino.
Striker Milan Baros is back after recovering from the foot injury that limited his playing time at the World Cup where the Czech Republic was eliminated in the group stage.
Baros will likely team up with Jan Koller in the Group D game in the northern Czech town of Liberec.
The two strikers, who have scored a total of 71 goals for the national team, last played together in a June 3 World Cup warmup against Trinidad and Tobago when Baros strained a tendon in his left foot.
Koller is the Czech Republic's leading scorer with 44 goals in 72 games, while Baros had five goals in the team's run to the 2004 European Championships semifinals to be the tournament top-scorer.
Following its European Championship qualifying record 13-0 loss to Germany on Sept. 6, the 194th-ranked San Marino is likely to find it difficult to keep out Koller and Baros.
The Czech Republic will be looking to surpass its biggest winning margin _ 8-1 against Andorra in June last year in a World Cup qualifier _ but captain Tomas Rosicky would just settle for a win.
"It's not a point to compete with Germany over who can score more goals (against San Marino)," the 26-year-old midfielder said. "The point is it's a qualifying match and there are three points at stake.
"I'm aware that the public tends to think we can win 27-1 after (Germany) won away 13-0 _ but that's absolute nonsense. It's most important for us to win, avoid any injury, and get ready for the Irish."
The Czech Republic plays Ireland in Dublin on Wednesday.
Midfielders Libor Sionko (thigh), Tomas Galasek (knee) and Vladimir Smicer (hamstring) will miss both qualifiers, while coach Karel Bruckner is expected to rest No. 1 goalkeeper Petr Cech.
Czech Republic and Germany lead the group with six points, three ahead of Slovakia. Wales, Ireland, Cyprus and San Marino have zero points.


Updated : 2021-04-19 18:00 GMT+08:00