England aim to defeat underdogs Slovakia to avoid further Euro disappointment

England aim to defeat underdogs Slovakia to avoid further Euro disappointment

Eric Munene 09:22 - 30.06.2024

England face Slovakia who are considered underdogs. England cannot afford to lose

England prepare to face Slovakia in Gelsenkirchen, with both teams eyeing a coveted spot in the Euro 2024 quarter-finals.

Despite England's somewhat underwhelming group stage campaign, which saw them top Group C with one win and two draws, Gareth Southgate's men remain optimistic about their chances against Slovakia.

The Three Lions are driven by the desire to rectify past tournament disappointments and make a strong statement on the international stage.

Conversely, Slovakia enters this encounter as the underdogs but not without merit, having clinched a memorable 1-0 victory over Belgium in their group opener.

Their journey to this stage has been characterized by disciplined performances and an ability to capitalise on key moments, with striker Ivan Schranz proving pivotal with his knack for crucial goals.

Historically, England boasts a dominant record against Slovakia, having won five out of their six previous meetings, with one match ending in a draw.

However, memories of their Euro 2016 encounter, where Slovakia held England to a goalless draw in the group stage, serve as a cautionary tale for the Three Lions not to underestimate their opponents.

Key players for England include Harry Kane, who will be eager to rediscover his scoring touch in knockout football after a successful run in Euro 2020.

England's strategy will likely revolve around leveraging their attacking prowess while maintaining defensive solidity against Slovakia's resilient approach.

For Slovakia, the focus will be on building upon their defensive resilience and seeking opportunities to capitalise on set pieces and counter-attacks.

The team will look to players like Ivan Schranz for inspiration, as he aims to continue his trend of scoring crucial goals that can unsettle even the strongest defenses.

As the stage is set at Gelsenkirchen, both teams understand the stakes involved — a win will not only secure passage to the quarter-finals but also provide momentum and confidence for the challenges ahead.