The situation of the Slovaks is eerily similar to that of the Hungarians, in the two qualifying matches in November (Iceland at home and Bosnia and Herzegovina away) they also need one point to secure their place in the continental competition next year.
The Icelanders will play in Bratislava Stadium, Thursday, with a mathematical chance of obtaining the first two places to qualify, but realistically, they can only rely on the alternative qualifiers based on the results of the Nations League.
“Iceland are an unpleasant opponent, they make the midfield dense. Even the Portuguese suffered against them. We must be patient, we must not open the game at the beginning. We have to find the gaps at the right moment,” said Stanislav Lobotka, Napoli’s Slovakian midfielder, about the recipe for success. , stressing that the national team, in his opinion, is not in an easy situation as it seems.
“We want to play our own game, we want to dominate. We will not lead for a draw, but for victory. In June, we won against them in a physically difficult match, and since then our game has improved,” said team captain Milan Škriniar.
Suspended duo Patrik Hrosowski and Petr Pekarek will not be able to play against the Icelanders, but Lukás Harslin has fully recovered from his injury, so national team captain Francesco Calzona will be available.
The Slovaks were only drawn from the top five at the start of the qualifiers, but the Calzona side have so far only suffered defeats against group leaders Portugal, and in both cases the matches were close. In Group AG, even Luxembourg has a very slim chance of winning second place, but to do so they will first have to beat Bosnia and then Liechtenstein, and in the meantime they will have to hope to beat Slovakia. For Luxembourg, their place in the qualifiers has been guaranteed, and the same goes for the Bosnians.
The Slovak national team is competing for its third European Championship title after 2016 and 2021. The referee of the match will be Englishman Craig Pawson, and the match will be broadcast live on the RTVS sports channel.