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Portugal vs Slovenia Euro 2024 prediction: Can Martinez’s men avoid slip up?

Portugal vs Slovenia prediction: Can Martinez's men win Euro 2024 last 16 showdown?

Portugal continue their hunt for glory at Euro 2024 with their last 16 tie against Slovenia.

Portugal vs Slovenia Euro 2024 prediction: Can 2016 champions win last 16 showdown?

Portugal vs Slovenia latest prediction

Can you believe it? We’re already halfway through the last 16 of Euro 2024. Teams are now just four wins away from European glory. For Portugal it would be a second European crown, regaining their title having first lifted the trophy at Euro 2016.

Roberto Martinez’s men had top spot in Group F sealed after two matches, beating Czech Republic and Turkey 2-1 and 3-0 respectively. It meant that Portugal could rest players in their final group game, with Martinez making eight changes in total. But that did cost Portugal their perfect record, as Georgia pulled off a shock 2-0 victory. It ended a run of 12 consecutive wins in competitive action that started in qualifying for Euro 2024.

Slovenia, meanwhile, were one of the four best third-placed sides to secure a spot in the last 16, sneaking through over Hungary on goal difference. Placed in Group C, it was expected to be a tough tournament for Slovenia, pit against England, Denmark and Serbia.

And while that did prove to be the case, with Slovenia drawing all three matches, that was enough. History was made as Slovenia made it through the group, reaching the knockout stages of a major tournament for the first ever time. In the group stage, Slovenia averaged just 32% possession, with only two sides previously making it to the knockout stages at a European Championship with a lower average.

The last 16 clash between Portugal and Slovenia takes place at 8pm on Monday 1st July at the Waldstadion in Frankfurt.

Although Slovenia didn’t win a game in the group stage, they did score in two of their three matches. England were the only side to keep Slovenia out, in their final group match, but the goalless draw was all Matjaz Kek’s side needed. On the other side of this game, Portugal conceded in two of their three games.

The 2-0 defeat to Georgia does come with the caveat that it was a rotated side, but Portugal did also concede to Czech Republic. They’ve faced 25 shots in total with an Expected Goals Conceded total of 2.69.

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Portugal latest team news

The interesting thing about Portugal under Martinez is that they often match their opponents’ formation. When facing a back three or five, they go with a back three; when it’s a back four, they play in a formation we’d expect from Portugal. So at Euro 2024 so far, Portugal have actually played in a back three twice and back four once.

But for this game we should see Portugal return to the back four and a 4-2-3-1 as used against Turkey. We may see that entire team repeated too. Up front, Cristiano Ronaldo should be flanked by Bernardo Silva and Rafael Leao — who missed the final group game through suspension — with Bruno Fernandes playing just behind him. Deeper in midfield, Joao Palhinha and Vitinha could be the go-to double pivot.

With a back four, Joao Cancelo is the favoured option at right-back over Diogo Dalot, with Nuno Mendes on the left. Pepe and Ruben Dias are the centre-back partnership ahead of Diogo Costa in goal.

Slovenia latest team news

Slovenia play a very traditional 4-4-2 and it would be very surprising for them to change things up here. What would also be surprising is Slovenia making too many changes to their starting XI. Kek has named the same XI in all three of their matches so far, but there will be an enforced change with Erik Janza suspended for yellow card accumulation.

In his stead, Jure Balkovec is likely to start at left-back, with Zan Karnicnik on the opposing flank and Jaka Bijol and Vanja Drkusic through the middle. In midfield, Adam Gnezda Cerin is a battler playing alongside the more creative Timi Max Elsnik. Andraz Sporar and Benjamin Sesko will start up front, with the former having created six chances at Euro 2024 so far.

Portugal vs Slovenia head-to-head

These two sides met in a friendly in March with Slovenia handing Martinez is first loss as Portugal manager. That was also the first ever meeting between these two nations, so this is a rare matchup indeed.

Portugal vs Slovenia H2H 
Date Score Ground
26/03/24 Slovenia 2-0 Portugal Stozice Stadium, Ljubljana

How to watch Portugal vs Slovenia live

Portugal’s last 16 tie against Slovenia will be broadcast live on BBC One, as well as online on the BBC Sport website and BBC iPlayer.

Every game at Euro 2024 will be shown live on either BBC or ITV, with the two platforms sharing the broadcast rights.