Monday 4 Sep

England vs Slovakia - Match preview

03 Sep 2017 Ed Mackey INTERNATIONAL: World Cup Qual. UEFA Group F
INTERNATIONAL: World Cup Qual. UEFA Group F

England

  • L
  • W
  • D
  • L
  • W

vs

Kick-off
18:45 GMT
04 September 2017

Slovakia

  • L
  • L
  • W
  • W
  • W

Kick-off
18:45 GMT 04 September 2017

The first international break of the 2017/18 season sees international football return to Wembley as England look to confirm their place at the World Cup next summer in Russia. They face a Slovakia side who sit just two points below them in the group, who can go top with a win over the Three Lions. A win for England would see them go five points clear at the top of the group, which would all but confirm a place for them at the biggest tournament in the world.

STATS

  • Since their humiliating Euro 2016 exit to Iceland last year, England have been poor. They have only won five of their nine games in that period with two losses (to France and Germany) and two draws. They have been better in their qualifying matches but draws against Slovenia and Scotland have made it much more complicated than it should have been to qualify.
  • Slovakia have looked very solid in qualifying and are expected to qualify. Since last summer’s 3-0 loss to Germany at the Euro’s, they have won six of their nine games, one more win than England in that time. They overcame Slovenia 1-0 in their last qualifier on Friday night to make it three consecutive wins, they’ll be hoping to make it four on Tuesday.
  • England need to make sure they find a consistent goal scorer for next year’s tournament, something they have struggled to do so far. Harry Kane is their leading scorer in the group with three goals.
  • Adam Nemec is the leading goal scorer in Group F after seven games with four goals and he’ll be expecting to make it five at Wembley.

HEAD TO HEAD

The two nations have faced off on five occasions on the international stage and Slovakia are yet to have beaten England. With four wins and a draw, it is a fixture that is certainly dominated by the Three Lions and Slovakia have failed to score in each of the last three meetings between the sides. The last match was the reverse qualifier 12 months ago, where England won 1-0 thanks to a 95th minute Adam Lallana winner.

Head to head matches: England - Slovakia

04.09.2016 Worl Slovakia England 0:1

ENGLAND NEWS

A win for England would pretty much confirm automatic qualification to the group stage of next summer’s World Cup. They don’t have Adam Lallana due to injury but other than that, they have a full squad available. Harry Kane is expected to lead the line with Dele Alli playing just off him.

Latest matches: England

01.09.2017 Worl Malta England 0:4 W
13.06.2017 Int. France England 3:2 L
10.06.2017 Worl Scotland England 2:2 D
26.03.2017 Worl England Lithuania 2:0 W
22.03.2017 Int. Germany England 1:0 L

SLOVAKIA NEWS

Three points in this qualifier for Slovakia would put them top of Group F, in pole position for automatic qualification. Marek Hamsik will play a vital part and he will play alongside Adam Nemec in the attacking third for the visitors.

Latest matches: Slovakia

01.09.2017 Worl Slovakia Slovenia 1:0 W
10.06.2017 Worl Lithuania Slovakia 1:2 W
26.03.2017 Worl Malta Slovakia 1:3 W
12.01.2017 Int. Sweden Slovakia 6:0 L
08.01.2017 Int. Slovakia Uganda 1:3 L

SUMMARY

It is hard to see England losing this match but with how they have played in the last few years, it isn’t impossible for Slovakia to snatch an away win. The hosts, with home support, are strong favourites for the vital three points but shouldn’t get complacent against a decent international opponent. A draw wouldn’t be a catastrophe for the Three Lions but it would be seen as embarrassing.

About the author - Ed Mackey

Experienced sports writer and huge Leicester City fan.

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