International Soccer

Slovakia vs Romania: Preview, predictions and lineups

Group E is set to come to a thrilling conclusion on Thursday, with both Slovakia and Romania, who face off on Matchday 3 in Frankfurt, harbouring hopes of advancing into the round of 16.

The two sides, who picked up stunning results to open up Euro 2024, were each beaten last time out to leave all four teams locked on four points heading into the final round of group fixtures.

After pulling off the biggest upset in the competition’s history in terms of ranking differential on Matchday 1, Slovakia were cruelly beaten by Ukraine having taken a 1-0 first half lead. Roman Yaremchuk’s excellent finish late on condemned Francesco Calzona’s side to a 2-1 defeat.

Romania, meanwhile, were on the receiving end of a fine Belgium performance on Saturday and lost 2-0 having previously stunned Ukraine. Edward Iordanescu’s men are top of Group E entering Matchday 3, and a draw in Frankfurt on Thursday will see both unfancied teams advance into the round of 16 no matter what occurs in the group’s other fixture.

Here’s 90min’s preview of Slovakia vs Romania at Euro 2024.

Slovakia vs Romania H2H Record (Last Five Games)

Current form (all competitions)

Slovakia

Romania

Slovakia 1-2 Ukraine – 21/06/24

Belgium 2-0 Romania – 22/06/24

Belgium 0-1 Slovakia – 17/06/24

Romania 3-0 Ukraine – 17/06/24

Slovakia 4-0 Wales – 09/06/24

Romania 0-0 Liechtenstein – 07/06/24

Slovakia 4-0 San Marino – 05/06/24

Romania 0-0 Bulgaria – 04/06/24

Norway 1-1 Slovakia – 26/03/24

Colombia 3-2 Romania – 26/03/24

Country

TV channel / live stream

United Kingdom

BBC Two, BBC iPlayer, BBC Sport Web

United States

fuboTV, Sling, Foxsports.com, ViX, FOX Sports App, Fox Sports 1, SiriusXM FC

Canada

TVA+, TSN2, TVA Sports 2

Slovakia v Ukraine: Group E - UEFA EURO 2024

Ivan Schranz is a booking away from suspension / Jürgen Fromme – firo sportphoto/GettyImages

Slovakia have no injury worries heading into Thursday’s game and Calzona will likely name an unchanged side.

Ivan Schranz is the only suspension concern. If he picks up a booking against Romania and Slovakia advance, the scorer of Slovakia’s two goals at Euro 2024 will be suspended for the round of 16.

Experienced midfield trio Stanislav Lobotka, Ondrej Duda and Juraj Kucka will once again line up in the middle of the park aiming to continue their fine start to the tournament.

Slovakia predicted lineup (4-3-3): Dubravka; Pekarik, Vavro, Skriniar, Hancko; Kucka, Lobotka, Duda; Schranz, Bozenik, Haraslin.

Florinel Coman

Florinel Coman dropped to the bench against Belgium / Catherine Ivill – AMA/GettyImages

Romania have a few more suspension concerns, but no players are banned for Thursday’s game. Nicușor Bancu, Razvan Marin, and Marius Marin have each picked up a booking at Euro 2024 and will be suspended for the round of 16, if Romania advance, should they be cautioned against Slovakia.

Valentin Mihaila came into the team against Belgium, but Iordanescu will likely welcome Florinel Coman back into his starting XI on Thursday.

Romania predicted lineup (4-3-3): Nita; Rațiu, Burcă, Dragusin, Bancu; R. Marin, M. Marin, Stanciu; Man, Dragus, Coman.

There are several stylistic similarities between these two sides, with Calzano attempting to build his Slovakia side in the image of Luciano Spalletti’s Napoli. Their engine room has been superb at the tournament so far, but they’ll be put to the test against an aggressive and compact Romania side that will seek to break away at speed on the counter.

Thursday’s duel, given what’s riding on it, has the makings of a chess match and there’s certainly scope for cynicism with a draw ensuring both teams progress.

Thus, an edgy affair in which neither side will want to make a mistake could play out, and a goalless draw could ensue.

Prediction: Slovakia 0-0 Romania

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