Euro 2012: Arsenal’s Wojciech Szczesny confident of beating Czechs

Wojciech Szczesny is confident Poland can reach the last eight at Euro 2012, with the Arsenal goalkeeper hoping to return to the first-team

Wojciech Szczesny believes Poland have a good chance of reaching the quarter-finals ahead of their crucial Group A decider against the Czech Republic on Saturday.

The 22-year-old missed the co-host’s 1-1 draw with Russia after serving a one-game suspension for his red card in Poland’s tie against Greece on the opening day.

Szczesny’s replacement Przemyslaw Tyton saved a penalty against the 2004 champions to ensure Frank Smuda’s side secured a point after Robert Lewandowski had put Poland ahead.

“We’re confident,” said Szczesny. “It’s all in our hands. We believe we’ve got the quality and the determination to win the game.

“I don’t know [if I will start against the Czech Republic], it’s down to the manager. Obviously hoping that I get the nod in front of him [Przemyslaw Tyton] but it’s the manager’s decision.”

Pre-match facts: Czech Republic v Poland

• Robert Lewandowski, scorer of the first goal at Euro 2012, has registered seven in his last six appearances for club and country.

• The Euro 2012 opener was Franciszek Smuda’s first competitive fixture as Poland coach – he had overseen only friendlies since his October 2009 appointment.

• Their 4-1 defeat by Russia was the Czech Republic’s worst ever at a major final tournament, matching the 4-1 loss they suffered against Brazil in 1970 when part of Czechoslovakia.

• Petr Cech won his 92nd cap against Greece, and is second in the Czech Republic’s list of all-time appearance makers, one ahead of Pavel Nedved and Jan Koller. Karel Poborsky holds the record with 118.

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