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Written By Onyeka Daniel

When the round of 16 of the ongoing European Championship in Germany was announced, two familiar foes were pitted against each other as England will be up against Slovakia for a place in the next round.

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And while the Three Lions appear to be the team with the bigger chance of advancing, Slovakia will definitely fancy their chances of causing an upset. According to their captain, Milan Skriniar, he believes that his side can pull off a massive shock at Euro 2024 in the last 16.


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The knockout stage of the Euros begins this weekend, with the Three Lions taking on the Falcons on Sunday evening in Gelsenkirchen. Before the tournament kicked off, England were actually listed as one of the favorites to lift the trophy, but they’ve had a woeful start in Germany, winning just one of three group games, scoring only two goals.

Topping their group that also had Denmark Slovenia Serbia with just 5 points. Slovakia meanwhile have performed better than expected, stunning Belgium in their opening game before bouncing back from defeat to Ukraine to earn a draw with Romania and qualify for the last 16 as one of best ranked third-placed teams.

At major tournaments, anything can happen and according to the PSG defender, he thinks his side have two key advantages over their rivals which can help them cause one of the biggest upsets in Euros history.

Firstly, the former Inter Milan man says the external pressure on England could cause them to crumble: ‘Even in the first match [the 1-0 win over Serbia], they went in with the fact that they are England, and they have to manage things in terms of results. ‘The media and fans [have been critical] after their matches, so they will be under much more pressure than us. It can work in our favour.’

Secondly, the Three Lions have shown a worryingly lack of chemistry on the pitch, with players like Harry Kane, Jude Bellingham, Phil Foden and Declan Rice struggling to replicate their club form and adjust to a change in tactics and positioning. ‘In my opinion, they rely on individual quality and they know that they have players who can decide matches for them,’ Skriniar added.

‘That’s why I think we can handle them through teamwork. I hope and I believe we can beat them.‘The defensive phase will definitely be important, we have to start defending from the attackers. But the key is to play football.

‘We have to show them that we can play. Let them know that they are up against a team that knows what it wants.’Slovakia have never beaten England (five losses, one draw), with Skriniar stating that victory on Sunday would be ‘the best result in Slovakian history’. He further added.

Meanwhile…

Chelsea are prepared to let Milan sign Carney Chukwuemeka on loan with an option to buy at the end of the season, claim reports in Italy, just like the case with Christian Pulisic, but for the Carney, the hope is that he comes back to England a better player.

According to Italian transfer expert Gianluca Di Marzio, the negotiations between the two clubs are progressing well and could be open to very favourable terms for the Rossoneri. The Blues are happy to let the player leave on loan with an option to buy at the end of the 2024-25 campaign.

Read Also: Inter Milan Might Be Under A Fresh Investigation As Barella Renews With The Club

The midfielder is only 20 years old and a regular for England at Under-20 level, having represented them all the way up through the various youth teams.Chelsea only purchased him from Aston Villa in 2022 at a cost of €18m, but he made his 12 appearances for the club this season, contributing two goals and one assist.

He had already been linked with a potential Milan switch in January 2023. Milan have already done business with Chelsea in the past for Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Pulisic. They are also still said to be discussing a potential move for Romelu Lukaku. For Milan, they would be bringing him in to be an understudy to Rafael Leao, while Pulisic and Samuel Chukwueze will operate from the right.

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