Slovakia vs Romania preview,
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Slovakia vs Romania preview, team news, tickets & prediction

The final matchday of the 2024 UEFA European Championship group stage sees Slovakia and Romania battle for a potential spot in the Last 16. Here is a preview.     

Slovakia will be looking to use their significant tournament experience when they take on Romania in the last Group E game of Euro 2024. With the fourth team of the group yet to be confirmed until after the Playoffs, these sides are currently gearing up for what they hope is a challenge for a qualification spot after Belgium. 

Slovakia currently occupy the number 45 spot in the FIFA World Rankings with Romania two places above them. It is a close matchup between two teams capable of defeating one another.  

Slovakia generally has the better head-to-head record, but two of their last three encounters ended in a draw. Notably, the third game of that run was a 5-1 win for the Romanians. 

 

Slovakia has reached three consecutive European Championships for the first time and would want to put together a memorable campaign after getting eliminated from the group stage at Euro 2020.

Having famously lifted the trophy as part of Czechoslovakia in 1976, the Falcons finished third in their group last time out. Still, they enjoyed their best European Championship outing as an independent country when they progressed to the Round of 16 at Euro 2016. 

The Slovaks had their eyes set on reaching the continental showpiece right from the start of their qualification campaign, which produced ten points from the first four matches. Portugal, however, dealt them their first defeat with a 1-0 reverse in Bratislava.

Although they also lost the return leg against Portugal, Francesco Calzona’s men beat Liechtenstein and Luxembourg before securing their place at Euro 2024 with an epic 4–2 win against Iceland in November. They then went on to solidify their runner-up spot behind Portugal by securing a 2-1 win against Bosnia and Herzegovina on the final matchday of the qualifiers. 

The Slovaks have decent experience within their ranks and will be desperate to impose themselves during the group stage campaign. Of course, they can call on the qualities of Martin Dubravka, captain Milan Škriniar, Juraj Kucka, Ondrej Duda and Stanislav Lobotka to bail them out when the pressure is on. 

Romania would also be hoping for the same on their return to the European Championship after an eight-year absence.

The Tricolours have improved under the stewardship of Edward Iordanescu, as they finished top of their qualifying group with an unbeaten record of six wins and four draws. Even more impressive is that they did this with at least five points more than Switzerland and Israel. 

They began their campaign with two wins and drew the next three. However, the second of those draws proved instrumental for their belief having come from two goals down against the Swiss. Romania remained undefeated and secured qualification in the penultimate game against Israel when Ianis Hagi struck a second-half winner.

Even better was coming for the Romanians as they got the needed win on the final day against Switzerland to consolidate their position as group leaders. Everyone involved deserves credit for their impressive performances which also showed good defensive solidity with only five goals conceded in ten games.

Romania hopes to repeat their heroics of Euro 2000, where they progressed from a group containing Portugal, England and Germany before being knocked out by eventual runners-up, Italy, in the quarter-finals.

They will be counting on the belief and resilience they displayed throughout the qualifiers, while they will back themselves to get the better of Slovakia. Momentum is firmly on their side and with several tournament debutants within their ranks, they will have some extra motivation in Germany.

Match tickets

This intriguing game takes place on Wednesday, 26 June 2024 with kick-off set for 4pm UK time. Fans can register their interest in match tickets through a public application window on the UEFA website, with applications going over 20 million copies so far.

Considering the massive demand for these tickets, the Commerzbank Arena in Frankfurt, Germany, could well be sold out. With a capacity of 48,000, this should be a colourful occasion for fans and players alike. 

Getting tickets through official channels is becoming more complex but supporters who are determined to make the trip may be lucky enough to purchase their Slovakia vs Romania tickets on a ticket resale site. 

Team news

Adam Zrelak is the only Slovakia national team regular currently injured but it is considered a minor setback. 

Romania also has minimal injury worries except for Tudor Baluta and Daniel Birligea, who should fully recover long before the tournament.

Line-ups

Slovakia has the advantage of a settled starting 11 that has played together for a long time and is very familiar with each other’s abilities. 

That chemistry is vital in any hope during this tournament as it would have to compensate for some of their competitors’ comparative lack of quality. 

Slovakia: Dúbravka; Gyömbér, Vavro, Škriniar, Hancko; Kucka, Lobotka, Duda; Schranz, Boženík, Haraslín

Romania has several key players on their side but perhaps none more critical than captain Nicolae Stanciu and Ianis Hagi, son of Romania legend Gheorghe. Both men will provide the impetus from midfield and the Tricolour must latch on to any momentum they can build once the competition begins. 

Romania: Moldovan; Ratiu, Dragusin, Burca, Bancu; Marin; Stanciu, Cicaldau, Hagi, Coman; Alibec

Prediction

This could go either way and it is up to both of these sides to step up and take opportunities that come their way at the tournament. It may be an intense battle for whoever follows Belgium to the knockout stage. 

Expect two evenly-matched teams trying to find marginal gains against their rivals. However, Romania’s lack of recent tournament experience could count against them. 

Slovakia 1-1 Romania

Read – Classics: Five of the greatest European Championship games ever

See more – Five European Championship host nations who froze near the final hurdle

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