Slovakia vs Northern Ireland:
Date: Saturday, 4 June 2016,
Kick-off: 19:45 GMT,
Venue: Stadion Antona Malatinskeho (Trnava)
Slovakia and Northern Ireland set for their final warm up match for the Euro 2016 when they meet at the Antona Malatinskeho stadium at Trnava on Saturday evening.
The head coach Jan Kozak will be happy after his boys earned a deserved 3-1 win against European powerhouse Germany on last Sunday. The win has extended Slovakia’s unbeaten run to 7 games, of which 5 are wins. They are also coming on the back of consecutive wins and scored at least 3 goals in each of the previous two.
Northern Ireland are also coming on the back of some excellent result and are unbeaten in the last 11, with 6 wins and 5 draws. They are a good defensive unit which is hard to break down and conceded just 1 goal from their last four matches. They are also coming on the back of consecutive wins and had kept a clean sheet in the last two.
Northern Ireland will be making their first ever appearance in the European competitions and their recent form has earned them rank of 25 in the latest FIFA rankings. At the same time, Slovakia made a big leap from 32 to 24 in the new rankings.
Slovakia: Predicted Line-up (4-2-3-1)
Kozacik – Svento, Skrtel, Durica, Pekarik – Kucka, Hrosovsky – Mak, Hamsik, Weiss – Nemec.
Northern Ireland: Predicted Line up (4-2-3-1)
Caroll – Evans, Cathcart, McLaughlin, McAuley – McGinn, McNair – Lafferty, Davies, Ward – Washington.
Slovakia vs Northern Ireland: Head to Head stats
The teams had met on three previous occasions and Slovakia are slightly ahead with 2 wins as opposed to Northern Ireland’s 1 win.
Their first meeting was in a friendly on 1998, which Northern Ireland won by 1-0. The teams were grouped together during the World Cup 2010 Qualification campaign, Slovakia won both legs of the tie, 2-1 at home and 2-0 away. Their last meeting was on September 2009.
Slovakia vs Northern Ireland: Prediction
Slovakia are on a strong run of form and suddenly look like the favourites to progress from the Group B at Euro 2016, piping one of England, Russia or Wales. They are in good scoring form after netting 11 goals in their last 5 games.
Northern Ireland haven’t lost a match since March 2016 and are unbeaten in the last 11 matches. Michael O’Neill had transformed this team into a strong and hard-working unit and they are expected to make things hard for the free scoring Slovaks on Saturday.
Both managers want to avoid a defeat in their final friendly ahead of the Euros and a draw is very likely outcome from this international friendly match on Sunday. The goals are expected to stay under 2.5, with final score ending at 1-1.
Best Bet: Double Chance – Northern Ireland/Draw (odds 2.00)
Recommended Bet: Both Teams to Score (odds 2.20)
*All Odds from Ladbrokes at the time of composing this article.
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