Nedved, Koller in Czech side

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src=' ' class='caption'> Karel Bruckner has named his 23-man squad for the World Cup in Germany with no major surprises.

updated: February 25, 2007 11:40 IST
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Karel Bruckner has named his 23-man squad for the World Cup in Germany with no major surprises. Bruckner's biggest injury worry is Bordeaux attacking midfielder Vladimir Smicer, who has been nursing a knee injury and has not played since February. "Doctors guaranteed that he should be fit,'' Bruckner said. He said Smicer will still not be able to fully participate in training during a 10-day pre-World Cup camp in Seefeld, Austria, where the team travels on Saturday. If he's not fit in time, he could be substituted by Libor Sionko of Austria Vienna or Rudolf Skacel of Hearts, Bruckner said. Other injury problems among the chosen are Ajax defender Zdenek Grygera and Salzburg striker Vratislav Lokvenc, who missed almost the entire season with a knee injury and was cleared by doctors on Sunday, Bruckner said. Juventus midfielder Pavel Nedved, who came out of international retirement to help the team qualify in the playoffs, and Borussia Dortmund striker Jan Koller, who has recovered from injury in time for the World Cup, lead Bruckner's selection. Koller, the Czech Republic's career leading scorer with 40 goals in 66 international games, scored nine goals in eight games in the 2006 World Cup qualifying campaign before he tore ligaments in his left knee and had surgery in September. Bruckner is likely to stay on after the tournament. "I was quoted somewhere as saying that I'll finish after the Word Cup,'' he said. On Saturday, Bruckner traveled to Germany to see Koller in the last Bundesliga match against Bayern Munich. The tall striker headed in two goals. Up front, Koller will be play alongside Aston Villa forward Milan Baros, who scored 26 times in 46 international appearances and had five goals in qualifying. With traditional starters such as Dortmund playmaker Tomas Rosicky, Ajax midfielder Tomas Galasek and veteran midfielder Karel Poborsky all included, only four players on the roster didn't play at the 2004 European Championship. The newcomers are Radoslav Kovac of Spartak Moscow, midfielders David Jarolim of Hamburg and Jan Polak of Nuremberg, and Hannover forward Jiri Stajner. "We're an attack-minded team,'' Bruckner said. The defence is anchored by Tomas Ujfalusi of Fiorentina and David Rozehnal of Paris Saint-Germain, who play alongside AC Milan's Marek Jankulovski and Grygera. If Grygera is not available, he could be replaced with Martin Jiranek of Spartak Moscow. Petr Cech, who just clinched his second straight English Premier League title with Chelsea, will be the team's goalkeeper. The Czechs are in Group E with Italy, the United Stateas and Ghana. Squad:Goalkeepers: Petr Cech (Chelsea), Jaromir Blazek (Sparta Prague), Antonin Kinsky (Saturn Ramenskoye). Defenders: Zdenek Grygera (Ajax), Pavel Mares (Zenit St. Petersburg), David Rozehnal (Paris Saint-Germain), Tomas Ujfalusi (Fiorentina), Radoslav Kovac (Spartak Moscow), Martin Jiranek (Spartak Moscow), Marek Jankulovski (AC Milan). Midfielders: Tomas Galasek (Ajax), Karel Poborsky (Ceske Budejovice), Jan Polak (FC Nuremberg), Tomas Rosicky (Borussia Dortmund), Vladimir Smicer (Bordeaux), David Jarolim (Hamburger SV), Jaroslav Plasil (Monaco), Pavel Nedved (Juventus). Forwards: Milan Baros (Aston Villa), Jiri Stajner (Hannover), Marek Heinz (Galatasaray), Jan Koller (Borussia Dortmund), Vratislav Lokvenc (Salzburg). (AP)