England vs Slovakia: Is a Draw in Play?

The knockout stages have finally arrived at the 2024 Euros, and it feels it couldn’t have come sooner for England fans. What they witnessed in the group stage was a truly pitiful display of tactics from Gareth Southgate. England, stacked with arguably the most attacking talent in the world, ended up near the bottom of the tournament in most offensive statistics. Read on to find out if their chances are any better moving forward in this England vs Slovakia prediction and explore tips and stats for Euro betting in 2024.

  • England vs Slovakia
  • UEFA EURO 2024
  • Sunday, June 30, 2024
  • 12 PM EST
  • Veltins-Arena
  • Gelsenkirchen, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany
  • FOX

England vs Slovakia Prediction: Who do Sportsbooks Favor?

England are the prohibitive favorites to reach the quarterfinals over their Balkan competitors on Sunday, with a generous moneyline price of (-240). Slovakian bettors can enjoy a juicy line of more than 9:1 if they believe they can pull off the upset in 90 minutes. A draw pays out at (+360).

Euro 2024BetOnline ReviewBetUS ReviewBovada

Want to better understand the 3-way moneyline (1X2) market? See our soccer betting tips and learn about UEFA Euro 2024 betting.

Too Many Ball Hogs for England?

England, along with their manager Southgate, have received extensive criticism from pundits and supporters across the British Isles for their performances at the Euro 2024. At present, they have yet to score multiple goals in a game. Against a strong Slovakian defense that plays in a passive low block, that may very well continue. 

The criticism is well-deserved considering not only the tactics on the pitch, but the words said off them. Garth Southgate, in what could go down as an infamous quote, stated that England’s struggles are a result of “not having a natural replacement for Kalvin Phillips.” Yet Phillips last started for England SEVEN months ago, and actually have a host of potential defensive midfield options that could very well suffice.

Trent Alexander-Arnold has been the failed experiment in Phillips’ stead, but Southgate has had almost a year to determine if TAA is effective at midfield (newsflash: he isn’t). Kobbie Mainoo’s name jumps off the page as a young midfielder that could be the spark the Three Lions need, but Conor Gallagher also holds the right tools to make an impact. 

England’s biggest midfield issue stems from its wealth of attackers who often play with the ball, causing a logjam in the final third where no players set up for each other. Instead, half-hearted runs fall flat and crosses often go to no one in particular. If England is to win this tournament, they need to find someone who will become a playmaker, and they need to find them quickly.

EnglandTo Win
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Can Slovakia Break Down the Best Defense in the World?

Slovakia advanced out of a 4-way tie in Group F despite also scoring just 3 goals all tournament. An opening match upset of Belgium ranked as the biggest upset in international major tournament history based on FIFA rankings. It also showcased an impressive ability to shut down a possession-based offense. Given the circumstances of their last match, a 1-1 result to Romania can be written off.

Concerns arise in the Slovakian camp when pondering where they will get their own offense from. England, despite being lambasted by most media, clearly own the best defense in the world by a wide margin. For Slovakia to break through, they will need to rely on transition opportunities and set pieces, which England typically thwart very well.

What Slovakia should do is follow the blueprint of Slovenia and Denmark, who both earned draws against England by clogging up the running spaces and daring England to play it wide. Kyle Walker was given plenty of space to work on the outside, but that is not his natural position at Manchester City. His services were very poor, and his absence in the back offered a few windows for breaks which Slovakia could take advantage of. After all, it may only take one goal to either win or force penalties.

SlovakiaTo Win
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England vs Slovakia Prediction and Free Euro Betting Pick

As I will say time and time again this month, draws are an incredible way to profit in the knockout stages of major international tournaments. Both sides take few chances late in the game, and are usually too tired to make bold pushes for goals anyways. This will be England and Slovakia’s 4th game in a fortnight, amidst brutal heat conditions and upon the completion of an entire season of club soccer.

I would naturally like a draw in this game anyways, so given the circumstances this bet is a no-brainer. I don’t see this match going over 2.5 goals, but the line well reflects that already so there is little value. Bovada is hanging a (+360) number on a draw, which I believe is far too long. While England is still the far better side on paper, this is a terrible matchup for them. 

Take a full unit on the draw here for a massive payout. I don’t see either winning by two unless Southgate suddenly has the sense to play Mainoo and all his players learn to play off the ball better. That leaves 0-0 or 1-1 outcomes very live outside of 1-0 wins for either team.

Draw3-Way Moneyline
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Odds are accurate at time of writing but subject to change.

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