England seek to top Euro group against Slovakia (Preview)
Saint-Etienne (France), June 19 (IANS) England will be seeking to carry on their convincing performance in the Euro football championship on Monday, and end the preliminary stage on top of Group B ahead of Slovakia, who, in return, seek to advance to the pre-quarterfinals.
Under the command of Roy Hodgson, England are looking forward to the Slovakia game after they won 2-1 against Wales and drew 1-1 in their first match against Russia, reports Efe.
In order to avoid any of the strong opponents in the round of 16, England eye only winning on Monday. If England failed to qualify to the next round as leaders or a runners-up, they might face Germany or Spain in case they advanced as one of the best third-placed.
Currently England are leading their group with four points -- one point ahead of Wales and Slovakia.
On Monday, England must remain cautious against Slovakia, especially after the latter's 2-1 victory over Russia.
On the technical side, Hodgson must decide whether or not to include Jamie Vardy and Daniel Sturridge as starters after they scored the winning goals against Wales despite coming on as substitutes. If so, Raheem Sterling and Harry Kane will remain at the bench.
Vardy could not hide his desire to start the match, better than seeking him as a final solution to win games in the final minutes.
On the other hand, Slovakia will try to maintain the good image they left against Russia, after achieving their first win in the European Championship since their separation from the Czech Republic in 1993.
Among the Slovakian squad, Napoli midfielder Marek Hamsik inspired against Russia with a stunning goal and will pose a threat against the English defense, while veteran Liverpool defender Martin Skrtel will be the greatest challenge for the English attacking lines.
On the other hand, Stade Geoffroy-Guichard, where the game will be played, brings back very sad memories to the English fans. Back in 1998 during the FIFA World Cup, England were eliminated by Argentina from the round-of-16 on penalty shootouts, after star David Beckham was sent off after he kicked Diego Simeone, the current Atletico Madrid coach.