England are on the back of an astonishing last gasp winner against home nation rivals Wales, so Roy Hodgson’s men will not be short of confidence going into this game. England will be feeling that they are unfortunate to have not earned maximum points from their games thus far, as two impressive displays were only rewarded with a win and a draw.
Slovakia on the other hand grabbed a much needed 2-1 win over Russia last time out, after their opening game defeat against Wales. This game saw Slovakia outclass their opponents Russia for much of the encounter.
Here are all the potential outcomes of Group B going into the penultimate round of fixtures:
Clear as mud. Just win. pic.twitter.com/6X7Iaork5R
— Stan Collymore (@StanCollymore) June 18, 2016
It is essential for England that they finish off the job and win Group B. If they do not manage to do this, it would potentially leave The Three Lions with a significantly more difficult first knockout round tie, which could be either Germany or Spain.
Slovakia go into this game needing to get something. A win would comfortably see them quality for the next round, whilst a draw would most likely see them finish 3rd in the group, leaving them with a grueling wait to see whether they will qualify as one of the four best 3rd place teams.
Roy Hodgson looks set to give a starting place to both Jamie Vardy and Daniel Sturridge, who both scored off the bench against Wales.
This news will please a large contingent of the England faithful, as they have been calling for both of the strikers to be given a chance prior to their substitute appearances against Wales, in which they changed the game when they came on at half time.
In order for Slovakia to gain a positive result from tonight’s game, they will be looking for an inspired display from their key player Marek Hamsik, who shone in their game against Russia.
The Napoli midfielder has attracted interest from a host of Europe’s top clubs during his career and his display against Russia went some way to explain why. He was easily the best player on the pitch, in a performance which was topped off with an astounding goal to put his side 2-0 up.
With the quality of player that England possess, as well as the confidence they must be taking into the game after their last minute winner against Wales, the Group B leaders should ease to victory tonight.
I believe that Slovakia will pose a stern test for Roy Hodgson’s men, but in the end I see England beating their opponents 2-0 to comfortably earn themselves a place in the next stages of Euro 2016.