England look to extend the gap at the top of Group F
Last updated: September 1, 2017 by Leon Marshal
|Home Team Form:||DWWDW|
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|Last Meeting:||Slovakia 0 – 1 England|
|Competition:||World Cup Qualifier|
After a trip to the Mediterranean for Friday night’s fixture against Malta, England return to home shores to play in what is likely to be a more testing encounter against Slovakia. While the Malta match will likely allow for a few lesser known faces to be present in the starting 11, Gareth Southgate will be more inclined to field what is close to his strongest 11 against Slovakia.
Should Slovakia avoid defeat against Slovenia on Friday then this match will be a top of the table clash in Group F, the winner of which will surely earn automatic qualification. Despite there being two matches left to play after this game the stakes are high. Both players and manager will be aware of this. England were extremely lucky to beat 10 man Slovakia in the opening group game and they’ll be without goalscorer and playmaker Adam Lallana. Harry Kane’s return to the squad is a boost and he’ll be looking to end his current goal drought in the Premier League.
Slovakia are the form team in the group with four wins in the last four games. Friday’s match against neighbours Slovenia will be a tricky one, but they are favourites to win. Victory would mean they’ll head into the match against England full of confidence, knowing that a win would mean they leapfrog the Three Lions into first place. They’ll have to change their approach from the last two games against England though. Last summer’s 0-0 draw in the European Championships was played for the draw and Slovakia showed no desire to go forward, while they also offered little going forward in the loss against England in this competition.
Jordan Pickford has been withdrawn from the squad due to an injury. Phil Jones has sat out of a training session as a precaution during the week, but should be fit to feature.
Both Adam Lallana and Danny Rose remain injured for England. Both of these could prove to be a significant loss to the team.
Marek Hamšík is available for selection and could be key to Slovakia’s chances here.
Top scorer for the Slovaks, Adam Nemec, should also start as he looks to add to his three goals so far in the competition.
|England (4-2-3-1):||Hart, Walker, Cahill, Jones, Bertrand, Dier, Henderson, Alli, Sterling, Rashford, Kane|
|Subs:||Heaton, Butland, Trippier, Keane, Mcguire, Stones, Creswell, Livermore, Lingard, Chalobah, Defoe, Welbeck, Sturridge, Vardy, Oxlade-Chamberlain|
|Injured:||Pickford, Rose, Lallana, Barkley, Clyne, Shaw, Carroll, Drinkwater|
|Slovakia (4-2-3-1):||Dubravka, Pekarik, Skrtel, Durica, Hubocan, Gregus, Skriniar, Weiss, Mak, Hamsik, Duda|
|Subs:||Benes, Bero, Duris, Gyomber, Hrosovsky, Kiss, Lobotka, Novota, Polacek, Rusnak, Sabo, Salata|
So Far This Campaign
|England So Far This Campaign||Slovakia So Far This Campaign|
|3 (1)||Wins (away)||2 (2)|
|3-0 vs. Scotland||Biggest Win||4-0 vs. Lithuania|
|0 (2)||Draws (away)||0 (0)|
|—||Biggest Defeat||0 – 1 vs England|
|Adam Lallana (2)||Top Goal Scorer||Nemec (3)|
|Y11, R0||Discipline||Y14, R3|
|1||Failures to Score||2|
|1||Both Teams to Score Games||4|
|2||Over 2.5 Goals||4|
|4||Under 2.5 Goals||2|
- England have been solid defensively so far, with just two goals conceded in a single match against Scotland. Slovakia have improved since the opening match defeat against England though and could pose an attacking threat here.
- Perhaps the most noticeable aspect of Slovakia’s qualification campaign so far is the number of cards accrued. This could increase even further should England frustrate the visitors.
- England haven’t exactly been prolific in front of goal but Harry Kane’s return to the starting line-up should help. His link up play with Spur’s teammate Deli Alli could be vital for England’s chances.
- Slovakia’s star player Hamsik is fit and is likely to pose the biggest threat to England.
Head to Head
|Last Five Competitive Meetings Between The Sides|
|Date||Game Result||Round||First Goal-scorer|
|04/09/2016||Slovakia 0 – 1 England||World Cup Qualifier||Lallana 95′|
|20/06/2016||Slovakia 0 – 0 England||European Championship||—|
|28/03/2009||England 4 – 0 Slovakia||International Friendly||Heskey 7′|
|11/06/2003||England 2 – 1 Slovakia||European Championship||Janocko 31′|
|12/10/2002||Slovakia 1 – 2 England||European Championship||Nemeth 8′|
Conclusion & Betting Tips
Of the five times these teams have met in the past, Slovakia have managed just one draw. There’s really no reason to expect an upset here, especially as England are on home turf and will be well aware of the consequences of defeat.
That said, Slovakia are a much different team than they were years back, as emphasised by their draw with England in the 2016 European Championships group stage and by only missing out on a point in the previous encounter, after a 95th minute winner from Adam Lallana. The Slovaks should be well up for this one then, especially if they beat rivals Slovenia in the match prior.
Hopefully the pressure won’t get to England then and they will turn out winners. Due to the occasion and past results between the teams, we predict a low scoring win for the Three Lions. A win to nil, or a 1-0 correct score bet stands a good chance here. You can this bet at Betway.