Euro Betting: Poland vs Slovakia 14 June
Group Stage | Group B | St Petersburg
Much like their positions on a map, there’s not much between these two sides. Poland and Slovakia have met each other eight times, with the Poles winning three to Slovakia’s four. The best indication of form and current standing may lie in their qualifying campaigns.
Poland topped their group to with ease winning 8 out of 10 games and finishing six points ahead of Austria in second place to qualify. By contrast, Slovakia finished a stuttering third, behind Wales and Croatia. Fortunately for them, they were able to qualify via the play-offs, beating the Republic of Ireland 4-2 on penalties in the semi-finals, before current manager Stefan Tarkovic replaced the resigning Pavel Hapal, and led the Slovaks to a 2-1 extra-time win against Northern Ireland in the final. No ‘luck of the Irish’ against this Slovakia side!
Squads & Line-ups
With both sides replacing their managers during qualifying and now, both nations will be hoping for better squad stability during the tournament. Poland manager, Paulo Sousa – who only took over in 2021 – has an immediate trump card in his strike force: Robert Lewandowski.
Bayern’s prolific forward, arguably the world’s best striker, and FIFA and UEFA’s Men’s Player Of The Year for 2020. Some weapon on Poland’s Euro quest.
Him aside, they also have a host of quality players who lead the way for a host of top-flight European clubs. A reliable goalkeeper in West Ham’s Lukasz Fabianski, a defensive giant in Southampton’s Jan Bednarek, and a skilled midfielder in Piotr Zielinski who stars for Napoli. Just a few players with proven pedigree across European club competitions. The one major blot on their Euro squad landscape is that forward Arkadiusz Milik is ruled out with injury. But, there’s always Mr Lewandowski!
For Slovakia, although lesser known and less celebrated, their squad of players are still fairly prominent at a lot of top European clubs. Goalkeeper Martin Dubravka plays for Newcastle, there’s Napoli’s Stanislav Lobotka, and their source of goals should be helped by Feyenoord forward, Robert Bozenik.
In the eight previous meetings between the sides, results have been pretty evenly split, with Poland winning three, and Slovakia winning four. The most recent contests came in 2012 and 2013, with Poland edging the first, and Slovakia winning on Polish soil for the second.
This Euros fixture will be the fifth competitive game between the nations, and the first since the 2010 World Cup qualifiers. Slovakia won both of those ties; 2-1 in Bratislava and 1-0 victory in Poland that took Slovakia to the World Cup finals for the first time as an independent state.
Although both teams have fairly extensive pedigree in the Euros, each nation only has tolook back to their most recent participation at Euro 2016 for inspiration. Poland not only made it out of the group stage for the first time at the third attempt, they reached the quarter-finals, succumbing to eventual winners, Portugal, on penalties.
Meanwhile, Slovakia also surpassed expectations, in their first EURO appearance since the break-up of Czechoslovakia, they reached the knockout stages, losing in the last 16 to Germany – nothing to be ashamed of there.
This will be Poland’s fourth successive Euros tournament, and Slovakia’s second, although, as part of Czechoslovakia, they did feature in two four-team final tournaments, and again in 1980, when the Euros became an eight-team event for the first time.