The knockout rounds continue on Sunday as Germany will try and halt the challenge of Slovakia. Jake Jackman provides his best bets to try and make a profit this weekend.
Sunday 26th June 2016 – 17:00 BST
EURO 2016 – ROUND OF 16
GERMANY v SLOVAKIA
Germany are looking to win back-to-back international tournaments and will have to come through a tough bracket to qualify for the final. Their opening knockout game is against Slovakia, who have impressed at times during the tournament. Anything could happen, but Germany are strong favourites with the bookies, perhaps unsurprisingly with Slovakia coming through as one of the best third place sides. It’s a potentially tricky game for the Germans as Slovakia can play without pressure, and with the likes of Marek Hamsik and Vladimir Weiss a threat on the counter attack.
The winners of this tie will face the winners of the game between Spain and Italy. Germany will see this as a warm up for that, and after some average performances in the group stage, they will look to beat Slovakia convincingly. They need to get some of the attackers firing, with Thomas Muller not faring well so far in this tournament. He missed two guilt edged chances against Northern Ireland and Germany will be keen to see him get a goal on Sunday. They looked a lot more threatening with Mario Gomez in the side against Northern Ireland, as he offered a focal point, which was missing in the opening two matches. Mario Gotze has struggled in France and could even miss out on this match, with Julian Draxler, Leroy Sane and Andre Schurrle other options in attack.
Slovakia showed two sides to their game in the group stages. Against Russia and in periods against Wales, they looked very good going forward, with some fluid passing play. Marek Hamsik is the star and has shown his ability to make things happen from nothing for his national side. However, against England, they showed that they could get stuck in and frustrate a superior opposition for 90 minutes. Martin Skrtel had one of the best matches of his career and they will need a similar performance against Germany. They can’t afford to be so defensive against Germany, and need to show something going forwards.
Germany are yet to concede a goal at this tournament, and that is a great record to take into the knockout stages. Mats Hummels and Jerome Boateng have a great relationship, and should be the future for both Germany and Bayern Munich. They will respect Slovakia though, as the two sides met in a friendly before the tournament, which Slovakia won 3-1. Mario Gomez gave the Germans the lead from the pot, before Marek Hamsik, Michal Duris and Juraj Kucka gave Slovakia a famous win. This will be a completely different proposition as Germany famously enter a different mode at tournaments.
In terms of tips, I expect Germany to win be a two goal margin, which is why I think that -1 is a good bet for this one. There isn’t much value in a Germany win, and with tougher tests on the horizon, I expect the Germans to turn things up a notch against Slovakia to put fear into the other big nations in their side of the draw. Mario Gomez has looked excellent every time he has taken to the field in this tournament, and I expect him to add to his tally against Slovakia.