Euro 2016

Wales vs Slovakia – Group B Match Preview

Group B gets underway as Wales take on Slovakia. After 58 years, the Welsh fans finally have a taste of international football on the big stage.

Wales go into the game without a victory in their last four, most notably their last warm-up game, a 3-0 defeat to fellow competitors Sweden. With this being their first major European tournament in over half a century, Wales aren’t expected to go that far during the tournament (80/1 with Paddy Power), but have still taken lots of hopeful fans across the Channel with them.

On a much brighter note, Wales don’t have too many problems on the injury front, with Joe Allen, Hal Robson-Kanu and Joe Ledley all in contention to make an appearance. One injury problem doing into the tournament was their star man, Gareth Bale, who suffered from serious cramp problems following the Champions League Final last month. This injury seems to have faded, although it may flair up again during the game. Bale is the obvious man to watch, but do keep a close eye out for Aaron Ramsey, the Arsenal midfielder has impressed for his country over recent years.

Slovakia have been written off by most people in the tournament and aren’t expected to make it out of the group (5/6 favourites not to qualify from the group with Paddy Power). I, however, think they have to potential to nick the third place in the group ahead of Russia.

Slovakia go into the game unbeaten in four, most notably a 3-1 victory away at World Champions Germany. Key player Marek Hamšík is expected to start, with captain Martin Škrtel in the heart of the defence. Slovakia have no injury worries, apart from their all-time leading goal scorer Robert Vittek being left out of the squad.

The most likely player to make an impact in this game is Hamšík and I wouldn’t shy away from putting a bet on him to score (Hamšík to score anytime, 16/5 with Paddy Power).

Predicted starting XI’s (provided by IBTimes):

Wales: Hennessey, Gunter, Taylor, Chester, Williams, Davies, King, Allen, Ramsey, Bale; Robson-Kanu.
Slovakia: Kozáčik, Pekarík, Škrtel, Ďurica, Hubočan, Hrošovský, Kucka, Mak, Hamšík, Weiss, Ďuriš.

Score Prediction:

Wales 1-1 Slovakia (Bale; Hamšík)
(5/1 with Paddy Power)

Do you agree with my predictions? What do you think the score will be? Let us know on Twitter @OfficialTFF or me personally @kieranmoss97.

Wales vs Slovakia, Live on BBC One, coverage starts at 4:00pm, kick-off at 5:00pm GMT at the Nouveau Stade de Bordeaux.



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