Slovakia vs. Spain – European Championship, June 23, 2021
Spain plays Slovakia in its third and final Group E game at Euro 2020 on Wednesday, knowing that a victory is the only result that will guarantee a place in the knockout stages. But Slovakia holds the upper hand after two rounds of games and will be confident of ruining the day for the home side.
Read my betting preview as I examine how the game might go and put forward my all-important Slovakia vs. Spain betting pick.
Can Spain Save Its Euro 2020 Campaign?
Spain is one of a select few nations that have enjoyed home advantage for all three group games at this European Championship. But, unlike Italy or the Netherlands, Luis Enrique’s men have struggled in Sevilla’s Estadio La Cartuja. There have been two draws, and just one goal scored so far for Spain.
Spain has enjoyed the vast majority of the possession in its first two games but has been unable to make that pay – with Alvaro Morata receiving the most criticism for his lack of goals.
How Slovakia Can Progress to the Round of 16
Most pundits had Slovakia down as the worst side in Group E before the tournament began. But a win against Poland in the opening game – and then a narrow defeat to Sweden on Friday – has given the group an unfamiliar look ahead of the last round of games on Wednesday.
Stefan Tarkovic’s side – and Milan Skriniar in particular – nullified any threat from Poland in that first game, keeping Robert Lewandowski out of the game for large periods.
It would be no surprise if there were a similar game plan for Spain, with the midfielders looking to frustrate the home team enough to come away with the draw that would probably see Slovakia progress to the round of 16.
Results, Odds, and Analysis
- Spain 0, Sweden 0
- Poland 1, Slovakia 2
- Spain 1, Poland 1
- Sweden 1, Slovakia 0
MyBookie has Spain as the big favorite here, but the odds for both the Slovakia draw and a surprise victory for the underdog are very attractive considering the pressure on the home side.
Luis Enrique has surprised – and frustrated – many Spain fans by omitting Sergio Busquets so far. But the Barcelona midfielder looks like being reinstated for this crunch game. Chelsea defender Cesar Azpilicueta and Mikel Oyarzabal, who has only played a bit part in proceedings so far, could join him.
On Friday, Slovakia’s defeat to Sweden ended a six-game unbeaten streak where draws had become something of a specialty. Of course, there are not always a lot of goals when this team plays, but a tight defensive line is sure to be the priority for Slovakia on Wednesday.
Most attention will be on national icon Marek Hamsik in the middle of the pitch, but a strong team performance will be needed.
My Slovakia vs. Spain Betting Pick
MyBookie has gone the way of the majority of bookmakers and handed Spain the tag of favorite for this one. But that could mean a very heavy sense of expectation on a home side that has failed to break through some stubborn defenses so far.
Slovakia will come into this one not wanting to lose and will be more than happy to take a point. On the other hand, this could be another night of frustration for Spanish fans who have not really gotten behind their transitional national side so far at Euro 2020.