UEFA Euro 2016 Knockout Stage Preview – Germany vs Slovakia

Germany vs Slovakia, Stade Pierre-Mauroy, Lille


Match Log

Germany

Germany 2 (Mustafi 19, Schweinsteiger 90+2), Ukraine 0
Germany 0, Poland 0
Northern Ireland 0, Germany 1 (Gomez 30)

Slovakia

Wales 2 (Bale 10, Robson-Kanu 81), Slovakia 1 (Duda 61)
Russia 1 (Glushakov 80), Slovakia 2 (Weiss 32, Hamsik 45)
Slovakia 0, England 0

Team News

Germany

The Germans have not made many changes over the course of the tournament so far, and should retain their line-up from the win over Northern Ireland provided Jerome Boateng’s calf troubles do not keep him out. Bastian Schweinsteiger is fully fit for the first time this tournament, but Toni Kroos and Sami Khedira have played well and should hold their places in front of the defence.
Likely team (4-2-3-1): Neuer – Kimmich, Boateng, Hummels, Hector; Kroos, Khedira; Muller, Ozil, Gotze; Gomez.

Slovakia

Jan Kozak is expected to retain the team that drew 0-0 with England, with Ondrej Duda continuing to play as the number one striker. Robert Mak should play despite picking up a hamstring injury against the English, and Slovakia will hope that he can provide plenty of attacking spark in Lille.
Likely team (4-3-3): Kozacik – Pekarik, Skrtel, Durica, Hubocan; Kucka, Pecovsky, Hamsik; Mak, Duda, Weiss.

Keys to success

Germany

The Germans barely broke a sweat in progressing through the group stage, and they will be looking to keep up that form for the rest of the tournament. Thomas Muller has not been at his best on the right wing, and Joachim Low will be keen to find a way to get him involved as the Germans attempt to become the first team in history to win the Euros on four occasions. Germany will want to increase their output on the scoresheet against Slovakia, but their defence has been solid and they are a strong team.

Slovakia

Slovakia may have held England to a 0-0 draw, but they were comprehensively outplayed in that match and required a brilliant performance from Matus Kozacik to get the result. If Kozacik cannot play well then the Slovaks will struggle against Germany, who are sure to create plenty of chances. Kozak will need to find a way of neutralising Kroos and Mesut Ozil, who are in top form and will provide a huge challenge for the Slovakian defence. Life will be difficult for Slovakia if they cannot get their attack going, and Marek Hamsik, Mak and Vladimir Weiss will be key.

Prediction

Slovakia were able to beat Germany a few weeks ago in a pre-tournament friendly, but this is a much bigger game and the Germans are a battle-hardened team who are well equipped to deal with the Slovakian challenge. Germany have the stronger side, and if they can get control of the game then they will be tough to beat. Germany 1-0.

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