European Championship Last 16: England – Slovakia 

England will hope to be the 3rd team to go through to the quarter final after Germany and Switzerland qualified in the first day of the knockout rounds. Slovakia on the other hand are very happy to have mad it through in a very balanced group where all teams ended on 4 points. The winner of this game will have a tough quarter final ahead of them as Switzerland , the potential opponent, put in a very impressive performance to dismantle Italy in the last 16. The game ended in 2-0 but it was a very one sided affair where Switzerland dominated most of the game. 

England Team News

Phil Foden celebrated the birth of his 3rd child and returned to England shortly to e at his wife´s side during childbirth. He is expected to return in the side for the last 16 game in time however as he hopes to improve his form after some uninspiring performances in the group stage. Southgate was hoping that Luke Shaw would have been able to start at left back as Kieran Trippier has been makeshift left back this tournament so far. However, Shaw is not fit enough to start in the Slovakia game as he is still returning from injury. Anthony Gordon had a scare with a bike accident which left him covered in wounds and bruises but he looks fit enough to make minutes should it be necessary. 

Slovakia Team News

Feyenoord star and Slovakia defender David Hancko had an injury scare in the group stage but looks to be fit enough to start in the game against England. His muscle injury looks minor enough to not prevent him from playing, which will make Slovakia and Feyenoord fans around the world happy. Apart from Hancko the rest of the predicted starting 11 are all fully fit and ready to fire up. Who knows what might happen in the game as England definitely are not up to full firepower yet. 

England Form

Southgate´s men have been heavily critised for their uninspiring performances during the group stage as they only picked up 5 points in 3 games against Serbia,Denmark and Slovenia. Appalling has been the lack of creativity and link up play between the front 4, which according to most media could be the best front 4 in the world. All the surplus in quality with Kane,Bellingham,Foden and Saka has not been fruitful so far, with only 2 goals scored by England this tournament. At the back England seems solid, with only slightly over 1 xG conceded during the tournament so far. The current set up seems to be good at keeping opponents at bay but troubles the attack to really make a strong impact. 

Slovakia Form

Slovakia surprised everyone beating group favourites Belgium in the opening match. They optimally profited from a Jeremy Doku error to win 1-0 , however, in the 2nd half Belgium showed that creating chances against this Slovakia side is definitely possible. The 2nd match Slovakia narrowly lost to Ukraine thanks to a stoppage time goal. This meant that all teams in the group were on equal points before the final game. In the last game, a 1-1 draw against Romania was enough to seal a spot in the last 16, which was a very happy moment for the Slovakians. 

What do the stats say?

  • England have won 5 out of 6 confrontations against Slovakia
  • However, 4 out of those 5 wins only came with one goal difference
  • Slovakia never managed to get a win against England but managed a 0-0 draw at the 2016 Euro´s

Our verdict

How this game develops will depend on what England show up. If England play according to their full potential with all the quality they have it seems hard to not see anything else but an easy victory for them happen. However, if England play the way they have done so far, they will be in a lot of trouble this game. Slovakia are tough to beat and will be looking to frustrate the English. Backed also by historic results which often only saw one goal between these 2 sides and we think this has everything for a close encounter. 

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