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England vs Slovakia, UEFA Euro 2024, Today Match Prediction

Veltins Arena, Gelsenkirchen, North Rhine-Westphalia

Can England's Attack Outmuscle Slovakia's Defense?

  • England dominates Slovakia historically, winning 5 of their 6 meetings with 1 draw.
  • The average goals per game in the head to head matches between England and Slovakia is 2.33
  • Slovakia have scored 12 Goals in their last six outings

England to Win (2-0)

Tournament: UEFA Euro 2024 | Venue: Veltins Arena, Gelsenkirchen, North Rhine-Westphalia

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For England, this match is a must-win, or their tournament could possibly turn into infamy after their offense kept the scoreboard silent with just 1 goal in the past 2 matches. Having only won 2 matches since the end of late November 2023, they have suffered some tough losses and draws, including a 1-0 defeat to Iceland, a 0-0 draw facing Slovenia, and a 1-1 draw in a match with North Macedonia. 

In their past 5 matches, England have only managed 5 goals, averaging just 1 goal a match. Going into this game, Harry Kane will be their most vital piece. His leadership and goal-scoring ability are essential in order to uplift the rest of the team (64 goals in 94 caps on top of 8 in qualifying games this year for Euros).

Meanwhile, Slovakia’s recent form has been fantastic even though they've stumbled in the past 2 matches with a 1-1 draw against Romania and a 2-1 loss to Ukraine. For them, their football has recently grown a lot over the past 6 months with a 1-0 upset win over Belgium, a 4-0 victory against Wales, 4-2 against Iceland, and drawing 1-1 with Norway. 

This boost in confidence gives them a lot of potential going forward as through the numbers they have scored 12 times in 6 matches, averaging 2 a game. If they want to create more chaos in the tournament and upset another side, Robert Bozenik (7 goals in 40 international games) is the guy they have to target as his shot creation abilities cause pressure on the defense leaving many others open.

England Preview

England faces a crucial round of 16 match. They need a strong start after another disappointing draw that dropped their tournament ranking. This young and inexperienced team in high-pressure situations will be looking to leader Harry Kane to finally overcome his past struggles in winning major tournaments.

Harry Kane has scored half of England's goals so far this competition. Despite that, he remains a world-class striker with an impressive 36 goals and 8 assists for Bayern Munich this season. He will need to create pressure upfront for the young attackers. Bukayo Saka (16 goals and 9 assists for Arsenal) and Jude Bellingham (19 goals and 6 assists as Real Madrid's main midfielder) need to improve on their combined one goal in three games.

With superstar midfielder Phil Foden questionable due to personal reasons, the surprise player of the Premier League season, Cole Palmer (22 goals and 11 assists for Chelsea), is likely to replace him. A strong performance could earn him a starting spot in future matches. Kobbie Mainoo, who scored 3 times for Manchester City in 24 appearances off the bench, will look to continue his development as a vital dribbler, pushing the ball forward alongside Declan Rice. 

Defensively, John Stones (75 international caps) and Kyle Walker (86 appearances for England) will lead the charge, with Jordan Pickford (31 clean sheets internationally) guarding the net. England desperately needs a win to escape their recent slump.

England Projected Lineup - Jordan Pickford(Goalkeeper), Kieran Trippier, John Stones, Marc Guehi, Kyle Walker(Defenders), Declan Rice, Kobbie Mainoo, Bukayo Saka, Jude Bellingham, Cole Palmer (Midfielders), Harry Kane(Forward) 

Injuries- Luke Shaw(Strain), Phil Foden (Other)

Slovakia Preview

Slovakia started strong with a group stage win in their first-ever tournament appearance. However, their performance dipped, and they finished 3rd in their group. Despite that, they have a chance to reach their second round of 16 in the past four competitions. Their success hinges on their captain, Milan Skriniar (current PSG starter with 70 international appearances), leading the defense from the outset.

Skriniar, along with Peter Pekarik (veteran of 129 games, likely playing his last Euros), will continue to solidify the backline. They'll also be crucial in supporting Martin Dubravka (goalkeeper with 5 clean sheets for Newcastle this season) who needs to improve on his goals conceded average, which currently sits above 1.5 per game in all competitions.

In midfield, Ondrej Duda (2 goals and 2 assists in 8 qualifying matches) remains a game-changer. His dual threat of offensive ability and speed allows him to outrun many midfielders. Partnered with Juraj Kucka (3 goals and 4 assists for Slovan Bratislava this year), they form a dangerous combination pushing the ball forward. 

Up front, Slovakia boasts their strongest asset: a forward trio of Ivan Schranz (2 goals in 3 matches this tournament, 5 goals in 24 international games), Lukas Haraslin (12 goals and 5 assists for Sparta Praha), and the young talent, 24-year-old Robert Bozenik. If Slovakia can perform at their best, they have the potential for a deep run in the tournament.

Slovakia Projected Lineup - Martin Dubravka (Goalkeeper), David Hancko, Denis Vavro, Milan Skriniar, Peter Pekarik(Defenders), Ondrej Duda, Stainslav Lobotka, Juraj Kucka(Midfielders), Lukas Haraslin, Ivan Schranz, Robert Bozenik (Forwards)

Despite Slovakia's strong showing, England, a tournament favorite from the start, aims to silence their critics after a lackluster group stage performance. England boasts a clear advantage. Many players compete for well-known clubs globally, giving them the experience to overcome challenges. 

While Milan Skriniar and Peter Pekarik will put up a fight, attackers like Jude Bellingham or Cole Palmer possess too much pace for these aging defenders. Even if effectively contained, England has other options. 

The statistically impressive Cole Palmer and the reliable Declan Rice can push the ball forward to Harry Kane, who will face off against Martin Dubravka, known for conceding goals. With John Stones and Kyle Walker forming a defensive wall, attackers like Lukas Haraslin or Robert Bozenik will struggle to threaten the net.

England to Win (2-0)

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Author: Vishnu Reddy