Can Czechs cope with loss of star players Baros and Koller?
In spite of missing their star forward Milan Baros, the Czech football team put in an impressive performance against the USA in their opening World Cup game on Monday. However, Baros's strike partner Jan Koller was stretchered off in that match; both are unlikely to play in the Czechs' two remaining group games and may not appear again in the competition at all. Can the Czech Republic cope with this double loss?
Meanwhile, his giant strike partner Jan Koller was taken off before half-time in the 3:0 win over the USA with a stretched ham-string. He definitely won't play in the remaining group games against Ghana on Saturday and Italy in a week's time. Doctor Jiri Fousek had this to say on Wednesday.
Koller, who is 33, looked somewhat deflated on Wednesday, saying he had at least managed to enjoy the atmosphere at the World Cup for 40 minutes.
For his part, the Czech captain Tomas Galasek says time will tell if his team can cope without their two star forwards.
Vratislav Lokvenc - almost as tall as Koller, but perhaps less good with his feet - came on as a substitute in the USA game, and it appears two options face coach Karel Bruckner: play Lokvenc from the start or replace him with, say, Jiri Stajner and possibly Libor Sionko.
But one shouldn't forget the likes of Pavel Nedved and Tomas Rosicky, the scorer of two goals in the opening game. With those two on the pitch Bruckner and the fans still have something to look forward to in the upcoming games against Ghana and Italy.