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Euro 2024: England vs Slovakia tips and predictions - Three Lions defence to keep third clean sheet

England may have to rely on a solid defensive performance and the odd goal to beat Slovakia in the Round of 16 in Gelsenkirchen on Sunday (1700 BST).

In a fortunate turn of events, Gareth Southgate’s maddening England side take on Slovakia on Sunday afternoon in the Round of 16 at Euro 2024.

We do wonder if facing an open and attacking Netherlands side may have elicited a better performance from the Three Lions, but ultimately, you have to be happy with the draw.

Slovakia, much like Slovenia, Denmark and Serbia, are no pushovers. Their physical edge and organised backline will provide a similar test.

Like it or not, England’s 0-0 draw with Slovenia was full of improvements. Patience may have been thin beforehand, but they dominated the game from start to finish.

Connor Gallagher’s introduction in the midfield was a small step forward in terms of structure and balance, but Kobbie Mainoo’s half-time introduction was the real answer.



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We even saw Trent Alexander-Arnold make an appearance at right-back late in the game. We know, a right-back at right-back, what a novel idea!

The one thing missing is that cutting pass in the final third, though Phil Foden is improving game by game and there were some nearly moments.

If it wasn’t already plainly obvious before seeing Georgia topple Portugal, anyone can beat you at this level. Slovakia escaped Group E thanks to a 1-0 win over Belgium.

The Belgians have their problems, and while we admire Slovakia’s application and organisation, they didn’t prevent chance creation as Romelu Lukaku had goals chalked off.

Belgium (1.70xG), Ukraine (1.51xG) and Romania (1.13xG) have all created more than their opponents but lacked the same clinical edge.

Despite lacking control over their first two games, England have allowed one goal in three matches, and the defence rarely looked troubled.

Maybe we’re naive, but we still think England will eventually turn in a big performance and find the right setup in Germany.


Team news

Alexander-Arnold is an option at right-back but Kyle Walker and Kieran Trippier are expected to retain their places.

Mainoo will surely start alongside Declan Rice and Jude Bellingham in midfield.

Foden is expected to return from attending to a personal matter, though this may be an opportunity to partner Harry Kane, Bukayo Saka and Anthony Gordon in the attack.

Inter Milan’s Milan Skriniar has been Slovakia’s standout performer along with experienced midfielder Juraj Kucka who assisted in the draw with Romania.

Newcastle stopper Martin Dubravka has played his part in his side's progression with 11 saves and some important stops against Belgium.


Key stats

- Spain are the only team to concede fewer goals than England at Euro 2024
- The Three Lions have conceded the fewest xG (1.1) across three matches
- There have been under 2.5 goals in seven of England’s last nine matches
- Harry Kane has scored six goals in England’s last six knockout ties
- England are unbeaten in six meetings with Slovakia, winning five
- Since Euro 2020, Slovakia have won one of 11 competitive meetings with teams above them in the FIFA rankings


Suggested bets

England to win to nil

Harry Kane to score

Under 2.5 goals

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