Slovakia: Euro 2016 team preview
In the Slovakia: Euro 2016 team preview, we look ahead to the team’s schedule and roster, as well as predicting how far Slovakia will advance in the tournament.
Slovakia: Euro 2016 team preview:
Manager: Jan Kozak
Captain: Martin Skrtel
Slovakia: Euro 2016 team preview: Fixtures:
Saturday, June 11
Wednesday, June 15
Monday, June 20
Slovakia: Euro 2016 team preview: Squad:
Goalkeepers: Matúš Kozáčik (Viktoria Plzeň), Ján Mucha (Slovan Bratislava), Ján Novota (Rapid Wien).
Defenders: Peter Pekarík (Hertha Berlin), Milan Škriniar (Sampdoria), Martin Škrtel (Liverpool), Norbert Gyömbér (Roma), Ján Ďurica (Lokomotiv Moskva), Kornel Saláta (Slovan Bratislava), Tomáš Hubočan (Dinamo Moskva), Dušan Švento (Köln).
Midfielders: Marek Hamšík (Napoli), Juraj Kucka (AC Milan), Miroslav Stoch (Bursaspor), Vladimír Weiss (Al-Gharafa), Róbert Mak (PAOK), Patrik Hrošovský (Viktoria Plzeň), Ján Greguš (Jablonec), Viktor Pečovský (Žilina), Stanislav Šesták (Ferencváros), Ondrej Duda (Legia Warszawa).
Forwards: Michal Ďuriš (Viktoria Plzeň), Adam Nemec (Willem II).
Slovakia: Euro 2016 team preview: Overview:
Heading into these European Championships, Slovakia may well be the most unpredictable of all 24 nations involved.
That’s after a qualifying campaign that oscillated between fantastic and farcical. The Repre stormed out of the blocks with an away win against Ukraine, a 2-1 win over Spain and another four victories on the bounce afterwards. It was a start that almost certainly guaranteed their qualification for the competition proper.
Kozak’s side did finish with a whimper, though. Their only win in the last four was against Luxembourg, with no goals scored against Spain, Ukraine and Belarus. Given their veteran forward and all-time top scorer Robert Vittek will miss the tournament with injury, their lack of proven goalscoring options will be a concern for the manager.
In those six games they did show glimpses of an outfit capable of doing some damager at this competition. At their best Slovakia play the game in a physical way, something epitomised by their authoritative skipper Martin Skrtel and forceful midfield pair of Juraj Kucka and Victor Pecovsky.
There is class too. While Vladimir Weiss has never quite lived up to his potential at club level, he’s always a threat with his mazy dribbling on the international stage. Midfield dynamo Marek Hamsik is the clear star man, blending the power so prevalent in the rest of the team with a dash of guile.
This will be the first time Slovakia have featured in the European Championships, although there is some—like Skrtel and Hamsik—who will have memories of the nation’s run to the last 16 in the 2010 World Cup. Their experience will be extremely important in what promise to be three very difficult group games.
Slovakia: Euro 2016 team preview: Key Player:
Marek Hamsik – Coming off the back of a campaign in which he started all 38 of Napoli’s Serie A games, Hamsik is primed for a big tournament.
The 28-year-old operates just off the front man in the national setup, with the duo of Kucka and Pecovsky holding down the fort so he has license to roam. And given the lack of attacking threat in the squad, so much goes through Hamsik, who was key to the Partenopei finishing their season in second position behind Juventus.
Slovakia need to find a way of getting their playmaker on the ball high up the field and hope he can link up with Weiss. With 11 league assists and six goals in the Italian top flight in 2015-16, it’s clear he has the talent to punish any opponent.
Slovakia: Euro 2016 team preview: Verdict:
Group Stage Elimination – Ahead of the competition a lot was pinned on whether or not Vittek could still be a threat aged 34, but without him the attacking options are very uninspiring. Factor in Skrtel’s difficult season at Liverpool and, a Hamsik masterclass aside, it’ll be too tough for Slovakia to emerge from an evenly-matched Group B.
Slovakia home jersey
Slovakia qualified for its first European Championship since becoming a national team in 1993. Led by captain Martin Skrtel, Slovakia finished comfortably second in its group,with the the most notable win coming over first place finisher Spain. The competition jersey has a sewn on team badge and embroidered PUMA logo. 100% Polyester.
Find out how to order the Slovakia home jersey today.
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