GROUP F: Can Slovakia’s starless squad do any damage in their group?

The first thing you see when you look at Slovakia’s squad is a distinct lack of big names as opposed to other European football nations.

The first thing you see when you look at Slovakia’s squad is a distinct lack of big names as opposed to other European football nations.

A lot of their hopes rest on a 22-year old who plays for a mid-range club in Italy’s Serie A (Marek Hamsik) and a 20-year old who makes part-time appearances for Chelsea (Miroslav Stoch) so things don’t bode all that well for Slovakia.

A lack of depth is also a major blight but it is often that teams like this bind together and play a tight, spirited brand of football in the World Cup finals.

They find themselves in a group that they, somehow, can manage to get out of but luck must fall their way and it would be a big surprise to see them go further than the Round of 16 but no shock to sneak past the group stage.

Slovakia

Playing schedule: New Zealand (Rustenburg) June 15; Paraguay (Bloemfontein) June 20; Italy (Johannesburg) June 24

Also known as: -
Manager: Vladimir Weiss (SVK)
Captain: Marek Hamsik
Key players: Marek Hamsik, Martin Skrtel, Stanislav Sestak
Wildcard: Robert Vittek
Player to watch: Miroslav Stoch
Most caps: Miroslav Karhan (96). Of this squad: Robert Vittek (70)
Top goalscorer: Szilard Nemeth (22). Of this squad: Robert Vittek (19)
FIFA ranking: 34
Qualifying: Top of UEFA group stage.
Appearance: 1st (as Slovakia) 8 as Czechoslovakia
Best result: Runner-up – 1962

Slovakia squad

Goalkeepers

Jan Mucha (Legia Warsaw)
Dusan Kuciak (Vaslui)
Dusan Pernis (Dundee United)

Defenders

Marek Cech (West Brom)
Jan Durica (Hannover)
Peter Pekarik (Wolfsburg)
Martin Petras (Cesena)
Kornel Salata (Slovan Bratislava)
Martin Skrtel (Liverpool)
Radoslav Zabavnik (Mainz)

Midfielders

Marek Hamsik (Napoli)
Kamil Kopunek (Spartak Trnava)
Jan Kozak (Politehnica Timisoara)
Juraj Kucka (Sparta Prague)
Marek Sapara (Ankaragucu)
Zdeno Strba (Xanthi)
Miroslav Stoch (Chelsea)
Vladimir Weiss (Manchester City)

Forwards

Filip Holosko (Besiktas)
Martin Jakubko (Saturn Moscow)
Erik Jendrisek (Schalke)
Stanislav Sestak (Bochum)
Robert Vittek (Lille)

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