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Czech Republic's star striker Patrik Schick an injury doubt for must-win Turkey clash

Czech Republic are sweating over the readiness of their talisman Patrik Schick, who is in a race to recover from a calf injury in time for their Euro 2024 group-stage decider with Turkey.

The Bayer Leverkusen striker, who was joint-top scorer at Euro 2020 with five goals, netted a second-half equaliser in the 1-1 draw against Georgia in Hamburg on Saturday to rescue the Czechs' first point of the tournament and keep them in contention for a last-16 berth.

To have a realistic hope of qualifying from the group they will likely need a victory against Vincenzo Montella's team, who themselves know that a draw is all that will be necessary to progress.

With only one goal scored in their two games coach Ivan Hasek was left sweating on the fitness of his main goal threat.

"Patrik was under the care of doctors, physiotherapists and masseurs for two days, so he was not at training with us," he said. "The injury is getting better and we will see on matchday.

"We already had variants with Patrik and without Patrik before the tournament. He is of course our key player, one of the best scorers in Europe, but if he is not available then we have to replace him.

"The other players worked all the time to be ready. And I believe in them."

Turkey came under criticism from fans after they were beaten 3-0 by Portugal thanks to efforts from Bernardo Silva and Bruno Fernandes alongside a calamitous own goal from Samet Akaydin.

Boss Montella has urged fans to get behind the team and acknowledges that their fate is still in their own hands — a win against Czech Republic will see them through to the next round.

He added: "There will always be criticism, there will be fair criticism, personally I accept that but it gives me cause for thought.

"There is also unfair criticism and that entertains me and motivates me.

"We are united, we are very motivated and our fate is in our own hands and it comes down to us because we are not reliant on a result from another team.

"It's only our match that matters so we are focused on responding on the pitch as we have done over the past 10 months, I don't want to recall all the number of records we've managed to secure and what these players have done over the past 10 months — they (the fans) need to be supportive."

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