Euro 2024 Clash: Belgium vs Slovakia - Preview, Predictions, and Expected Lineups

Euro 2024 Clash: Belgium vs Slovakia - Preview, Predictions, and Expected Lineups

Belgium vs Slovakia: An Exciting Euro 2024 Encounter

The journey to victory in Euro 2024 commences for Belgium and Slovakia, two teams with much to prove and everything to gain. The anticipation is mounting as Belgium, a team robust with talent but often falling short in critical moments, readies itself to face Slovakia, a team riding high on a wave of recent successes. Scheduled to take place at Frankfurt’s Deutsche Bank Park on June 17 at 17:00 BST, fans are set for a thrilling encounter that promises high energy and competitive spirit.

Belgium's Quest for Redemption

Belgium enters the tournament with a burning desire to shed the label of 'underachievers.' Despite possessing a squad brimming with world-class talent like Kevin De Bruyne and Romelu Lukaku, the team has repeatedly stumbled at the quarterfinal stage in the past two Euros. This year's campaign, led by Manager Roberto Martínez, brings renewed hope. The squad looks well-rounded and determined to surpass their previous best. Key players like De Bruyne will be instrumental in orchestrating their midfield, while Lukaku's presence in the attacking line-up is expected to be a formidable force.

However, uncertainties loom over Belgium's defense: seasoned defenders Jan Vertonghen, Arthur Theate, and Thomas Meunier are nursing injuries. This predicament might compel Martínez to rely on comparatively less experienced but highly promising talent. The predicted lineup includes Koen Casteels as the goalkeeper, with Timothy Castagne, Wout Faes, and Zeno Debast headlining the backline, supported by Maxime De Cuyper.

Midfield dynamism will be provided by the likes of Orel Mangala, Amadou Onana, and the ever-versatile Leandro Trossard. A trio of attackers featuring Jeremy Doku, the creative wizard Kevin De Bruyne, and the prolific Romelu Lukaku will aim to pierce through Slovakia’s defense.

Slovakia’s Performance and Potential

Slovakia’s Performance and Potential

Conversely, Slovakia approaches the match with the confidence born from a successful qualification campaign. Having won seven out of ten matches, they find themselves in fine form. Coach Štefan Tarkovič has fostered a disciplined and cohesive unit that believes in itself and how it plays.

Slovakia has shown promising signs in recent friendlies with victories over San Marino and Wales, suggesting strong preparations for the Euros. Their lineup is anticipated to feature Martin Dubravka in goal, guarded by a steadfast defensive line – Peter Pekarik, Denis Vavro, Milan Skriniar, and David Hancko.

The midfield battleground will be manned by Stanislav Lobotka, Juraj Kucka, and Ondrej Duda, creating a solid shield and link to the forward line. Out wide and in attack, Lukas Haraslin, Robert Bozenik, and Tomas Suslov are poised to test Belgium’s defensive mettle.

The Tactical Battle

One of the intriguing aspects of this match will be the tactical battle between Belgium’s high-press, possession-based approach and Slovakia’s structured, counter-attacking style. Belgium's fluid movement and attacking vigor will face Slovakia’s gritty defensive lines and swift transitions. Slovak full-backs Pekarik and Hancko will need to be astute defensively while also venturing forward when opportunities arise.

Slovakia’s hope rides heavily on Skriniar's leadership at the back and Lobotka's ability to disrupt Belgium's rhythm in midfield. On the other hand, Belgium will bank on De Bruyne’s creativity to unlock spaces and Lukaku’s sharpness in front of goal. The presence of a playmaker like Trossard could also play a significant role in connecting midfield play with the attacking front.

Match Predictions and Expectations

Speculation around the match often gravitates towards score predictions. With Belgium’s attacking prowess and Slovakia’s resilience, a balanced game isn't out of the equation. However, many foresee Belgium coming out on top, possibly with a scoreline of 3-1, showcasing their ability to breach even a well-ordered defense.

The influence of key players will be vital in determining the match's outcome. Kevin De Bruyne’s set-pieces and long-range passing could be critical, while Lukaku’s precision and power in the box will be a constant threat. Slovakia's hope hinges on maintaining defensive solidity and capitalizing on counterattacks, with Skriniar and Dubravka needing to be at their absolute best.

Injury Concerns and Their Impact

The shadow of injury concerns looms large over Belgium. With Vertonghen, Theate, and Meunier on the sidelines, Martinez is compelled to rethink and adapt his defensive strategy. This scenario could provide an excellent opportunity for young talents like Zeno Debast to showcase their mettle on an international stage.

Conversely, Slovakia seems comparatively free of significant injury woes, which bodes well for their preparations. A fully fit squad offers them the chance to deploy their best XI without major alterations, aiding in maintaining the rhythm developed during qualifiers and recent friendlies.

The Venue: Deutsche Bank Park

The Venue: Deutsche Bank Park

Hosting this critical first encounter is Deutsche Bank Park in Frankfurt, Germany — a stadium known for its electric atmosphere. It offers a neutral ground, devoid of any significant home advantage, allowing both teams to perform on an equitable platform. The choice of venue adds a layer of excitement, providing fans from both nations the chance to gather and support their teams in a city renowned for its love of football.

Umut Meler will officiate the match, with Bastian Dankert overseeing the VAR. Such experienced officials are expected to manage the game effectively, ensuring it flows smoothly while addressing any contentious decisions with fairness.


As Belgium and Slovakia gear up for their Euro 2024 opener, the stakes couldn't be higher. Belgium looks to overcome past inadequacies and set the tone for a deep tournament run, while Slovakia aims to continue its robust form and pull off an upset. This matchup promises to be more than just a game; it's a concoction of history, strategy, and the relentless pursuit of glory. Fans worldwide will be glued to their screens, eager to witness who will emerge victorious in this enthralling contest.

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