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Can Cech help the Czech Republic advance?

On his day, Petr Cech is – and has been for quite some time – one of the best goalkeepers in the world.

The Gunners shot stopper, who moved to the Emirates Stadium from rivals Chelsea last summer, has performed admirably this season and looks set to stay at Arsenal for the foreseeable future.

But can Cech lead his nation past the group stages at the European Championship in France this summer? Well, it’s not going to be easy. The Czech Republic were drawn into a very difficult group and Cech must now go up against Spain, Croatia and Turkey for a place in the knockout round.

However, they are certainly capable of defying the odds and toppling Vicente del Bosque’s men this summer. At the time of writing, the Czech Republic are priced at 4/5 with Coral to qualify for the next round of the competition – reasonable odds considering England odds to win Group B outright are 5/6.

The Czech Republic aren’t quite as powerful and prominent in European football as they were say a decade or two ago but they still boast plenty of talent in their ranks. Petr Cech remains their top star but fellow Arsenal player Tomas Rosicky, Matej Vydra and Jaroslav Plasil are all capable of leading their nation to the next stage of the tournament.

Cech will go up against a number of his Arsenal team-mates in the clash with Spain and Gunners fans will be watching intently whilst hoping that none of their stars pick up major injuries throughout the competition. Arsenal will fancy their chances of winning the title next year and the Gunners are priced at 4/1 to win the title in Coral’s England odds and markets for the Premier League – but they cannot afford any injury issues.

As previously mentioned, Cech is a world class goalkeeper and he is certainly capable of leading Arsenal to glory when on form – and the national side missed his presence when losing 1-0 to Scotland in an international friendly earlier this year. The Czech Republic won’t expect to win this summer’s tournament by any means but there’s no reason why they cannot cause a few shocks, especially if Cech plays at his very best.

Cech is now 33 years old and this could be his last major tournament on the international stage. The Czech Republic goalkeeper has earned well over 100 caps for his country throughout an illustrious career but he isn’t quite ready to hang up his international gloves just yet. Write Cech’s Czech Republic off at your peril…