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Nedved Will Miss The Friendly Against Italy
Czech Rep. - Italy | News Archive

Juventus' forward Pavel Nedved (Allsport)
05/14/2002. Juventus' forward Pavel Nedved will miss the friendly match between Italy and Czech Republic, which will take place next Saturday in Prague. The former Lazio player is bothered by a strong headache and will undergo a treatment in the upcoming days. Coach Jaroslav Dudl will replace him with Sparta Prague's midfielder Jiri Jarosik. Another star of the Czech team, Kaiserslautern's striker
Lokvenc, will likely be sidelined due to a muscular problem.

This is the complete Czech roster:
Goalkeepers: Kinsky (Slovan Liberec), Vaniak (Olomuc).

Defenders: Fukal (Hamburg), Bolf (Ostrava), Jankulovski (Napoli), Johana (Slovan Liberec), Ujfalusi (Hamburg).

Midfielders: Galasek (Ajax), Kolousek (Slovan Liberec), Jarosik (Sparta Prague), Poborski (Lazio), Rosicky (Borussia Dortmund), Sionko (Sparta Prague).

Strikers: Koller (Borussia Dortmund), Stajner (Slovan Liberec), Lokvenc (Kaiserslautern), Smicer (Liverpool).

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International Friendly Preview: Czech Republic-Italy
Czech Rep. - Italy | News Archive

Totti should feature for Italy (Reuters)
05/17/2002. BACKGROUND

For the Czech Republic it is simply a matter of preparing for the European Championship qualifiers that begin in September.

Together with Holland, Karel Bruckner's men are commonly regarded as the best side not to be at the World Cup. After finishing second to Denmark in the qualifiers, the Czech's were edged out by Belgium over a two-legged play-off, losing 1-0 each time.

This friendly, though, is really all about Italy. Although the Azzurri have a couple of exhibition matches planned against Japanese sides, this clash represents the last real chance for coach Giovanni Trapattoni to tinker with tactics and team selection. Trap is going to take full advantage of the Prague clash, too, as he has indicated that he plans to use up to 20 players with rolling substitutions.

Italy will travel to Japan and South Korea with a point to prove. Although nearly two years ago, they will still be hurting from that most cruel of European Championship final defeats against France where they were just seconds away from winning the trophy. Alessandro Del Piero has this week spoken of his desire for 'revenge' after poor showings at France 98 and Euro 2000. Christian Vieri will also be out to prove that he can still do it at international level, with injury denying him numerous Italian appearances since his move to Inter.

Of some concern to Trap will surely be the situations that Alessandro Nesta and Fabio Cannavaro both find themselves in. It's no secret now that the latter is to leave Parma, but he has spoken of the need to have his future clarified before the World Cup starts. Lazio, meanwhile, have stated that they want to keep Nesta, but there is still the nagging feeling that financial constraints may force them to sell-off their most prized asset. Either way, Trapattoni will hardly want to enter the tournament with both players uncertain where their futures lie.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Jan Koller (Czech Republic)- the Borussia Dortmund striker had a strong end to the season as his side claimed the Bundesliga title. In the absence of Pavel Nedved, Tomas Rosicky and Vratislav Lokvenc, the main goalscoring responsibility will fall onto the shoulders of Koller.

Francesco Totti (Italy)- Trapattoni will be keen to see how the Roma captain copes with his first match in nearly a month. He was this week given the number ten shirt and stated that he understood that the nation are relying on him to provide inspiration. Will he be able to live up to expectations?

SOCCERAGE PREDICTION

Italy to come away with a narrow victory.

Czech Republic Win 25%
Draw 35%
Italy Win 40%

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