CZECH Republic play-maker Pavel Nedved admits he has never heard of tigerish Welsh midfielder Robbie Savage - but by 9pm tonight the Juventus star should have a pretty good idea who Savage is.

It is almost guaranteed that the Leicester City midfielder will have cut Nedved down to size within five minutes of kick-off at the Millennium Stadium this evening (7.15pm), showing the Czech captain who rules the Cardiff roost.

With flowing blonde locks, both players look fairly similar, but their playing styles couldn't be more of a contrast.

Savage is a hard-tackling midfield man who gets stuck in whereas Nedved oozes class with sublime passing ability and other skills to match.

Asked if he knew of Savage's supposed 'hard man' reputation, Nedved bluntly replied: "No. Why should I?"

The gathered Welsh media chuckled, knowing full well what the 29-year-old Czech skipper can expect in tonight's showdown.

But perhaps Nedved's ignorance could be bliss as it is thought in some footballing circles that Savage's reputation is what carries him through a game rather than his actual footballing ability.

But what Nedved will know is that when he walks back into the Czech dressing-room after the final whistle, he will know he's been in a game - and he'll have the battle-scars to prove it.

The Millennium Stadium has a pitch that Nedved's international team-mate Vladimir Smicer (pictured) knows only too well - and the Cardiff arena is a ground he loves.

"I won two cups - the FA Cup and Worthington Cup - and the Charity Shield with Liverpool there last season," he smiled. "I'm hoping for a similar result for my national team tonight."

Liverpool star Smicer, 25, said Wales would miss the services of Manchester United's Ryan Giggs and Newcastle's Craig Bellamy, but warned their unknown replacements could prove just as dangerous.

"Those two players are the most important stars for Wales," said Smicer. "But it's maybe a chance for other players to come in and show how good they are.

"However, I would prefer it if Craig and Ryan were playing because we want to test ourselves against the best and that is the reason we are here."

The Czech team, like Wales, are going through a transitional period and are still smarting after failing to reach this summer's World Cup after being knocked-out by Belgium in the play-offs. The wounds are still tender.