Both Teams Have Scored in Every Previous Meeting
Slovakia are just one win away from booking a place at Euro 2024, which would be their third straight appearance in the competition. On Thursday, Iceland stands in their way as the two sides meet in Bratislava in Euro qualifiers. Iceland still has slim hopes of qualifying automatically but needs back-to-back wins and two Slovakia losses to even have a shot. Bettors may want to immediately note that both teams have scored in every previous meeting of this fixture. Now, let’s take a closer look at the Slovakia vs Iceland betting odds.
Slovakia vs Iceland
Day/Time: Location: Tehelne Pole, Bratislava, Slovakia
Slovakia has dominated the all-time head-to-head vs. Iceland. In the reverse fixture, Juraj Kucka and Tomas Suslov got on the scoresheet as Slovakia won 2-1 in Reykjavik. The soccer lines priced both teams at +175 moneyline odds. Slovakia last lost vs. Iceland in 2008, with two wins and a draw since then. Both teams have scored in each of the six previous meetings. Iceland has just a 1-1-4 record vs. Slovakia all-time.
Slovakia Remaining Competitive Post-Hamsik
Marek Hamsik, Slovakia’s best-ever player, retired in June. The midfielder was Slovakia’s all-time appearance leader and top goal scorer. Without Hamsik, Slovakia has remained competitive and is close to qualifying for their third straight European championship. Last month, Slovakia fell 3-2 to Portugal in Porto and defeated Luxembourg, 1-0.
Slovakia has won five of their eight UEFA Euro 2024 matches in qualifying and has kept five clean sheets. Goalkeeper Martin Dubravka is a joint leader in the clean sheet department, along with Portugal’s Diogo Costa. Slovakia defender David Hancko is a rising star and he leads Slovakia, with four-goal contributions in Euro qualifiers. Hancko has scored two goals, which leads the team along with Robert Mak, and has provided two assists.
Slovakia has a solid backline, which also includes PSG’s Milan Skriniar. While they lack a prolific goal scorer, Slovakia’s midfield is also strong. Since Hamsik’s retirement, they’ve typically started Napoli’s Stanislav Lobotka, veteran Juraj Kucka, and Verona’s Ondrej Duda as the midfield trio. Slovakia’s only losses have come to Portugal and they’ve conceded just one qualifying goal at home heading into this one.
Iceland Needs Miracle to Qualify
Heading into Thursday’s match, the Slovakia vs Iceland betting odds price visitors Iceland as +360 underdogs. So far, Iceland have won just one of their three road matches in Euro 2024 qualifying. With a 3-1-4 record, they still have slim hopes of qualifying for Euro 2024 but need to grab wins at Slovakia and Portugal to have a chance. Iceland is currently in fourth place in the Group J Euro 2024 qualification table.
Bettors should note that 11 of Iceland’s 15 goals in qualifiers have come in a pair of wins vs. Liechtenstein. They’ve scored just four goals in their other six matches. Three Iceland players have found the net three times in qualifiers. Midfielders Hakan Arnar Haraldsson and Aron Gunnarsson are two of them. Haraldsson is just 20 years old and recently made a big move to Lille.
Forward Alfred Finnbogason is Iceland’s active leading scorer and has also scored three qualifying goals. Gylfi Sigurdsson is Iceland’s all-time leading scorer, with 27 goals, but he’s out injured for this pair of qualifiers. Defender Hordur Bjorgvin Magnusson is also out for the next two matches. It would be a miracle if Iceland are able to pull off consecutive wins vs. the group’s strongest teams but this is certainly the more winnable game for them.
Match Analysis & Odds
Slovakia are playing in front of their home fans and have the chance to seal qualification to just their fourth major tournament in team history. They’ve got a tricky game at Bosnia coming up after this one so will want to wrap things up on Thursday. The Slovakia vs Iceland betting odds currently price the hosts as -130 favorites for this match. Bettors can take Iceland at +360 and a draw at +245.
Iceland’s road form hasn’t been great and they’ve struggled to score against the better teams in the group. Meanwhile, Slovakia have averaged two goals per game in their last three, which includes two goals vs. Portugal. In fact, those remain the only two goals Portugal has conceded throughout Euro qualifiers.
Here, over 2, 2.5 goals display -120 odds and we expect Slovakia to get on the scoresheet at the very least. Recall that every time these teams have faced off, both teams have scored. Other options on the odds board include Slovakia -0.5, -1 at -110 odds and Iceland +0.5, +1 at -120.