England vs Slovakia Preview: The Three Sleeping Lions Attempt To Lull Both Repre And The Fans

Dumitru Palanchuk
Dumitru Palanchuk
27 June 2024, 15:51

England vs Slovakia

England and Slovakia are set to face off in the Euro 2024 Round of 16 in Gelsenkirchen's Arena AufSchalke. This knockout match will determine which team advances to the quarterfinals, where they will meet either Italy or Switzerland. England, despite finishing first in their group, have faced criticism for their lacklustre displays, while Slovakia will be looking to build on their surprise victory over Belgium in their opening match. The winner of this tie will find themselves on what appears to be the more favourable side of the tournament bracket, avoiding potential clashes with powerhouses like Germany, France, Spain, and Portugal until at least the semi-final stage.

England Team News

England enters this match with a point to prove after a series of uninspiring performances in the group stage. Gareth Southgate's side managed only one win and two draws, including a goalless stalemate against Slovenia in their final group game. The Three Lions have struggled to find their attacking rhythm, with captain Harry Kane acknowledging that the team needs to improve to make a deep run in the tournament. However, England's past tournament experience could prove valuable as they progress to the knockout stages. Kane emphasised that the team has previously shown the ability to elevate their performance in the knockout rounds. Southgate, though appears to be stubborn, may consider making changes to his starting lineup, with players like Anthony Gordon and Cole Palmer pushing for inclusion after impressing as substitutes. The potential return of Phil Foden, who missed the last group game due to the birth of his child, could provide a much-needed creative spark.

Slovakia Team News

Slovakia, led by Francesco Calzona, will be buoyed by their achievement of reaching the Round of 16 in their third consecutive European Championship appearance. The team started their Euro 2024 campaign with a stunning 1-0 victory over Belgium, showcasing their ability to compete with top-tier opposition. However, they followed this with a loss to Ukraine and a draw against Romania, finishing third in a tightly contested Group E where all teams ended with four points. Slovakia is well aware of their underdog status, as per England vs Slovakia odds, but will draw confidence from their solid defensive organisation and the knowledge that they have never lost to England in their previous official, including a draw at Euro 2016.

England vs Slovakia Prediction

Slovakia Handicap +1.5

With current England attacking problems and inability of Gareth Southate to change the course of his vision, it is becoming easier for teams with solid defensive lines to withstand against the Three Lions. Slovakia’s defence, headed by Milan Skriniar, is one of such teams, having not lost with a difference of more than one goal for the last 26 matches. Slovakia's ability to withstand English pressure also seems like the historical trend - all the official matches between the two were quite a contested affair and Slovakia have never lost to England with a difference of more than one goal in the official matches. This England vs Slovakia tip comes at 1.67 at MrPlay.

Total Goals Under 2.5

It is hard to imagine a sudden change of heart in the English game, with Southgate pointed out that he does not care about criticism and the team is likely to continue its current trajectory. Thus, another match with a minimum of scoring chances can be expected, as England’s official matches saw less than 3 goals for 4 consecutive games. Slovakia, in its turn, will rely on rare counterattacks, which is unlikely to bring many chances to the team, as the defence of Three Lions is still a formidable force. This outcome can be picked up at 1.75 at MrPlay

Total Yellow Cards Under 4 

Both teams propagate a relatively serene vision of football, do not engage into excessive foul play or violent conducts. Thus, 9 of 10 England’s matches saw less than five cards, while Slovakia’s run makes up 6 out 7 last team’s matches. Last two head-to-heads between the teams also were quite calm in terms of bookings - 3 and 2 bookings during two matches for the 2018 World Cup Qualification. This England vs Slovakia prediction comes at 1.54 at MrPlay

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