• Thursday, July 25, 2024
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Euro 2024: England vs Slovakia predictions and stats

England vs Slovakia

England enter Euro 2024‘s last 16 stage on Sunday evening with a crucial encounter against Slovakia in Gelsenkirchen, seeking a fresh start after their sluggish group-stage displays.

The Three Lions will aim to move a step closer to European Championship glory when they face Slovakia in the last-16 stage at Arena AufSchalke, Gelsenkirchen. Despite winning Group C with one win and two draws, England’s performances have left much to be desired, and their poor attacking showings have faced heavy criticism.

Gareth Southgate’s side held on to win 1-0 against Serbia in their opening match of the tournament, before uninspiring draws against Denmark (1-1) and Slovenia (0-0) to finish the group campaign.

Captain Harry Kane scored once in those three games but has been criticised for his performances. However, much like in the last European Championship group stage, Kane tends to perform better in the knockouts.

England’s all-time record scorer has netted six goals in his last six appearances in the knockout stages of major tournaments for the Three Lions (two in two at the 2022 World Cup, four in four at Euro 2020). His seven goals overall in the knockouts are also the most of any England player.

Southgate will again ponder his attacking options and lament a lack of natural width on the left flank as he tries to find a winning formula to take his nation into another quarter-final.

Key Stats
The Three Lions have never lost in six meetings against Slovakia, winning five and drawing one. The most recent encounter was a 2-1 victory in 2017, with goals from Eric Dier and Marcus Rashford.

Slovakia has never gone past the last-16 stage at the Euros, having fallen in this round in 2016 before going out in the groups three years ago.

After a surprise 1-0 win over Belgium in their tournament opener, Slovakia lost 2-1 to Ukraine before drawing 1-1 with Romania to go through as one of the best third-placed teams.

England’s only failure to defeat Slovakia was at Euro 2016 in a goalless draw in Saint-Étienne, where they had their most shots (29) in a European Championship match on record (since 1980).

Predictions
England are the big favourites coming into this Euro 2024 last-16 tie against Slovakia, with the Opta supercomputer predicting they will come out on top inside 90 minutes in 65.1% of pre-match simulations.

Overall, the Three Lions have a 75.4% chance of getting through to the quarter-finals, only below Spain’s likelihood (82.4%).

While the nation hopes for more attacking intent, another pragmatic display is expected. England’s two goals in three matches are a concern, but they looked solid defensively, conceding just one goal.

Slovakia, who scored just one more goal than England in the groups, may not overly test the Three Lions.

A nervous, low-scoring affair could be on the cards in Germany, but England should have the quality to create some openings and book their place in the next round.