Group J of the Euro 2024 qualifying campaign continues on Sunday evening as Slovakia are set to host Bosnia & Herzegovina.
The host nation are currently ranked 54th in the Fifa men’s rankings, significantly below their highest ranking which they reached in 2014, ranking 21st.
Slovakia were held to a frustrating draw in their opening game of the Euro 2024 qualifiers as the points were shared against Luxembourg. Coming into the game, Slovakia were heavily favoured, however they failed to create many clear cut chances as the game finished goalless.
This result has blown the group wide open, with all sides feeling they will have a chance to secure a top two finish in the group and thus secure qualification into the Euro 2024 finals.
These sides have been drawn in group J of the Euro 2024 qualifiers alongside Portugal, Bosnia, Luxembourg. Portugal are the runaway favourites to top the group @ ⅙ whilst Slovakia and Bosnia are currently priced @ 13/8 and 10/11 to finish in the top two.
Slovakia have been plagued by draws recently and have drawn their past four international outings. This has included draws against Montenegro, Belarus and Chile. Prior to this, had recorded losses to Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan and they really need to get back to winning ways this time out.
The away nation are currently ranked three places beneath Slovakia in the Fifa Men’s rankings and are currently ranked 57th. However they come into this side on the back of an impressive run of form that has seen them record just one loss in their last eight outings.
Prior to this international break, Bosnia & Herzegovina had not been very active, with their last fixture coming in September of last year in the Nations League. Bosnia recorded wins over Montenegro and Finland, ensuring them promotion from their group in the competition.
Bosnia & Herzegovina got their Euro 2024 qualifying campaign off to a flying start on Thursday evening as they hosted Iceland. Despite only having 37% of the game’s possession, the Dragons cruised to a 3-0 victory thanks to a first half brace for AC Milan striker Rade Krunic and an Amar Dedic strike in the second half.
These nations have met on four prior occasions in a competitive setting, with Bosnia having won three and Slovakia recording one win. These games are often close and each game has been decided by the singular goal.
The last time that these sides met came in the 2014 World Cup qualifiers, where Bosnia recorded a slender 2-1 victory, which helped them reach the finals of the competition, where they failed to progress out of the group stages.
Slovakia are very narrowly favoured at the bookies ahead of this matchup and are currently priced @ 8/5 to record a victory, whilst an away win for Bosnia & Herzegovina is priced @ 13/8. Unsurprisingly, given his international prowess, Edin Dzeko is the favourite to score in the game @ 2/1.
Edin Dzeko, the Bosnia & Herzegovina captain and leading all-time goalscorer was benched against Iceland however he is likely to return to the starting XI on Sunday. Faruk Hadzibegic handed Benjamin Tahirovic his international debut on Thursday, as the new Bosnia-Herzegovina boss has broy=ught youth into his midfield. The 20 year old midfielder has impressed in the Serie A so far this campaign for Roma.
Slovakia have not reported any new injury concerns ahead of this matchup. Given the fact that they managed to keep a clean sheet in the week, Slovakia are unlikely to change their defensive line, with Norbert Gyömbér and Ľubomír Šatka forming the defensive partnership and Martin Dúbravka behind the sticks.