International Friendlies Weekend Preview
Austria vs Slovakia
These two countries will square off in a friendly on Sunday ahead of Euro 2020 next week.
Austria were unlucky to come away with a defeat last time out against England as their performance warranted something from the game. It wasn’t to be though, and Austria are now set for another test here against Slovakia. Preparation would look good for Austria if they get a win here, despite that defeat to England only a few days ago but they looked much the better side and they should be the better team here, on paper at least. With the likes of Alaba and Sabitzer among their ranks, the side do have a lot of quality and it should be a competitive game here.
Slovakia’s 1-1 draw against Bulgaria a few days ago wasn’t the best of preparation as they head into a tough group at Euro 2020, but it could change with a good result here. The performance wasn’t good enough against Bulgaria, especially for a side heading to a major tournament in a week. It could be an extremely tough tournament for Slovakia who have Poland, Spain and Sweden to come up against in their group. A good performance is needed here to boost the confidence heading into the tournament.
England vs Romania
While Romania won’t be at Euro 2020, the interest here is mostly on England as it’ll be their performance that will be dissected.
England are seen as the bookmakers favourite for Euro 2020, but it wasn’t a good outing against Austria. The team struggled at times against Austria, and they do have a young squad all together which could be a reason why. It’ll be the first tournament that 15 of England’s players will attend and they don’t look like a side capable of winning it at the moment. It’ll be interesting to see who Gareth Southgate starts here and whether his formation changes due to having four right-backs in his squad. Austria gave them a tough game in their last match and they were lucky to come away with the win, but Romania will have their own threats and anything less than a victory here could drop the morale in the England team.
It’s hard to see how Romania will improve as they were beaten against Georgia a few days ago, but they have to. It was a game that saw Romania down to 10, but still played relatively well despite losing in the end, and they’ll look to improve on that performance when they take on England. They can pose issues for England and play with freedom and without pressure while England will be at home looking to perform in front of their own fans. It’d be a surprise if Romania got a result, but they’re capable. Despite playing each other 7 times since, 1970 was England’s last win against Romania.
Belgium vs Croatia
This one should be a good game between two sides that should be looking to get into the latter stages of Euro 2020, or even win the tournament.
Belgium didn’t get the result they wanted a few days ago as they drew against Greece, and it wasn’t the best of performances. This one should be a game that the team looks to put up a better performance and it’s one that will be interesting as Croatia are a tough team with a lot of quality also. Belgium are seen as easy favourites to top their Euro 2020 group, but the results recently haven’t been that of a side that should be looking to win the tournament. It’ll be a morale booster if they win here and that’ll be what they want heading into important games.
Croatia also drew their friendly match against Armenia in what was a bad result, even if it’s only a friendly. This game should have a major tournament feel to it as both sides will want to head into Euro 2020 on something positive, and that could be a huge difference. The team has a lot of great players among their side, and they always seem to produce good teams. Luka Modric won Real Madrid’s player of the season and he’ll continue that form into the tournament as he always does, while Kramaric enjoyed a great season at Hoffenheim, scoring 20 goals. Croatia are a team capable of beating Belgium and it’ll be a very interesting encounter between two sides that could potentially meet in the latter stages of Euro 2020 also.