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The players walking a suspension tightrope in Czech Republic - Portugal

The first quarterfinal match is just hours away from starting, and Goal.com takes a look at which players could sit out of the semifinals if they get booked.

As we approach the knock-out stages at Euro 2012, one of the talking points is which players are on the verge of receiving a one-match suspension by accumulating a yellow card too many across the tournament. This could limit the action of a player during match and will certainly give any coach some food for thought before deciding whether to use a player.

PLAYERS RISKING A SUSPENSION
Czech Republic

David Limbersky
Tomas Rosicky
Jaroslav Plasil
Daniel Kolar
Petr Jiracek
Tomas Pekhart
Portugal

Fabio Coentrao
Helder Postiga
Raul Meireles
Cristiano Ronaldo
Joao Pereira

Contrary to the yellow card rules in the Champions League (which will not be changed before 2015), the Euro 2012 regulations state that UEFA will wipe the slate clean for yellow cards after the quarterfinals, as single cautions will not be carried forward to the semifinals.

This means that the only two ways that a player can miss the Euro 2012 final through suspension is if he is shown a red card in the semifinals, or if he is given a two-match suspension for a red card shown in the quarterfinals.

A total of 11 players (six from Czech Republic and five from Portugal) are on thin ice after seeing yellow earlier in the tournament. Will they refrain from making dangerous challenges or will they try their luck against referee Howard Webb, who has only shown three cards in two matches at the Euros?

CZECH REPUBLIC

Despite suffering a 4-1 defeat to Russia in its Euro 2012 opener, Czech Republic's players did not lose their heads as everyone went through the match unbooked. In the second match, which ended with a 2-1 victory for Michal Bilek's men against Greece, Tomas Rosicky was the first to see yellow, for a high foot after his studs made contact with Giorgos Karagounis' head. Shortly after that, it was Petr Jicarek's turn to get booked, this time for a late challenge on Kostas Katsouranis. In the second half, Daniel Kolar, who had come on at half-time, was shown yellow after pushing Kostas Fortounis.

Czech Republic then went on to defeat Poland 1-0 in their final group match, with David Limbersky getting booked just 12 minutes in after a foul on Jakub Blaszczykowski. In the second half, Jaroslav Plasil was cautioned after a scuffle between the two teams, before Tomas Pekhart also entered the referee's book in the dying stages of the match.

PORTUGAL

Portugal kicked off its Euro 2012 campaign with a 1-0 defeat to Germany, a match in which two of the Seleccao's players were cautioned: Helder Postiga, on 13 minutes, for a sliding tackle on Manuel Neuer, and Fabio Coentrao, following a late challenge on Bastian Schweinsteiger.

A 3-2 victory against Denmark then followed, and Raul Meireles was shown yellow during the first half for handling the ball. Cristiano Ronaldo was then booked in injury time after tripping William Kvist Jorgensen.

During Portugal's 2-1 victory over Netherlands, Joao Pereira was the only player to face disciplinary action after a reckless challenge on Arjen Robben in the last minutes of the match.

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