Slovakia take on Luxembourg in friendly next week

The guys at BritskiBelasi are off to support their adopted Slovakia in a friendly match next week in Luxembourg. Here is what they have to say about it pre-match.

The Slovak National Team are due to play a friendly match away in Luxembourg next week, and Britski Belasi will be there, complete with flag, if any other Slovak fans happen to be going and recognise us

Britski Belasi On Tour!

Latest info I have from the Luxembourg FA is that there will be no separate visitors section and tickets are available from the main office on the day of the match.

Here’s the squad selected for the match:

Nominated Slovakian football team, match against Luxembourg (Wednesday, 9 Feb at 20.15 h, Stadium Josy Barthet in Luxembourg):

Goalkeepers Marian Kello (Hearts / SCO.) Ján Mucha ml. (Everton / ENG)..
Defenders: Marek Cech (West Bromwich Albion / ENG.), Jan Durica (Lokomotiv Moscow / Rus.) Hubočan Thomas (Zenit St. Petersburg Rus.), Peter Pekarik (VfL Wolfsburg / Nem.) Mário Pečalka (MSK Zilina) Martin Skrtel (Liverpool / ENG.) Radoslav Zabavník (1 FSV Mainz / GER)..
Midfielders: Miroslav Karhan (1 FSV Mainz / Germany.), Juraj Kucka (Genoa / Tal.) Miroslav Stoch (Fenerbahce / Tur.) Vladimir Weiss ml. (Glasgow Rangers / SCO.) Erik Jendrišek (SC Freiburg / Germany.) Marek Hamsik (Napoli / Tal.).
Forwards: Frantisek Kubik (ADO Den Haag / Hol.) Adam Nemec (1 FC Kaiserslautern / GER.) Tomas Oravec (MSK Zilina).

As an ADO Den Haag fan, I’m delighted to see Frantisek Kubik in the squad.  He missed ADO’s first match back after the winter break through injury, but hit fine form in Sunday’s 5-1 victory against Excelsior including a superbly taken goal.  Here’s hoping Kubik gets a start against Luxembourg.

Also, I’m struck by the strength of the squad.  Coach Vladimir Weiss is obviously serious about getting all the senior players together and sees this match as important preparation for breaking down weaker opposition ahead of the next two vital Euro qualifiers against Andorra where anything less than 6 points may spell the end of Slovakia’s hopes for Euro 2012.

Interesting selection in goal, with Marian Kello coming from nowhere after a great performance in the Hearts goal recently against Rangers. Jan Mucha unfortunately has not been playing at Everton this season, and Dundee United’s Dusan Pernis is only a reserve.

The defence and midfield is a strong selection, very similar to the World Cup squad, although it is interesting to see Kornel Salata dropped just after his move to Russia.  James Baxter was obviously right about his dip in form and Weiss claims he needs time to get used to his new surroundings in Russia.

The attacking selection is interesting.  Attacking options in this squad appear limited considering the strength of the opposition and the current uncertainty over Slovakia’s attacking preferences.  I suppose you can say Erik Jendrisek offers an extra option, and I must admit I don’t know much about Adam Nemec [he only made 1 previous appearance for Slovakia], but I am surprised at the omission of Stanislav Sestak and Jakub Sylvestr [who are reserves].  Weiss claims that he wants to use stronger, more direct physical players against Andorra where he expects a poor quality pitch.   Robert Vittek [who’s transfer to Red Bull Salzburg went through 1 minute too late last night] and Filip Holosko miss out through injury.

MSK Zilina’s Tomas Oravec and Mario Pecalka are the only domestic based players in the squad, although I would like to mention midfielder Viktor Pečovská of Dukla Basnka Bystrica who, albeit only as a reserve, gets his first recognition from the National Squad.

The squad meet on Monday, direct in Luxembourg, Frantisek Kubik, for one, will be pleased about that!

Slovenkso do toho!
By Dan Richardson, BritskiBelasi

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