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The forgotten Premier League pair starring for Slovakia

| 12.11.2014

Top of their group after winning all three of their qualifiers so far – including a 2-1 triumph over holders Spain – Slovakia look on course to reach Euro 2016 in France, where a couple of their star players will be keen to put some former Premier League employers in their place.

Still available at 6/1 to top Group C ahead of La Roja, Slovakia visit Macedonia this week with the away side available at 10/11 to pick up a fourth straight win.

And if they are to triumph at the Nacionalna Arena Filip vtori Makedonski this Saturday then these men could play crucial roles.

Vladimir Weiss

Once heralded as one of the most exciting youth prospects to emerge from Manchester City, Weiss was part of the Sky Blues side that romped to a 4-2 aggregate win over Chelsea in the 2008 FA Youth Cup Final, scoring in the second leg.

The tricky winger made his first-team debut the following season before heading to Bolton, Rangers and Espanyol in a series of loan deals.

But with game time limited under City’s new Abu Dhabi owners saw Weiss opt to sign for then Serie A side Pescara, where his form was enough to convince Olympiakos of his talents with the Slovakian signing for the Greek giants.

Despite thriving with the club, however, Weiss made the shock decision in January of this year to sign with Qatari side Lekhwiya on a lucrative contract.

That hasn’t stopped him impressing for both club and country however, with Weiss a regular starter for Slovakia and a recent goalscorer in a 2-0 friendly win over Montenegro.

Miroslav Stoch

Spotted by Chelsea scouts playing for Slovak First League Nitra at the age of just 16, the Blues beat Nice to the signature of the winger, who settled well into life at Stamford Bridge, finishing the 2006-07 season as the team’s top scorer at under-18 level with 11 goals.

Stoch’s progress continued with the reserve side in the 2007-08 campaign, and a season later the midfielder made his debut league appearance for the first-team as a substitute against Arsenal. He made four Premier League appearances during that time before heading to FC Twente on loan.

It was here that the Slovak really shone, helping Steve McClaren’s team to the 2010 Eredivise title and, come the end of the season, the midfielder was in demand, with Fenerbahce paying Chelsea €5.5 million to bring the attacker to Istanbul.

Stoch won a Turkish Superlig title and two Turkish cups during a three-year stay in Turkey but is best remembered for the sensational goal that saw him win the 2012 FIFA Puskas Award.

Now on loan at PAOK, the midfielder has already scored nine goals this season for his new Greek employers and scored the winner when Slovakia beat Spain.

All odds and markets correct as of the date of publishing

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Jack Beresford

Jack Beresford is a content writer with over five years of experience in writing about sport and betting, including a two-year spell with Axonn Media. Contributes articles to HereIsTheCity and Lad Bible, while previous credits include Bwin, FTB Pro, Bleacher Report and the QBE rugby. Avid follower of tennis, rugby union, motorsport and football, Jack also writes about poker for Cardspiel.com alongside Guardian journalist Dominic Wells.