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Euro 2024: Must-win game for Czechs against Turkey, which can afford a draw to progress

Turkey needs a point from its final group match against the Czech Republic in Hamburg to be sure of reaching the knockout stage of the European Championship. The Czechs need a win and a favor from group-winner Portugal against Georgia in the other game at the same time. Kickoff is at 9 p.m. local (1900 GMT) on Wednesday. Here’s what to know about the match:

Match facts

— Turkey has three points in Group F, two more then the Czech Republic, after opening with a 3-1 win over Georgia before losing to Portugal 3-0. The Czechs lost to Portugal 2-1 before drawing with Georgia 1-1 in Hamburg.

— Turkey will be eliminated if it loses and Georgia beats Portugal in the other game. Georgia has a point from its draw with the Czechs.

— If the Czech Republic and Georgia both win, second and third place will be decided on goal difference, then goals scored, then disciplinary points, then qualifier rankings. The Czech Republic will finish third with two points if it draws with Turkey and Georgia doesn’t win. A defeat means certain elimination.

— Turkey won when the teams met at Euro 2008 and 2016, both times in the final group game, and it has won the last three meetings.

— It will be Turkey’s first game at Hamburg’s Volksparkstadion, where the Czechs drew against Georgia in their previous match.

Team news

— Czech forward Patrik Schick injured a calf muscle in Saturday’s draw with Georgia but coach Ivan Hasek said he will make a late call on his fitness. "Schick hasn’t trained with us for two days but his injury is getting better. We’ll see tomorrow,” he said Tuesday.

— Turkey players Arda Guler and Irfan Kahveci trained fully with the team on Monday after light exercises the day before. Goalkeeper Mert Gunok and midfielder Orkun Kokcu skipped the session with knee and ankle problems, respectfully.

By the numbers

— The teams have met 11 times since the Czech Republic became a separate country, with five wins each and a draw. Czechoslovakia won seven of its 10 games against Turkey, with two draws.

— Schick was the joint top scorer in the last Euro with five goals, level with Cristiano Ronaldo. Schick scored against Georgia for his sixth goal overall.

What they’re saying

— “We will all need to stick to our tactics, be solid, focused, have the will to win every ball. We will have to cope with a loud atmosphere created by the Turkish fans – I know that from following the Turkish league.” — Czech Republic defender Robin Hranac.

— “We have three points after two games. The Georgia game was a good start. Portugal was one we might have won on a good day with an exceptional performance, but Portugal were very strong on the day. We still have one more game ahead of us. We want to get six points and finish second in the group.” — Turkey defender Kaan Ayhan.

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Associated Press writer Karel Janicek contributed from Prague.

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AP Euro 2024: https://apnews.com/hub/euro-2024

Ciarán Fahey, The Associated Press