The Coach - Michal Bilek
Bilek was a purposeful midfielder and free-kick expert in his playing days with top Sparta Prague and he also enjoyed a long and rewarding association with the Czechoslovakia/Czech Republic national team, starring for them between 1987 to 1995 and playing a prominent role in their qualification for Italia 90.
His coaching career enjoyed a high when he steered Sparta Prague to the domestic league title in 2007 and the 47-year-old has also has taken charge of Czech clubs Teplice, Chmel Blsany, Viktoria Plzen and Ruzomberok, as well leading Costa Rican outfit, Cartagines.
After starting his coaching career with the Czech under-19 side, he returned to the national team set-up as assistant to head coach Ivan Hasek and eventually succeeded him in the top job in October 2009. With former Liverpool star Vladimir Smicer appointed as his high-profile side-kick, results initially were disastrous and the critics of this perceived lightweight coach had a field day, but eventually he turned the situation around, sealing a ticket for Euro 2012 via a play-off win against Montenegro.
A stick his detractors in the local press like to beat him with his tendency for timidity in the heat of battle and refusing to take chances with team selection. He can be rather rigid in his tactical approach and on occasion lacks decisiveness, leaving it too long to correct obvious faults in the set-up.
The Captain - Tomas Rosicky
The Arsenal attacking midfielder might not be everybody's idea of a natural-born skipper, yet is a skipper who leads by example rather than willpower.
He is not one to growl or snarl, he never turns up the volume to issue hard-hitting orders and as a delicate ball-playing type, he would never be caught raising the stakes physically. What he does offer is a presence that can inspire those around him, with his impressive track record for club and country earning him the respect of his team-mates.
Along with fellow Czech golden goldies Petr Cech and striker Milan Baros, Rosicky is one of the survivors from the Czech side which reached the Euro 2004 semi-finals and that inspires the younger member of the squad to respond to his senior position.
Notoriously injury-prone, he has, for the most part, managed to stay out of the Arsenal treatment room this season and it's no coincidence that his form has shown a marked improvement, earning him a new contract with the Gunners.
Coach Bilek looks certain to steer well clear of the 4-2-2-2 system he experimented with in a 3-0 friendly loss to Norway last August. Shambolic is the only word to describe their efforts that night and thanks to those painful 90 minutes, a counter-attacking 4-2-3-1 is now the sole viable pattern.
Over the course of the qualifying campaign, Bilek’s team became increasingly adept at both attacking and defending in numbers and in these championships they will be banking on the same strong organisation, resolve and dynamism.
Ostensibly, Baros is the lone frontrunner but will be ably supported by deep-lying wide-men Jan Rezek, Milan Petrzela, Vaclav Pilar, Jaroslav Plasil or Daniel Pudil. While a large proportion of their attacking ideas have the clever and elusive playmaker Rosicky as their source, the identity of the two nominal defensive midfielders should give a clue to how confident they are.
Against Group A opposition they are wary of (co-hosts Poland and Russia), expect Bilek to employ ball-winning enforcer Tomas Hubschmann sitting deep next to Petr Jiracek. Yet against Greece, the chosen pair could be considerably more attack-minded, with Plasil as the cultured deep prompter and Jiracek driving into enemy territory in the manner of his idol, Czech icon Pavel Nedved.
Both full-backs, the right-sided Theodor Gebre Selassie and Michal Kadlec on the left, offer a lot going forward and can often lead the charge on the break.
The Weak Spot
The fact that their top scorer in qualification was left-back Kadlec (four goals) says it all, as the harsh truth is the veteran Milan Baros is close to a spent force as a striker.
In seven qualifiers, the ex-Liverpool hit-man only scored once and the 30-year-old is a pale shadow of the Golden Boot winner from Euro 2004 and yet unfortunately for the Czechs, the striking alternatives simply are not there.
Young Tomas Pekhart has hardly been setting the world alight in the Bundesliga with Nurnberg; the promising Tomas Necid of CSKA Moscow is only just finding his feet again following a knee ligament injury and David Lafata, the Jablonec front-man who was the top scorer in the Czech League this season, has yet to fully convince with the national team.
Another point of concern has to be in central defence, where Roman Hubnik and Tomas Sivok have their limitations. Hubnik is short on pace, while Sivok arguably is better in a midfield holding role. Compared to past Czech squads, this time around they have far more players from their own domestic league and as such lack big-time experience. This naivety could be particularly dangerous to their chances.
Thanks to his vast experience, brilliant form for Chelsea and time-honoured coolness under pressure, first-choice keeper Petr Cech is irreplaceable.
Having such an exceptional last-line-of-defence is one of the Czechs' trump cards and in an evenly-matched Euro 2012 Group A, the class of the Stamford Bridge man could make all the difference. Panic would be the order of the day if Cech was not in situ as back-up Jaroslav Drobny has looked shaky at Hamburg this term and Jan Lastuvka has failed to fulfil the potential he once showed in his youth.
The Young Gun - Vaclav Pilar
An exciting little winger or attacking midfielder who has gained enormously from competing against the crème de la crème of European football in the Champions League for Viktoria Plzen this term.
Regarded as the Czech golden boy of his generation, the 23-year-old is expected to move to Germany after these finals to play for Wolfsburg.
What they Say
Initially, I wasn’t confident that Bilek would be up to the job. My opinion at the time was that he didn’t have enough experience to warrant his appointment, but he has done well to qualify for Euro 2012. Now we have been drawn in a weaker group, but this raises the expectations, but we need to be realistic with this squad. Antonin Panenka (European Champion with Czechoslovakia in 1976)
A force in so many European Championship finals (1976, 1980, 1996 and 2004) the Czechs' proud tradition in this competition could be blown apart by their powder-puff finishing.© ESPN