Euro 2016 betting preview: A moment of magic will decide Wales vs Slovakia clashPublished June 09, 2016
Last time Slovakia made a major football championships, they shocked all when they qualified from the group and with four out of six third place finishers going through to the next round, they may do so again.
Even during the 2016 European Championship qualification process, they surprised Spain by beating them 2-1 at home, and took four points of Ukraine. However, their biggest upset was beating Germany away 3-1 and now Jan Kozak’s are on an eight game unbeaten run. Similar to Leicester in the Premier League, they prefer to give the other team possession and had the lowest stats of any qualifier in terms of possession.
However, in Marek Hamsik, Slovakia have a real gem who has recently been replicating the superb form for his home country as he does for his club Napoli, where he is captain. Much of Slovakia’s goal threat revolves around Hamsik and if teams snuff out his creativity then many feel they may not have a Plan B.
On the other hand, four defeats and just one win, against the minnows of Andorra, in seven matches since securing qualification suggest Wales are not in the best shape for their first major tournament since 1958, with star Gareth Bale under significant pressure to perform.
Wales do have other players who can turn games, like Aaron Ramsey, Joe Allen and Hal Robson Kanu, but much like their opponents Slovakia, they do sometimes seem to be over reliant on their star. Their 3-4-2-1 formation was meant to bring out the best in Bale and Ramsey to a lesser extent and it may be difficult for teams to play against.
Both teams like to hit their opponents on the counter attack and this could be a tight game decided by either Bale or Hamsik.