England v Slovakia - everything you need to know

England captain Wayne Rooney.England captain Wayne Rooney.
England captain Wayne Rooney.
What a difference a goal makes! Daniel Sturridge's last-minute winner against Wales leaves England in pole position in Group B, rather than standing on the brink ahead of their final game against Slovakia.

Sitting pretty on four points, England need just a draw to top the group and secure in theory an easier match in the last 16.

That result would probably be enough to see Slovakia through as well after their win over Russia on Wednesday, although that would depend on results elsewhere.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

In Marek Hamsik Slovakia will have arguably the most dangerous player on the pitch, but England have dominated each of their first two games and will be favourites to do the same again.

Where is it - and where can I watch it?

Venue: Stade Geoffroy-Guichard, Saint-Etienne

Date: Monday June 20

Kick-off: 20:00



Roy Hodgson has stuck with the same team for each of the first two games, but after bringing on Sturridge and Jamie Vardy at half-time against Wales, it seems there will be changes for this game.

The misfiring Raheem Sterling and fatigued Harry Kane could well make way with Sturridge seeming a certainty to start. Vardy may join him but Hodgson might be tempted to go with Jack Wilshere instead.

While Joe Hart also came in for criticism after letting in Gareth Bale’s free-kick, his position in the side does not seem to be under threat.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Slovakia meanwhile could stick with the same side that saw off Russia, after Jan Kozak saw his tactical adjustment pay off.

In that game Ondrej Duda, a midfielder by trade, replaced Michal Duris up front, and had an effective game so he could well do the same again.

Who are the players to watch?

England: Daniel Sturridge

The Liverpool man was rumoured to be out of favour with Jurgen Klopp earlier this season but for Hodgson he may become the key man in attack, making a real impact against Wales after coming on at half-time.

Set to come in for Harry Kane against Slovakia, he will be charged with leading the line and offers a slight different threat to the Tottenham front man.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Slovakia winger Vladimir Weiss, who played alongside Sturridge as a youngster at Manchester City admits the Slovakians will have to be wary of the Liverpool striker.

“England’s game was dramatically revived by Daniel Sturridge,” said Weiss.

“I know him from Manchester City. He’s an exceptional player, as confirmed by his club

“But all (England) players have quality. It will be necessary to prepare well.”

Slovakia: Marek Hamsik

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

No question here, Hamsik really stepped up against Russia with one of the best individual performances of the tournament so far.

Free to roam across the park, he has a unique style with the ball at his feet and the more he gets involved, the more vulnerable England will be.

Eric Dier was tasked with sticking to Gareth Bale when England played Wales, and he may be asked to do similar against Slovakia, although that will drag him further away from goal.

Whatever happens, Slovakia skipper Martin Skrtel expects Hamsik to show why he is their key man.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“He showed (against Russia) how important he is for our team and he showed his quality,” he said.

“Not only that he scored, but in all the 90 minutes he was working for the team.

“He did great and he is very important for us. We just hope and believe that he can carry on playing like this in the next game.”

Head to head record

England have won all three previous encounters with Slovakia, including home and away 2-1 victories in qualifying for Euro 2004.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Their last meeting was in a friendly in 2009 when Wayne Rooney scored twice in a 4-0 victory.

Did you know?

England have played once at the Stade Geoffroy-Guichard before, their infamous last 16 defeat to Argentina in 1998 when David Beckham was red-carded and the Albiceleste won on penalties.