England vs Slovakia Bet Builder Tips: Kane & Vavro in thick of it in Gelsenkirchen

 | Saturday 29th June 2024, 8:30am

Saturday 29th June 2024, 8:30am

schalke gelsenkirschen

The Veltins-Arena in Gelsenkirchen is the venue for Sunday's (17:00, ITV1) Euro 2024 last 16 tie between England and Slovakia as both nations look to reach next weekend's quarter-final, where they would face either Italy or Switzerland.

Read below for my England vs Slovakia bet builder tips as I line up an 8/1 shot featuring a player on either side.

England vs Slovakia Bet Builder Tips

  • Total goals - under 2.5 (90 mins)
  • Slovakia over 1.5 offsides (90 mins)
  • Denis Vavro 1+ shots (90 mins)
  • Harry Kane 1+ fouls (90 mins)

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Total goals - under 2.5 (90 mins)

This selection landed in all three of England's group games and two of Slovakia's, and in an even more pressurised environment - a knockout tie - it doesn't bode well for those hoping to see a contest full of goals.

England have kept two clean sheets in Germany but scored just once against each of Serbia and Denmark before firing blanks in a goalless draw with Slovenia on Tuesday. As ever, Gareth Southgate has his side organised and showing great discipline, but there are serious concerns over their lack of fluency in attack, and I'm doubtful that is something that will be solved by Sunday.

Slovakia, meanwhile, found the net in all three group games, scoring once against each of Belgium, Ukraine and Romania on their way to finishing third. Shutting out the Red Devils in a 1-0 win was particularly impressive and further evidence of their ability to frustrate the best teams, as Portugal experienced in qualification when only managing to beat Slovakia 1-0 in Bratislava (and later 3-2 in Porto).

The Falcons kept a clean sheet in half (5/10) of their qualifiers and in 4-0 thrashings of San Marino and Wales earlier this month, so they know how to keep things tight at the back when needed.

In the last two European Championships, three of the eight last 16 ties have ended with two or fewer goals, and looking at the fixtures this time around, England vs Slovakia looks best placed to be among them this year.

Slovakia over 1.5 offsides (90 mins)

Only five nations were caught offside more times than Slovakia (six) in the group stage, with the Falcons flagged once, twice and three times against Belgium, Ukraine and Romania respectively.

England didn't catch Serbia or Slovenia offside in Group C, but there were four offsides in their 1-1 draw with Denmark, and it was the Danes guilty on all four occasions.

Slovakia look like they have more to offer on the counter-attack than both Serbia and Slovenia, so I think their chances of being caught offside are higher and more in keeping with Denmark.

Looking back at their qualifiers against Portugal, they were caught offside four times in Bratislava and once in Porto, so I think over 1.5 offsides is definitely worthy of consideration on Sunday, particularly with England under pressure not to fall behind the ball, even if they go into the lead.

Denis Vavro 1+ shots (90 mins)

Slovakia's defenders haven't been shy to shoot this tournament, with Denis Vavro averaging a shot a game and Milan Skriniar, Peter Pekarik and David Hancko (all 0.7) falling just short of the FC Copenhagen centre-back's number.

It's Vavro who I'm going with to have at least one shot on Sunday as his odds (3/2) are higher than Hancko's (4/6), despite averaging more shots per game. Hancko plays left-back and averaged two shots per game for Feyenoord in the 2023/24 campaign, so there are good reasons behind the prices.

However, Vavro's numbers are also impressive. The 28-year-old averaged 1.1 shots per game in the Danish Superliga last season and 0.9 in Euro 2024 qualification for Slovakia, and had a shot in all three group games against Belgium, Ukraine and Romania.

I'd be even more confident in this selection if Slovakia go behind as they will have to push further up, take risks and fire off more shots, which could lead to an increased number of corners. Plus, don't be surprised to see Vavro used as an auxiliary striker in the dying embers if his nation need a goal.

Harry Kane 1+ fouls (90 mins)

Harry Kane certainly knows how to win a free-kick, being fouled an average of 2.7 times per game at Euro 2024. But he's also fought back in the two games he has completed - Serbia and Slovenia - and conceded a foul in both.

Against two strong central defenders in Skriniar and Vavro, I think there's a good chance the England captain makes at least one foul in Gelsenkirchen. Skriniar was fouled once against both Belgium and Ukraine and four times against Romania, meaning he is being fouled an average of two times per game at Euro 2024.

Vavro, meanwhile, has been fouled twice in Germany, just like the Slovakia right-back Pekarik (0.7 per game), while left-back Hancko is averaging one per game.

Belgium number nine Romelu Lukaku made one foul in his country's opening group game against Slovakia before Ukraine and Romania's central striker - Artem Dobvyk and Denis Dragus - both conceded two fouls each in matches against the Falcons.

England vs Slovakia bet builder @ 8-1

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