Slovakia has quietly left its footprint on the international soccer stage since 2010 when the nation — which has a population of just over five million — qualified for its first World Cup. The Slovaks are back in full force again in 2016 after clinching a spot in its first ever European Championship. Slovakia shocked the world in 2014 when it handed Spain its first loss during the European Championship qualifying stage — ending a streak that spanned eight years and 36 matches.
Quite possibly one of the biggest upsets in World Cup history, Slovakia defeated 2006 World Cup champion Italy in the group stage to advance to the knockout competition while sending the Azzurri packing. Slovakia split from the Czechoslovakia national football team after the dissolution of the unified state in 1993. Today, its biggest rival is the Czech Republic, which Slovakia played twice during the 1998 World Cup qualification round.
Nicknamed Repre, Slovakia — ranked 32 in the world — is captained by Liverpool defender Martin Skrtel, who has 79 international caps under his belt but is still far away from all-time leader Miroslav Karhan’s 107. Robert Vittek ranks at the top of Slovakia’s all-time goal scoring list with 23 tallies.
Much of Slovakia’s success over the years can be credited to manager Jan Kozak, who took over the club in 2013 and helped guide the team to its first European Championship in the process.
Slovakia Soccer Team Betting Lines Today
Slovakia's rise in the soccer ranks makes them contenders no matter the opponents. The Slovaks tend to rise to the occassion on home field, as proven in 2014 when they recorded an upset victory over three-time European Champion Spain at Stadion pod Dubnom.
Be sure to keep track of Slovakia's next game before placing your bet.
For Slovakia's complete schedule — either Euro 2016 or other international competitions — along with up-to-date odds, view the table provided below.
Slovakia will have the opportunity to play a couple of warmup games before Euro 2016. First, they'll take on World Cup titleholders Germany before Slovakia faces Northern Ireland on the road. The Slovaks have two winnable games to start the Euro 2016 championships — June 11 against Wales and June 15 vs. Russia.
Slovakia Soccer Team Standings Right Now
Whether it's Euro 2016 or World Cup qualifying, follow Slovakia closely and keep track of where they sit in the standings before placing your bet.
Much like their 2010 World Cup run, Slovakia will be gunning for the second spot in group play at Euro 2016. Sure, the Slovaks are in a tough group at the tournament, but their performance over the last two years proves they will be near the top of the table and challenging for the No. 2 spot.
How To Win At Slovakia Soccer Team Betting
Considered a heavy underdog, Slovakia will be an intriguing long shot to come out of Euro 2016’s tough Group B — which includes England, Russia and Wales.
The Slovaks breezed through the qualifying stage, earning six straight wins to finish behind Spain. Slovakia netted just 17 goals during qualifying, while conceding eight in 10 matches. Going deep in the tournament seems far-fetched — Bet365.com odds have the Slovaks at 150/1 to win it all — however Kozak’s club will be more than capable of coming out of the group stage.
The big concern surrounding Slovakia will be its goal scoring as they may have to rely on 34-year-old Vittek to produce much of the offence. Michael Duris, who had a strong season in the Czech Republic league with Viktoria Plzen, may be the favourite to get the start up front when Slovakia opens the tournament on June 11 against Wales.
Having dropped just two games over the last two years, much of Slovakia’s scoring opportunities come from the counter attack, which is exactly how they defeated Spain in 2014.
Playmaker Marek Hamsik — Naploli’s captain — has amassed 80 caps for Slovakia at just 28-years-old. He will be expected to carry much of the offensive load with a thin list of world-class strikers. Hamsik netted five goals in qualifying and will probably have to continue that trend if Slovakia has any hope of making a deep run.
Ready to place your bet on Slovakia? Here are some online sportsbook options you should consider before wagering.