Planet Sport has picked out three bets for Friday night’s Euro 2024 qualifiers including the showdown between Netherlands and France.
The Czech Republic initially fared far better than Slovakia, their neighbours, after both countries had established independent soccer teams. However, in 2010, Slovakia reached the round of 16 at the FIFA World Cup in South Africa - an achievement which showed how far the team had come.
The early years
They subsequently played alongside Czech players when the two countries were Czechoslovakia, contributing significantly to a team that was quite successful at major tournaments.
Period as Czechoslovakia
Czechoslovakia secured qualification for the 1962 World Cup in Chile with a 4-2 extra-time play-off win over Scotland in Brussels, Belgium. The two sides had previously finished level in their qualification group.
Jozef Stibranyi's match-winning goal saw Czechoslovakia clinch a 1-0 victory over Spain in their first match of the group stages of the World Cup finals. They subsequently secured a 0-0 draw with Brazil, who had won the previous World Cup by beating hosts Sweden 5-2 in the final. Even though they lost 3-1 to Mexico in their last group stage match, they progressed to the subsequent round of the tournament.
Czechoslovakia secured a quarter-final triumph over Hungary as a result of Adolf Scherer's goal. He once again starred in a semi-final triumph against Yugoslavia as his brace booked a place in the final, allowing Czechoslovakia to square up to the mighty Brazil at the Estadio Nacional de Chile in Santiago.
Czechoslovakia captain Ladislav Novak hoists the teams second place trophy they won from coming runners up at the 1962 World Cup
Czechoslovakia followed this up by finishing in third place at the European Championships of 1980, but they never reached such dizzy heights again.
Slovakia then split from the Czech Republic and played their first unofficial international on October 14, 1992 - a 1-0 win over Lithuania. Their first official fixture also resulted in a victory as they saw off the United Arab Emirates 1-0 in Dubai on February 2, 1994.
The Czech Republic were losing finalists at Euro '96, but Slovakia struggled to establish a competitive national team to mirror this.
However, Slovakia managed to qualify for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa by finishing top of their qualification group ahead of Slovenia, Czech Republic, Northern Ireland and Poland.
Slovakia's next major tournament was Euro 2016 in France, where they reached the round of 16.
Through the playoffs, Slovakia have managed to qualify for the delayed Euro 2020 tournament.
Marek Hamsik is the most recognisable face from the Slovakian national team, having starred for Napoli from 2007 to 2019.
He starred in a Napoli attack which also featured Ezequiel Lavezzi and Edinson Cavani and has 26 goals in 126 appearances for Slovakia.
Martin Skrtel, who is most famous for his time as a rugged centre-back for Liverpool, is another Slovakian soccer icon.
Robert Vittek is also fondly remembered for his immense contribution at the 2010 World Cup. He led the race for the Golden Boot for a while, competing in the early stages of the tournament primarily with David Villa for a prize which was eventually won by Thomas Muller.
Slovakia have a rivalry with the Czech Republic with the match-up between the two known as the "Federal Derby". The Czech Republic have generally had the better of this rivalry despite Slovakia's significant contribution to Czechoslovakia's 1976 European Championship triumph.
The teams next met competitively in qualifying for Euro 2008, with the Czech Republic winning both encounters. Ahead of the 2010 World Cup, Slovakia got their revenge, drawing 2-2 in Bratislava after beating the Czechs 2-1 in Prague.
Soccer, ice hockey and tennis are the most watched sports in Slovakia, but the nation is more successful internationally at ice hockey than soccer. Their fans have rarely had the opportunity to enjoy seeing their side at an international soccer tournament though, so anticipation across the country is high.