The Czech national team already have a European Championship under their belt (1976). However, they have often proven to be a threat in many Euros since then.

Will their entertaining tactics be enough to bring them their first trophy in 40 years?

Ladbrokes odds

To win the tournament: 80/1

To win Group D: 6/1

To qualify for Round of 16: 4/6

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Route to Euro 2016

The Czech Republic came top of Qualifying Group A, two points ahead of runners-up, Iceland. They lost twice during the qualifiers; once at home to Turkey and once away to Iceland in Reykjavik.

The Czechs began their campaign with an injury-time win over Holland in Prague and followed this with six further victories.

Despite the presence of mighty goalkeeper Petr Čech, they didn’t go a single game without conceding at least one goal. This highlights their defensive weakness, which results largely from a focus on fluent, attacking play.

Tournament history

Czechoslovakia’s 1976 Euro win is now credited to the Czech Republic and remains their finest hour. The final win against West Germany is remembered as the only time in which the Germans have ever lost a penalty shootout, thanks to Antonín Panenka’s cheeky chip.

Another shootout took the Czech Republic to the final at Euro 96, when the Germans had their revenge with a golden goal from Oliver Bierhoff.

The Czech Republic were also outstanding at Euro 2004, during which they won all three games in their group, and thrashed Denmark in the quarter-finals. This winning run ended in their semi-final, when they were finally undone against underdogs and eventual winners, Greece.


Pavel Vrba

Pavel Vrba became head coach of the Czech national team in late 2013. The Czech FA were so eager to get their man that they met his buy-out clause at Viktoria Plzeň.

Vrba had great success at Viktoria Plzeň, where he won four coach of the year awards in a row and led the club to two league titles.

Vrba’s teams share his signature all-out attacking style; which is something he developed while head coach of Zilina in Slovakia. Since becoming manager of the national team, he has charmed the nation with his sense of humour and his focus on entertaining, free-flowing football.

Most important player

Petr Čech

33-year-old, Petr Čech, has been named Czech Footballer of the Year seven times in the past 10 years and he looks favourite to win it again in 2016.

While some – including José Mourinho – thought Čech’s time as one of the best goalies in the world was over, he has proven a great signing for Arsenal since leaving Chelsea in 2015.

It is surely no coincidence that his leaving Chelsea coincided with the team’s incredible slump; his absence may have even been an indirect factor in the sacking of Mourinho.

In the Premier League, Čech has makes more saves per goal than any other keeper and is often the saving grace of Arsenal’s defence.

For his country, he is more valuable than ever in a side that uses attacking tactics that are great to watch, but which sometimes leave holes in their defence.

Rising star

Ladislav Krejčí

23-year-old Ladislav Krejčí is a left winger with great balance, movement and speed. Chelsea fans may remember him from their game against Sparta Prague in 2013 during a Europa League match, when César Azpilicueta struggled to contain him.

Vrba uses Krejčí to stretch defences and the young winger often makes goal-scoring chances from nothing for both his club and country.

The Czech Republic have often thrived on being underrated (as in Euro ‘96), but here at Ladbrokes, we don’t believe they’ll get very far this time.

They’re in a tough group with reigning champs, Spain, and Croatia, both of whom have the strength in depth to do well in the knockout stages.

In placing the Czech Republic at 80/1 to win Euro 2016, we clearly see other teams as being far more likely to win the competition and to reach the knockout phase.

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