England’s performance at the Euros has been underwhelming. They topped their group and landed on the “easier” side of the draw, but knockout stages are unpredictable. Slovakia’s players, fans, and experts are hopeful of an upset in their last 16 match in Gelsenkirchen on Sunday.

England managed only draws against Denmark and Slovenia, while Slovakia defeated Belgium in their opening game. Adrian Gula, a former Wisla Krakow and Slovakia Under-21 coach, remarked, “England have fantastic individuals, but their tournament form makes them a desirable opponent in the last 16. We can surprise them, just as we did against Belgium, with our proactive and relentless playing style.”

Former Slovakia international Adam Nemec, now with Voluntari in Romania, was blunt in his critique. “England are currently underperforming,” he stated. “Their matches are uninspiring, and both coach and players face significant pressure at home. We can take advantage of that. Anything is possible at this stage.”

Newcastle goalkeeper Martin Dubravka expressed a personal preference after Slovakia’s game against Belgium, saying, “I’d like to face my Newcastle teammates, Anthony Gordon and Kieran Trippier. It would be special to play against the country and league I call home.”

Dubravka added, “Our team is full of young, experienced players from strong leagues. Confidence is key. Our primary goal was to progress from the group, and now we must believe in our abilities and aim high.”

When asked if they preferred facing Spain or England, three Slovakian players chose England. Sparta Prague winger Lukas Haraslin explained, “We haven’t played England recently, and our last encounter with Spain at the Euros ended in a heavy defeat.”

Stanislav Lobotka cautioned, “While England may not be at their best now, they are a formidable team that can hit their stride at any moment. It’s just a matter of when.”