The Staropramen Cup has started in Pardubice in the Czech Republic. The tournament is comprised of four different mens national teams; Czech Republic, Switzerland, Norway and Slovakia. Undoubtedly the most anticipated match of the tournament is between the home team and Switzerland who are nearly always fighting each other for third place at every World Championships.
Some of the other matches look to be interesting too. Norway has been a threat to upset Czech Republic in recent years with a 4-4 draw between the two at the last World Championships in 2010 and a 8-5 win by Czech Republic just a few months prior to that. Slovakia is the underdog of the tournament currently being ranked 20th in the world. However, this ranking is not a true reflection of their abilities as earlier this year they lost to seventh ranked Estonia with a score of 6-4.
I feel the tournament has the makings of a great product and would become even more exciting in future years with participation from teams such as Estonia, Latvia, Germany and Poland; none of which are favourites to take a World Championship, yet are still competitive amongst each other.