Germany VS Slovakia Prediction
Germany and Slovakia have already met in their UEFA Euro 2016 preparation when the Germans were surprised and respectively defeated by the Slovaks under the May rain in Augsburg. The 3:1 win for Slovakia came as a slap right on time for “Die Mannschaft” and Joachim Löw’s men have kept a clean sheet in all followed games. This includes the win against Hungary in their last friendly game before travelling to France, as well as all solid defensive efforts in Group C of Euro 2016 where Germany finished on pole position.
Slovakia qualified for the Euro 2016 1/8 finals for the very first time, in their very first participation as an independent country, and Jan Kozak’s men can be glad from the new format which awarded them with Round of 16 position as one of the best-placed third teams in the group stage. However, we all know the upcoming game in Sunday evening comes in completely different light and Slovaks must find the most adequate route for providing maximal efficiency in running of their resistance against the World Cup champions.
Team News – Germany
Germany were quite frugal in the Euro 2016 group stage and that’s something really uncommonly for “Die Mannschaft”. Nevertheless, Joachim Löw’s selection occupied the first position with seven points won, after only three goals scored in three clashes and their best performance came in Germany’s Euro 2016 opener – 2:0 vs Ukraine at the same venue where they’ll face Slovakia – “Stade Pierre-Mauroy” near Lille.
The goalless draw against Poland was surely a disappointment but as we stated in our relevant match review, it’s not nothing new for Germany of Joachim Löw to slip in its second game at major events, so it can be accepted as a strategic draw.
We saw the most convincing football by Germany in the victory over Northern Ireland where despite the narrow success, “Die Mannschaft” were entirely dominating in the whole match, but the score remained only one to nil. Not without all the misses made by German players and of course some brilliant saves by Northern Irish goalkeeper Michael McGovern.
Expectations are that Jogi Low may persist with the same XI that started against Northern Ireland and this means that Joshua Kimmich may keep its right-back position at the expense of Benedikt Höwedes, while Mario Gomez, who netted the winning goal, looks in good position to remain main option up front. Mario Götze may also lose his starting position and this can be another hit over his football career in last twelve months. Julian Draxler looks ambitious and more consistent in his Euro 2016 campaign so far and this may return him in the starting squad after missing the last game, while Götze took part in all group games of Germany. The winning goal scorer from the 2014 World Cup final was used either as left winger or as a striker and fact he couldn’t make it to the 70th minute in the last two games hints that Löw may keep him on the bench.
Everything else should look in the same way as Thomas Müller continues to search his first European Championship goal while it’s too early for Schweinsteiger to return in the starting XI, not when duo between Sami Khedira and Toni Kroos works well and German machine is still the nation that possesses the ball most from all – average of 66.5% after the first stage. Of course, their group wasn’t so competitive like others, but Germans have met the expectations for winning the first position and we can say that they saved enough energy for the upcoming knockout phase. Something which is extremely important after such an exhausting season for most of the big names in “Die Mannschaft”.
Team News – Slovakia
Slovakia can be pleased by their asset gained in Group B of Euro 2016 where “Slovak Falcons” were in really strong company. Alongside opponents like England, Wales and Russia, Slovakia lost only once and they surely regret for the defeat by Wales in their European Championship debut. They lost from “The Dragons” exactly in a period when initiative was on their turn and in the next two rounds we saw more concentration in Jan Kozak’s selection.
Vladimir Weiss and Marek Hamsik are duo which is expected to cause biggest danger to the German team in Sunday evening and we believe that Jan Kozak will once again select the 4-5-1 formation he used against England. Ondrej Duda is expected to take the false nine role with the support of Robert Mak and Vladimri Weiss through the wings. Michal Duris who scored one from the goals in Slovakia’s 3-1 win is expected to stay on the bench.
Marek Hamsik plays the main role in that formation and he usually takes the role of playmaker, but he’ll have to contribute more in the more defensive-minded formation against Germany. Slovakia have to win the ball from there and this will pull both wingers more closer to the defenders and that’s what it makes the typical 4-2-3-1 formation used by Slovakia to a 4-5-1 here.
Viktor Pečovský and Juraj Kucka are both central midfielders who’ll have to be more focused in defense and to move the ball across their own line, but we believe that Marek Hamsik should be closer to them in this occasion, as he’s definitely the most technical and reliable player. The 28-year-old midfielder is the most experienced player of Slovakia and he must shoulder the responsibility for the overall organization of all Slovak attacks.
Even Martin Skrtel remains behind Marek Hamsik by international caps and he is the other one who must take the responsibility, but for their defensive line. Martin Skrtel and Jan Durica are the centre-back duo used by Jan Kozak, while one of the questions remain for the left back position. If we assume that Hertha BSC’s defender Peter Pekarik looks rock-solid from right, then Tomas Hubocan is in contention with another Bundesliga name – Dušan Švento who was player of Köln in period 2014-2016.
“The Slovak Falcons” hold warm memories from their last flight near Lille where they won over Russia and similar outcome looks like a dream for Slovakia. Good they don’t have any injury concerns but whole level of the situation looks really difficult and Slovakia must show something else if they want to stand a chance.
Euro 2016: Germany vs Slovakia – possible squads and betting tip
Slovakia will be inspired by goals scored from Marek Hamsik, Michal Duris and Juraj Kucka but we firmly doubt that Germany will repeat the same mistake from in such short period. Indeed, it’s obvious that defense became main priority for Joachim Löw and fact that “Die Mannschaft” suddenly improved its defense simply shows it.
We don’t expect another match with plenty of goals (both teams have scored in the last three meetings of Germany and Slovakia) and our bet goes on another frugal success of the German team. Our first thoughts were for 1-0 or 2-0, but we all know that Germany can always explode especially if Thomas Müller finally find its Euro day. Thus we recommend the odds for “Germany To Win To Nil” – strong organization in German defense and lethal skills in their front line are a good reason to rely on that bet. In a competition where we have huge number of low-scoring games – exactly like of Germany so far.
Referee: Szymon Marciniak from Poland.
Assistant referees and fourth official: Pawel Sokolnicki, Tomasz Listkiewicz (Poland) and Björn Kuipers (Netherlands).
Venue: “Stade Pierre-Mauroy”, Villeneuve-d’Ascq, Lille.
Possible starting squads of Germany and Slovakia
Germany: Manuel Neuer (c) – Joshua Kimmich, Mats Hummels, Jerome Boateng, Jonas Hector – Sami Khedira, Toni Kroos – Thomas Müller, Mesut Özil, Julian Draxler – Mario Gomez. (4-2-3-1)
Slovakia: Matus Kozacik – Peter Pekarik, Martin Skrtel (c), Jan Durica, Tomas Hubocan – Robert Mak, Viktor Pecovsky, Juraj Kucka, Marek Hamsik, Vladimir Weiss – Ondrej Duda. (4-5-1)