Cech set to face England after Euro heartache

August 20, 2008

Petr Cech is expecting a tough return to international football on Wednesday night against England following his costly blunder for the Czech Republic at Euro 2008.

Cech's error in Geneva two months ago gifted an equaliser to Turkey's Nihat Kahveci, who also grabbed a winner to deny the Czechs a place in the knockout stages.

Facing England at Wembley is Cech's first game back for his country, and the Chelsea goalkeeper said: 'England don't know the words 'friendly games'. Every match is equally important and they are deservedly very proud of their team.

'I have played three times since last year's opening of the new Wembley, but this will be different.

'The atmosphere during international games is different in England. Playing against them will be an exceptional occasion.'

Czech boss Petr Rada has backed Cech to prove against England he is one of the best goalkeepers in the world.

'He is the goalkeeper at Chelsea, one of the best teams in the world,' Rada said.

'I think he has the ability to be one of the best goalkeepers in the world.

'Everyone has made mistakes, it has left him now and I think he is still the best.'

Rada believes England are a different proposition under Fabio Capello after taking over from Steve McClaren following the failure to qualify for Euro 2008.

'It is a test match and now England are playing more technical and with combinations compared to the past,' he said. 'It is a different type of football.

'I was surprised that they didn't qualify for the Euros but I think they have a good and strong team and I'm sure they will qualify for the next World Cup.

'They play offensive football with quick passes and the names show that they are a very strong team.'

The Czechs are also rebuilding and the friendly against England is the first match since Rada replaced Karel Bruckner. They are without Jan Koller, who plays for Krylia Sovetov Samara in Russia which is too far for him to travel.

Skipper Tomas Ujfalusi said: 'Hopefully the fans will see to the future, that we have a new era after Euro 2008.'