Slovakia – Republic of Ireland
Slovakia hosts Republic of Ireland in the capital Bratislava in a playoff game from the European Championship qualifiers. One of these two teams will move an inch closer to the big goal – participation in the next Euro. Let’s preview it.
Slovakia played two matches in the Nations League in September, but they hardly impressed with their results. Pavel Hapal’s team suffered a 1-3 defeat against the Czech Republic at home while in the second game they made a 1-1 draw with Israel. Michal Duris scored Slovakia’s only goal in Netanya against the Israeli.
There are some proven and interesting players in this current Slovakian team. Parma’s Juraj Kucka is an important figure in the midfield while Bozenik, Duris, Haraslin and Schranz are the players upfront who are looking for goals. We can’t forget Inter Milan’s centre-back Milan Skriniar and the veteran Marek Hamsik as well.
Last month Republic of Ireland performed exactly in the same way in the Nations League as their next opponent. The British team made a 1-1 draw during the visit to Bulgaria in Sofia and few days later suffered a 0-1 defeat against Finland at home. The manager Stephen Kenny was not really satisfied with his team’s performance, but it is what it is, right?
In Ireland’s last game against Finland Kenny used a classic 4-3-3 formation at the Aviva Stadium. The 19-years old Adam Idah was put at the top of the atack while he was supported by Connolly and O’Dowda on the two wings. Brady, Arter and Molumby operated in midfield.
That’s our short preview for the European playoff between Slovakia and Republic of Ireland. We believe both teams have a proper chance to make a decisive step towards the next European Championship. Without fans the home advantage won’t be much of a factor here, so this gives the visitors a better chance to do it.