MX23RW : Thursday, July 18 17:44:52| >> :120:86250:86250:
[monks data]
Belgium national football team
European Championship | Group Stage
Jun 17, 2024 at 5pm UK
Deutsche Bank Park (Frankfurt am Main)
Slovakia national football team

0 - 1

Mangala (29'), Tielemans (76'), Lukebakio (85')
FT(HT: 0-1)
Schranz (7')
Schranz (41')

Preview: Belgium vs. Slovakia - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Monday's European Championship clash between Belgium and Slovakia, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Belgium and Slovakia will get their respective Euro 2024 Group E campaigns underway on Monday evening with an intriguing match-up at the Frankfurt Arena.

Romania and Ukraine are also present on what looks to be a very open section, and both Belgium and Slovakia will be determined to get their campaigns off to winning starts on Monday.

Match preview

 on June 17, 2024© Imago

Belgium are not considered to be among the favourites to triumph at Euro 2024, with not too many tipping the Red Devils for success this summer, but they are certainly capable of being dark horses.

Domenico Tedesco's side will enter the European Championship off the back of friendly wins over Montenegro and Luxembourg, scoring five times in the process and conceding zero, while they are unbeaten in all competitions since a 2-0 reverse to Morocco at the 2022 World Cup.

Indeed, De Rode Duivels failed to make it out of the group stage of the World Cup, finishing third in their section behind Morocco and Croatia, while they were eliminated in the quarter-finals of Euro 2020.

Belgium's best performance at a European Championship came in 1980, when they were runners-up, suffering a 2-1 defeat to West Germany in the final of the competition.

Tedesco's team are the favourites to finish at the top of Group E, and they will face Romania in their second match in the section on June 22 before finishing against Ukraine four days later.

Milan Skriniar in action for Slovakia on September 11, 2023© Reuters

Slovakia will certainly have their eyes on second in Group E, while a strong third-placed finish could also see them advance to the knockout round of Euro 2024.

The Falcons have not been present in the finals of a World Cup since 2010, when they reached the round of 16, but they competed at Euro 2020, being eliminated in the group stage, managing just one win from their three matches.

Slovakia's last-16 spot at Euro 2016 represents their best performance in the competition, and they will enter their Euro 2024 opener off the back of two impressive friendly wins, beating both San Marino and Wales 4-0, but there is no question that this will be a step up in quality.

Francesco Calzona's side have only lost one of their last seven matches in all competitions, while they finished second in their European Championship qualification section behind Portugal, claiming 22 points from 10 games.

Slovakia will be going in search of their first-ever win over Belgium on Monday, with the Red Devils winning one of their previous three matches - the other two being drawn - with the success coming when the two teams last locked horns in an international friendly in February 2013.

Belgium form (all competitions):

Slovakia form (all competitions):

Team News

Belgium's Romelu Lukaku celebrates scoring their fourth goal with Aster Vranckx on November 19, 2023© Reuters

Manchester City duo Jeremy Doku and Kevin de Bruyne both start for Belgium, alongside Arsenal's Leandro Trossard.

Romelu Lukaku starts up front meaning both he and De Bruyne become the first male Belgian players to appear in six major tournaments.

Lukaku has struck 85 times in 115 appearances for his country, and the 31-year-old will be vital to his team's chances of success at this summer's competition.

Zeno Debast comes in for Axel Witsel in the heart of the defence, where he is partnered by Wout Faes.

Everton's Amadou Onana is joined by Orel Mangala in midfield, with the likes of Youri Tielemans and Arthur Vermeeren on the bench.

For Slovakia, Paris St-Germain defender Milan Skriniar captains an experienced starting XI on his 69th appearance for the side.

Newcastle United goalkeeper Martin Dubravka starts, as well as 37-year-old midfielder Juraj Kucka, while 13-goal midfielder Ondrej Duda is included as well.

Leo Sauer, the talented 18-year-old Feyenoord midfielder, is on the bench.

Belgium starting lineup:
Casteels, Castagne, Debast, Faes, Carrasco, Onana, Mangala, De Bruyne, Doku, Trossard, Lukaku.

Slovakia starting lineup:
Slovakia XI: Dubravka, Pekarik, Vavro, Skriniar, Hancko, Kucka, Lobotka, Duda, Schranz, Bozenik, Haraslin

SM words green background

We say: Belgium 2-1 Slovakia

Slovakia are certainly capable of making this a tough match for Belgium, and it would not be a surprise to see the points shared on Monday. However, we believe that Belgium's superior attacking quality will allow them to open their tournament with a narrow success.

Kylian Mbappe is the favourite to win the Golden Boot this summer, but Lukaku is certainly capable of claiming the award, and we are backing the forward to get his name on the scoresheet here.

For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.

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Milan Skriniar in action for Slovakia on September 11, 2023
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Group A

Q Germany Germany32107
Q Switzerland Switzerland31205
3 Hungary Hungary31023
4 Scotland flag Scotland30121

Group B

Q Spain Spain33009
Q Italy Italy31114
3 Croatia Croatia30212
4 Albania national flag Albania30121

Group C

Q England flag England31205
Q Denmark Denmark30303
Q Slovenia Slovenia30303
4 Serbia Serbia30212

Group D

Q Austria Austria32016
Q France France31205
Q Netherlands Netherlands31114
4 Poland Poland30121

Group E

Q Romania Romania31114
Q Belgium Belgium31114
Q Slovakia Slovakia31114
4 Ukraine Ukraine31114

Group F

Q Portugal Portugal32016
Q Turkey Turkey32016
Q Georgia Georgia31114
4 Czech Republic Czech Republic30121

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