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Belgium vs Slovakia, UEFA Euro 2024, Today Match Prediction

Deutsche Bank Park, Frankfurt, Heese

Can Belgium's Firepower Breach Slovakia's Wall?

  • Kevin De Bruyne, the captain of Belgium, leads the way with his playmaking (4 goals and 10 assists for Manchester City).
  • Robert Bozenik (9 goals, 2 assists) and Ivan Schranz (3 goals in 13 caps) are the major goal scorers for Slovakia
  • Juraj Kucka (3 goals, 4 assists) and Stanislav Lobotka (clutch goals in qualifiers) could be key in creating chances.

Belgium to Win (2-1)

Tournament: UEFA Euro 2024 | Venue: Deutsche Bank Park, Frankfurt, Heese

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Ranked second in Europe, Belgium, a powerhouse for over a decade, faces off against Slovakia, a team on the rise currently sitting at 20th. Both sides are brimming with confidence after nearly flawless runs in the last 18 months. 

Belgium, hungry to finally conquer a major tournament after years of near misses, will rely on their experience and attacking prowess led by the world-class Kevin De Bruyne. 

Slovakia, on the other hand, will be aiming for a giant upset, fueled by their growing experience in major tournaments and a squad boasting a strong defense and a dangerous attacking duo in Bozenik and Schranz. 

Belgium Preview

Currently ranked top 3 in the world according to FIFA's World Rankings, Belgium has continued to assert itself as one of the strongest teams over the past 15 years and hopes to carry this form into the tournament after a tough group stage exit in the 2022 FIFA World Cup. 

Ever since that upset loss to Morocco, they haven't lost a single match and beat teams like Germany 3-2 or Sweden 3-0, while drawing in an intense 2-2 match with another giant in England. Belgium are still looking for their first victory in a major football competition after coming so close in the 2018 World Cup and reaching the final eight in the last two European Cup tournaments. 

Hoping to change the outcome this time around, Belgium will have a key match against Slovakia, where players like Romelu Lukaku will need to perform well. Last World Cup Romelu couldn't score and looked out of sorts defensively, but his experience with 85 international goals and 17 goals for Belgium over the last 18 months gives them much hope. 

Jeremy Doku will try to add his goal-scoring ability, as he demonstrated during the 2020 European Qualifier against Iceland, and provide good depth with his 3 goals off the bench for Manchester City. Building on this recent success will help one of the world-class offenses get on track and back to the stage that has always been set for them since the start of their legend Eden Hazard's career. 

Belgium Probable Starting XI: Koen Casteels(Goalkeeper); Maxim De Cuyper, Wout Faes, Axel Witsel, Timothy Castagne (Defenders); Orel Mangala, Amadou Onana, Kevin De Bruyne (Midfielders);  Leonardo Trossard, Jeremey Doku, Romelu Lukaku (Forwards)

Injury List: Youri Tielemans (Other), Thomas Meunier (Hamstring), Arthur Teate (Other), Jan Vertonghen (Groin) 

Slovakia Preview

Slovakia has also been in excellent form, only managing two losses against a Portugal side led by one of the greatest players in Cristiano Ronaldo. 

As a team that has climbed six spots in the world rankings in just over a year (from 54th to 48th), their confidence has soared. They have consistently dominated teams like Wales (4-0), Liechtenstein (3-0), and Iceland (4-2) to reach this stage. As mentioned previously, both losses were narrow defeats by a one-goal margin (3-2 and 1-0) against Portugal. 

Slovakia boasts a strong attacking force. Juraj Kucka leads the team in international goals with 14, followed closely by Ondrej Duda with 13. 

Lukas Haraslin, their most experienced player with 6 goals, can still make an impact despite not playing much club football anymore.  Many players have remained together since their World Cup success and other achievements, creating a strong team spirit that could lead to a surprise result in the European Cup. 

Slovakia Probable Starting XI:  Martin Dubravka (Goalkeeper); David Hancko, Denis Vavro, Milan Skriniar, Peter Pekarik(Defenders); Ondrej Duda, Stanislav Lobotka, Juraj Kucka (Midfielders); Lukas Haraslin, Ivan Schranz, Robert Bozenik (Forwards) 

Head to Head Record: 

Slovakia and Belgium have only played twice before with one game ending in a 1-1 draw and the other being a 2-1 Belgium victory. Although these two matches were close, it will be interesting to see if this game will play out the same way due to the significant changes made to both nations' teams since 2013.

Both Belgium and Slovakia are in top form and brimming with confidence, making this an intriguing matchup. Slovakia will undoubtedly be fighting for a win, hoping to secure a victory over Belgium. However, Belgium's experience on the biggest stages, including their quarter-final appearances in 2021, gives them a significant advantage. 

Kevin De Bruyne, widely regarded as one of the best players in the world, will lead Belgium's high-scoring offense, aiming to put pressure on the Slovakian defense. In contrast, Slovakia is likely to prioritize a defensive approach.  

Belgium to Win (2-1)

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Author: Neev Chopra