The Czech Republic defeated England 2-1 in the EURO Qualifiers in a performance that sent shockwaves through the English media. It was a warning for England, or a “reality Czech” as the English media insisted on saying in various frontpage covers. But it was also a warning for Barcelona, who are set to face Slavia Prague in the UEFA Champions League, as four of the Czech starters are Slavia players.
Fullbacks Vladimír Coufal and Jan Bořil, midfielder Tomáš Souček, and attacker Lukáš Masopust all were part of the Czech team that knocked England down and will all likely start against Barça. In addition, Josef Hušbauer and Ondřej Kúdela are part of the Czech set-up and are also Slavia players.
The Czech club has kept the pressure on in the Champions League despite being fancied for last place in their group. They drew 1-1 with Inter Milan, with the Italians needing a stoppage time goal from Nicolò Barella to draw level.
And against Borussia Dortmund, Slavia came close to pulling level after going behind 1-0. It wasn’t to be, and the Germans finished them off in the 89th minute with another goal, but it was closer than some would have expected.
In addition to their Czech players, Slavia have a couple of players from other countries as well. Most notably, their dangerman is the Nigerian Peter Olayinka, who scored against Inter. They also have Nicolae Stanciu from Romania and Ibrahim Traoré from the Ivory Coast.