England vs. Slovakia Preview: Live Odds, Kane Player Props, & Expert Analysis

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England vs. Slovakia Preview: Live Odds, Kane Player Props, & Expert Analysis

England, who is favored at -240, will battle it out with Slovakia for a place in the Euro 2024 quarterfinals. They clash at Veltins-Arena in Gelsenkirchen, Germany, on Sunday. The sportsbooks have England as a heavy favorite to win this game, but the Three Lions have not yet reached their full potential at this tournament. They were fortunate to scrape a 1-0 win against Serbia, and they were booed off the pitch after drawing with Denmark and Slovenia in their subsequent two games.

However, they still managed to finish first in their group. England is now the favorite to win the Euros after landing on the opposite side of the bracket to elite teams such as France, Germany, Spain, and Portugal. While the Euro 2024 betting lines say one thing, a spirited Slovakia will be aiming to change the narrative when these two squads meet this weekend. 

England vs. Slovakia live odds & lines

England vs. Slovakia player props

England might have to change its approach to win

Manager Gareth Southgate has some of the world’s most technically gifted forwards at his disposal. Jude Bellingham, Phil Foden, Bukayo Saka, and Harry Kane were all superb for their clubs last season, but Southgate has been unable to turn them into an effective attacking unit at this tournament.

The Three Lions have been too narrow. Foden is right-footed, but he plays on the left side of England’s attack. Meanwhile, Saka is left-footed, but he plays on the right. Both men like to cut inside, which causes congestion in the middle of the park. Kane and Bellingham often occupy similar positions to Foden, so the team looks unbalanced.

Left-back Luke Shaw is also injured, so right-footed defender Kieran Trippier is deputizing, and that has compounded the problem. Southgate may need to change his starting 11 and field a traditional left-winger like Anthony Gordon to improve the balance of the team.

Slovakia’s Schranz has been on fire so far

Ivan Schranz has been Slovakia’s standout player at the Euros. The Slavia Prague forward has started all three games on the right side of the Slovakian attack, and he has been a constant menace to opposition defenders.

He found the back of the net in Slovakia’s 1-0 win against Belgium on Matchday 1, and he was also on target in the team’s subsequent 2-1 defeat to Ukraine. Fellow forwards David Sterlec and Lukáš Haraslín have not yet scored at the Euros, so Schranz has been carrying his team, and he could cause problems for Trippier on Sunday.

England expected starting 11

Jordan Pickford will start in goal for England. Left-back Luke Shaw has recovered from a hamstring injury, but he has not played since February, so he will not be fit enough to start this game. As such, Kieran Trippier could continue to play on the left of the defense, with Kyle Walker on the right and John Stones and Marc Guehi in the middle.

Trent Alexander-Arnold, who normally plays as a right-back, started alongside Declan Rice in midfield for England’s first two group stage games. However, he struggled in that role, so the manager brought in Conor Gallagher to replace him on Matchday 3. Gallagher could keep his place, although Kobbie Mainoo impressed in a second-half cameo, so he may line up next to Rice. The front four of Phil Foden, Jude Bellingham, Bukayo Saka, and Harry Kane may keep their places, although many fans are calling for left-winger Anthony Gordon to start.

Slovakia expected starting 11

Veteran goalkeeper Martin Dúbravka will start in this game. The manager usually sets his team up in a 4-3-3 formation, with Dávid Hancko, Milan Škriniar, Denis Vavro, and Peter Pekarík in defense. Pekarík is 37 years old, so he will need to use all of his experience to keep up with the youthful vitality that Foden brings to the proceedings.

Stanislav Lobotka of Napoli anchors the midfield, supported by Ondrej Duda and Juraj Kucka. They are all wily old campaigners, who will relish the battle with Rice and Bellingham. Ivan Schranz, David Sterlec, and Lukáš Haraslín are all expected to start in attack, although Róbert Boženík offers another option to Sterlec up front.

Photo by Associated Press