Poland vs Slovakia | Monday 14th June 2020, 17:00 | ITV
The starting gun goes off for Group E on Monday with favourites to occupy the bottom two spots in Poland and Slovakia locking horns at the Gazprom Arena in Saint Petersburg.
Slovakia edged past Northern Ireland in extra time to earn qualification to Euro 2020 and are looking one of the weaker nations in the Championships. Having said that, they face a Polish side weakened by the losses of Krzysztof Piatek and Arkadiusz Milik in their forward line, with more goalscoring weight heaped on the shoulders of Robert Lewandowski as a result.
It has been a record breaking season for the Bayern Munich man, but with the short turnaround between 2019/20 and 2020/21 you could not begrudge him a dip in form with a lower quality supporting cast.
Familiar name in all things Slovakia Marek Hamsik is not expected to play as crucial of a role in this tournament with the ever reliable Juraj Kucka and Koln’s Ondrej Duda needing to step up and take on the mantle. It is one of the weakest squads in the competition, small nation with limited football history North Macedonia jump out as the Euro 2020 minnows, but Slovakia may run them close.
In a tricky group with Spain and Sweden favourites to comfortably progress, this match is a huge opportunity for either side to take a huge leap towards qualification.
Napoli’s Piotr Zielinski is the key man outside of Lewandowski and will need to pop up with goals and assists if Poland are to make a run in the tournament.
The 27-year-old has produced 10 goals and 12 assists from midfield this season and so will be licking his lips at the prospect of inferior Slovakia, after a frustrating climax to the Serie A season where Napoli missed out on Champions League in the final game. Mateusz Klich and Jakub Moder are also exciting midfield options.
Certainly an option here but the lines are short, using the Asian goal line is a potential angle in, but I prefer opposing Slovakia here.
- Poland have scored in eight of ten.
- Poland have conceded in six of ten.
- Poland have seen both teams score in five of ten.
- Poland have seen over 2.5 goals in six of ten.
- Slovakia have scored in six of ten.
- Slovakia have conceded in seven of ten.
- Slovakia have seen both teams score in five of ten.
- Slovakia have seen over 2.5 goals in three of ten.
It will be a tight affair, which looks to be a theme of the group stage but Poland should have the quality in the squad to breach the Slovakian backline and earn three points.