Weiss warns Slovakia of considerable Sturridge threat

Matt Stead

Slovakia winger Vladimir Weiss has earmarked his “exceptional” former team-mate Daniel Sturridge as a key man for the side to be wary of in Monday’s Euro 2016 Group B clash with England.

Weiss and Sturridge were together at Manchester City several years ago, with the former making his sole Premier League appearance for the club in the same season (2008-09) that was the latter’s last before joining Chelsea.

This week has seen both score in victories for their countries – Weiss netting Slovakia’s first goal in their 2-1 win over Russia on Wednesday, and Liverpool frontman Sturridge coming off the bench to notch England’s second on Thursday as they came from behind to defeat Wales by the same score.

In an interview published on the official website of Slovakia’s Football Association on Friday, Weiss was asked who he thought might pose the greatest threat to the team in Monday’s match in St Etienne, having watched England beat Wales.

And the 26-year-old replied: “England’s game was dramatically revived by Daniel Sturridge.

“I know him from Manchester City. He’s an exceptional player, as confirmed by his club form.

“But all (England) players have quality. It will be necessary to prepare well.”

Other players in the current England squad who have been Weiss’ club-mates are Joe Hart – also at City – plus Gary Cahill and Jack Wilshere, during a loan spell at Bolton in 2009-10.

And he added: “I know a couple of the guys and it has been a long time since I have seen them. I look forward to that.”

The last round of Group B games left England top of the pool on four points, with Slovakia third on three, level on points with second-placed Wales and two clear of fourth-placed Russia.

In terms of his side’s prospects of qualifying for the last 16 of the tournament on Monday, Weiss said: “Everything will depend on us, on our own performance.

“We want to work towards the outcome which will make us all happy.

“After our first game against Wales (a 2-1 loss) I was not happy. Somehow I did not really receive the ball, but in the second game it was better.

“From scoring a goal you do get confidence, and I will try to take that into the third match and help the team as much as I can.”