Saturday, July 13, 2024

Prediction: England vs Slovakia

Verdict: England win

Best Odds: 2/5

Bookmaker: Olympusbet

Handed a golden Round of 16 opportunity on Sunday evening, England will travel to the Veltins Arena when they meet Slovakia.

England

Starting with England, although the Three Lions might have opened up this summer’s European Championships pencilled in as a standout contender to get their hands on a first piece of international silverware since 1966, Gareth Southgate’s men have drastically struggled to find any kind of stability. Signing off their Group C adventure with a downbeat 0-0 stalemate against Slovenia, the former Middlesbrough boss has found a huge amount of pressure on his shoulders. Drawing a line under their pre-tournaments with an infamous 1-0 defeat at home against Iceland, England have remarkably collected just a pair of wins from any of their previous eight appearances across all competitions. However, although the European giants might have drastically struggled to find any kind of attacking fluidity so far this summer, Southgate’s camp have certainly been handed a golden opportunity.

Team News

Yet to make a single appearance at this summer’s European Championships and still dealing with an extended fitness issue, Manchester United defender Luke Shaw once again remains a major doubt here. Putting in an impressive second-half performance off the bench earlier in the week, Chelsea superstar Cole Palmer could make a first EURO 24 start.

Likewise, Manchester United starlet Kobbie Mainoo could replace Conor Gallagher at the heart of Southgate’s midfield. Despite coming under plenty of recent scrutiny, Bayern Munich record-breaker Harry Kane will lead out the Three Lions and earn a 95th international cap on Sunday evening.

Slovakia

As for Slovakia, while the Falcons might have opened up their European Championship adventure tipped as a real underdog in the race to clinch a maiden knockout stage ticket, Francesco Calzona’s side have made major history this summer. Getting their EURO 24 campaign underway with an iconic 1-0 victory against Belgium on June 17th, the Blues will certainly be relishing a trip to Gelsenkirchen on Sunday evening. However, although the mood in Slovakia’s camp at a red-hot high, they have will be bracing themselves for a monumental challenge at the Veltins Arena. Hit with a 2-1 defeat when they last met England while in World Cup qualifying action back in September 2017, the Falcons have failed to muster a single win from any of their six historic battles against this summer’s title contenders.

Team News

Claiming a maiden Ligue 1 crown with PSG last season following his maiden campaign among France’s elite, skipper Milan Skriniar will start at the heart of Slovenia’s defence on Sunday evening and earn a 71st international cap. Likewise, Newcastle shot-stopper Martin Dubravka will start between the sticks.

Making a first EURO 24 start against Romania earlier in the week, 23-year-old David Strelec will be hoping to keep his spot spearhead Calzona’s attack. Napoli’s Stanislav Lobotka will play a crucial role at the heart of Slovakia’s midfield and be partnered with former Hertha Berlin star Ondrej Duda.

Key Factors to Consider

    • When England and Slovakia last met back in September 2017 while in World Cup qualifying action, the Three Lions collected a 2-1 victory at Wembley.
    • England are unbeaten in all of their six historic meetings against Slovakia – a run that has seen them record five wins and a single draw.
    • The Three Lions have remarkably recorded just a pair of victories from any of their previous eight appearances across all competitions.
    • Slovakia have recorded just a sole clean sheet from any of their previous five competitive appearances across all competitions.
    • England have conceded just a single goal in their last four showdowns against Slovakia.

    Conclusion

    While England might have endured a real Group C struggle this month, the Three Lions have certainly been handed a golden opportunity here. Although the pressure on Southgate’s shoulders might be at a boiling point, they will be excited by a rampant record against Sunday’s opponents. Including a 2-1 win when they last met Slovakia while in World Cup qualifying action back in September 2017, the European heavyweights are rightfully pencilled in as a landslide contender in Gelsenkirchen.

    Verdict: England win 

    Best Odds: 2/5

    Bookmaker: Olympusbet

    ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Tom Dunstan


    Formerly of The Independent, Tom has spent the past six years as one of our senior writers and betting experts. Alongside working with numerous publications from across the globe, Tom also graduated from the University of Falmouth in 2014 with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Digital Media.
    Spending almost the past decade working in countries such as Australia, New Zealand and Canada, he has also spent time featuring in sports radio. Tom can be followed on Instagram - @iamtomdunstan

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