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It might have felt like the last tournament of the golden generation for longer than Belgium were the coming force of the international game, but heading into Euro 2024 the end might really, really, finally, actually be in sight. Kevin De Bruyne remains a force, but the miles on his clock and that of Romelu Lukaku are looking simply stratospheric at this point. Some of the fringe starters from the 2010s remain but head coach Domenico Tedesco won the war of words with Thibaut Courtois, who has not made the trip to Germany. Surrounding the vestiges of the great side is promising talent -- Johan Bakayoko, Amadou Onana, Zeno Debast -- but this tournament looks like one that might have landed at an awkward moment for Belgium.

Having said that they should be strong favorites to escape a group without any of the other big beasts of the continental game. With the possible exceptions of Milan Skriniar and Stanislav Lobotka, Slovakia are blessed with good players but not the sort of top-level talent their opponents can take for granted. Their passage to Euro 2024 was built on doing just enough to overcome the likes of Bosnia, Iceland and Liechtenstein without ever testing Portugal and they may well have their eyes on matches with the rest of Group E as their route to the last 16. Here is how you can watch the match and what you need to know:

Viewing information

  • Date: Monday, June 17 | Time: 12 p.m. ET
  • Location: Frankfurt Arena -- Frankfurt, Germany
  • TV: Fox Sports 1 | Live stream: Fubo (try for free)
  • Odds: Belgium -225; Draw +350; Slovakia +600

Group E outlook

Belgium, ranked third in the world, profile as heavy favorites for an otherwise intriguingly balanced group, one where Ukraine and Romania have a similar smattering of good talent and not much great. Those two could go a long way to dictating who finishes second in their opening match earlier in the day in Munich. Ukraine might just be slight favorites to claim second place given that they have altogether more experience of major tournaments to guide promising youngsters such as Georgiy Sudakov and Mykhailo Mudryk

Team news

Belgium: Tedesco experimented with a back three in a 3-0 friendly win over Luxembourg, extending their manager's undefeated start to life since he succeeded Roberto Martinez post-World Cup 2022. It seems more likely, however, that the 38-year-old will continue with a 4-3-3 that brings with it a question that the footballing world has been asking for over a decade. How much better might Belgium be with full backs who were as good as the rest of their team? Thomas Meunier, Jan Vertonghen and Arthur Theate are all doubts for the opener.

Possible Belgium XI: Casteels; Castagne, Faes, Debast, De Cuyper; Onana, Mangala, De Bruyne; Trossard, Lukaku, Doku

Slovakia: Juraj Kucka has been in the wars in the lead-up to his country's third straight Euros but the stitching required to his eyebrow after the friendly against Wales seems unlikely to sideline him for the opener. Instead expect him to slot into Francesco Calzona's 4-3-3, a front-footed system firmly in the mold of the managers he assisted at Napoli, Maurizio Sarri and Luciano Spalletti.

Possible Slovakia XI: Dubravka; Pekarik, Vavro, Skriniar, Hanko; Kucka, Lobotka, Duda; Haraslin, Bozanek, Schranz


Don't expect Slovakia to make life easy for Belgium, this could be one of those games where the favorite slips behind and never gets back into the contest. However, the favorites for Group E should ultimately get the job done. PICK: Belgium 2, Slovakia 0