England one of the best teams in the world, Skrtel claims

Martin Skrtel

Slovakia take on England in St Etienne on Monday, and Skrtel insists there is no danger of underestimating Roy Hodgson's men.

Slovakia's Martin Skrtel and Jan Durica celebrate at the end of the matchSlovakia's Martin Skrtel and Jan Durica celebrate at the end of the win over Russia

Liverpool centre-back Martin Skrtel has told the club's official website that England are "still one of the best teams in the world", but insists he is confident his Slovakia side can get a result in their final group game and qualify for the knockout stages of Euro 2016.

A 2-1 win over Russia on Wednesday gave Slovakia's hopes of progressing from Group B a significant boost, while a late Daniel Sturridge winner saw England overcome Wales. 

England's Daniel Sturridge celebrates scoring their second goalEngland's Daniel Sturridge celebrates scoring their second goal against Wales

The two teams are set to face off in St Etienne on Monday in the final round of group games, with both sides knowing that a win is likely to be enough to see them progress. 

Having spent the last eight years on Merseyside, Skrtel has an in-depth knowledge of English football, and says Roy Hodgson's men will present one of the toughest tests yet for his team.

Liverpool's Martin Skrtel during trainingSkrtel has been linked with a move away from Merseyside this summer

He said: England is still one of the best teams in the world. It’s going to be tough for us. But I believe we are ready and will get a result. Obviously for us as a small country, it’s massive. It’s our first time in the Euro and all the supporters have travelled over."

Five of the Slovakian captain's club teammates are in the current Three Lions squad, and Skrtel is very much aware of the tough task facing his team at the Stade Geoffroy-Guichard, but says that a repeat of the performance against Russia will make life difficult for their more illustrious opponents.

Slovakia's Martin Skrtel looks dejected at the end of the matchSlovakia's Martin Skrtel looks dejected at the end of the defeat to Wales

"The pressure will be on England but I think they are experienced enough to cope," he added.

"Everything will be decided on the pitch and I believe we can carry on the performance [against Russia]. We showed heart, character and desire and we can get a result against England that will help us qualify for the next stage."

The 31-year-old, who has been linked with a move away from Anfield this summer, is particularly aware of the threat posed by match-winner Sturridge, but insists he will not be the only one to watch on Monday.

"It’s not only Sturridge, not only [Harry] Kane, not only [Jamie] Vardy – it’s 11 players. Sturridge is a great player, there’s no doubt about it. If it’s going to be him or someone else, we will do our best to keep a clean sheet."

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