Martin Dubravka set to be first Newcastle United player through to knockout stages – Slovakia v Ukraine

    It is Slovakia v Ukraine at 2pm on Friday, with Martin Dubraka set to be the first Newcastle United player through to the knockout stages, if his team win.

    Even a point could/should prove enough, with 16 of the 24 competing nations progressing, however, it would be great if he/they can make sure today.

    They pulled off a stunning 1-0 win over Belgium in their opening match and that was no fluke, Slovakia the better team for most of that match.

    Meanwhile, Ukraine were hammered 3-0 by Romania and have reacted by dropping keeper Andriy Lunin and three other players.

    No surprise to see Slovakia keep the same eleven, with Martin Dubravka hoping for another win and clean sheet.

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    Slovakia team v Ukraine:

    Dubravka, Pekarik, Vavro, Skriniar, Hancko, Kucka, Lobotka, Duda, Schranz, Bozenik, Haraslin


    Obert, Rigo, Gyomber, Suslov, Tupta, Benes, Rodak, Hrosovsky, De Marco, Strelec, Duris, Bero, Ravas, Sauer, Kosa

    Ukraine team v Slovakia:

    Trubin, Tymchyk, Zabaryni, Matviienko, Zinchenko, Brazhko, Shaparenko, Yarmolenko, Sudakov, Mudryk, Dovbyk


    Bushchan, Konoplia, Svatok, Talovierov, Sydorchuk, Stepanenko, Malinovskyi, Yaremchuk, Tsyhankov, Mykolenko, Zubkov, Bondar, Lunin, Vanat, Mykhailichenko

    Digging deeper, that Belgium win shouldn’t have been that great a surprise, as Slovakia have been in great form.

    Their last 14 games now show 10 wins, one draw and just three defeats. Unlucky single goal margins to Portugal in both qualifying group games, plus losing to what look an impressive Austria side now, judged on their very unlucky loss to France.

    In qualifying, other than the two Portgual games, Slovakia won all of the other group matches apart from one that they drew.

    Newcastle United players on international duty:

    Saturday 15 June

    Switzerland 3 Hungary 1 (Euros Group match)

    The Newcastle United defender with a very good personal performance, playing the full 90 minutes as the Swiss deservedly beat Hungary.

    Sunday 16 June

    England 1 Serbia 0 (Euros Group match)

    England got the job done, eventually.

    Anthony Gordon an unused substitute but Kieran Trippier playing the full 90 minutes and doing ok at left-back. His job to stretch things in attack up England’s left hand side, with likes of Foden not willing/able to stay out wide and instead continually drifting inside. With the plan clearly for all of England’s main attacking to be through the middle and especially out wide on the right.

    That is where the excellent winning goal came from, a great ball from Walker putting Saka in behind and his deflected cross perfectly then flighted for Bellingham’s pinpoint run into the box and the header giving Serbia’s keeper no chance.

    At the other end was Trippier’s main task though and with the rest of the defence he did well, especially after the break when England suddenly went all defensive and invited Serbia to go for the equaliser. The Three Lions offering zero threat in the second-half apart from sub Bowen’s cross where the keeper made a great save but in reality Kane should have given him zero chance with the header.

    Pickford only had one shot on target to save all game and whilst the commentator and pundits raved about it, in reality it was from outside the box and straight at him, the England keeper tipping the ball over the bar.

    The highlight of Trippier’s performance was when Serbia got into the box on the left and an equaliser beckoned for Serbia with Mitrovic waiting for the ball to be squared for a tap-in. However, the Newcastle defender covering his central defenders had got across and was too strong for Mitro who was sent sprawling  and claiming for a forlorn penalty.

    Monday 17 June

    Slovakia 1 Belgium 0 (Euros Group match)

    Martin Dubravka and his Slovakia teammates pulling off a massive shock, third ranked in the world Belgium beaten by a team ranked 48th.

    Schranz scoring after only seven minutes and the Newcastle keeper and his international teammates more than matching Belgium. What a victory.

    Wednesday 19 June

    Switzerland 1 Scotland 1 (Euros Group match)

    Fabian Schar and Switzerland with a nightmare start after 13 minutes, the Newcastle defender deflecting a McTominay shot past his keeper, a shot which would almost for sure have been saved without Schar’s intervention.

    The NUFC defender recovering to have another decent game. Helping Switzerland stand up to a very physical but limited Scotland team, Shaqiri with a brilliant 26th minute long range curled into the top corner effort to equalise. The Swiss should have went on to win but wasted a fair few chances and Scotland got lucky with two goals denied by VAR fine margins.

    Thursday 20 June 2024

    England 1 Denmark 1 (Euros Group match)

    Yet another Gareth Southgate masterclass of cluelessness and negativity.

    The team playing so deep and defensive, clearly the plan to try and stop Denmark scoring and not a plan of how England would score.

    On 18 minutes some individual opportunism and ambition by Kyle Walker as he ignored Southgate’s orders and pressed high, won the ball in a dangerous position and Kane scoring from close in, he couldn’t miss.

    Harry Kane England Goal Celebration Trippier

    Southgate’s reaction was to have England even more negative and defensive, invited Denmark on and they equalised 16 minites later. The whole game a shambles with the negative tactics and no apparent plan as to how England were trying to win the game. Very lucky to get a draw.

    Kieran Trippier played well on the left and didn’t put a foot wrong.

    Friday 21 June 2024

    Slovakia v Ukraine (Martin Dubravka) Euros Group match 2pm BBC1

    Sunday 23 June 2024

    Switzerland v Germany (Fabian Schar) Euros Group match 8pm BBC TBC

    Monday 24 June 2024

    Costa Rica v Brazil (Bruno Guimaraes) Copa America Group match

    Colombia v Paraguay (Miguel Almiron) Copa America Group match

    Tuesday 25 June 2024

    England v Slovenia (Anthony Gordon and Kieran Trippier) Euros Group match 8pm ITV1

    Wednesday 26 June 2024

    Slovakia v Romania (Martin Dubraka) Euros Group match 5pm BBC2

    Friday 28 June 2024

    Paraguay v Brazil (Bruno Guimaraes and Miguel Almiron) Copa America Group match

    Tuesday 2 July 2024

    Colombia v Brazil (Bruno Guimaraes) Copa America Group match

    (There will of course be more matches for Newcastle United players if their nations get through the group stages of the Copa America and/or the European Championships.)

    Sunday 14 July 2024 – European Championships final.

    Sunday 14 July 2024 – Copa America final.

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