Euro 2016 betting preview: England to beat Slovakia and top the groupPublished June 20, 2016
Although England have still not yet hit top gear, they are still safely through to the knock-out stage. The only meaningful question for England in this game is whether they want to qualify first or as runners-up.
After beating Wales 2-1, England top the group and a draw will be enough for them to finish as winners of Group B of these Euros 2016.
The win over Wales has been largely credited to Roy Hodgson’s brave decision to throw on three attackers as substitutes after Gareth Bale had given Wales the lead going into halftime. That two of the players who came on, Jamie Vardy and Daniel Sturridge, scored the goals meant that Hodgson bathed in the congratulations of a decision that could have gone either way.
So with the group almost secured, the England manager may decide to rest some players and try some new partnerships. Vardy and Sturridge, and even the Manchester United teenager Marcus Rashford, will feel they did enough to force their way into such a game, especially at the expense of the largely ineffective Harry Kane and Raheem Sterling.
Maybe Jack Wilshere and Ross Barkley will be given a run out over Dele Alli and Adam Lallana who struggled to make an impact in the last game.
Slovakia will be on a high after beating Russia 2-1 and in attacking midfielder Marek Hamsik they have a player who can change games. The Napoli player scored a screamer from the receipt of a short corner and set up Vladimir Weiss for their first, so England in Eric Dier in particular will need to watch him, or prevent service to him in much the way they successfully did with Gareth Bale against Wales.
Slovakia only need a point to qualify so they may sit back and not go for it in a way they would need to if they were chasing all three. They have no injury worries ahead of the game, so it is expected that it will be the same eleven that comfortably beat Russia.
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