Though only a bizarre run of results would see England not qualify for the last 16, tonight's match is still critical for England's progress through the tournament.
If England were to win against Slovakia tonight they would be guaranteed to top the group with seven points. Depending on the four best-placed teams that came third in their groups, next up in the last-16 would be either Albania, Northern Ireland or Croatia/Czech Republic/Turkey. Albania will most likely not qualify but Northern Ireland have a real chance and they look like the most probable team England will face.
Should England not win tonight, things will become more difficult. If they finish second in the group they would have to play the runner-up of Group F. All four teams in that group could still come second and if were to be Portugal that would not be a welcome match for England given the recent tournament history between the two teams. It would then most likely be France in the quarter-finals and Germany in the semi-finals.
If England were to qualify third from group A, that would leave them facing the winner of Group D, which is highly likely to be Spain. If England got through that match it would then most likely be Switzerland or Poland.
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Qualifying as runners-up is looking like the worse-case scenario for England, so they can ill-afford any lapses in concentration and will be fully motivated to get the win against Slovakia. Should they do that, Sturridge’s late goal against Wales will be worth its weight in gold.
That could also mean curtains for Slovakia’s tournament, as they would most likely not have done enough to qualify in third place. The Slovaks are currently 2/1 not to qualify for the next stage and that looks like the best bet here.