MX23RW : Wednesday, October 20 13:40:44| >> :600:858299:858299:
Sep 1, 2021 at 7.45pm UK at Arena Petrol
SloveniaSlovenia
1-1
SlovakiaSlovakia
Stojanovic (42')
Ilicic (66'), Gnezda Cerin (90+3')
FT(HT: 1-1)
Bozenik (32')
Schranz (73'), Duda (90+5')

Preview: Slovenia vs. Slovakia - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Wednesday's World Cup Qualifying - Europe clash between Slovenia and Slovakia, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Slovenia and Slovakia meet in Ljubljana on Wednesday evening having both endured mixed starts to their World Cup qualifying campaign.

The home side have suffered back-to-back away defeats, while the third-placed visitors have two unexpected draws on their record in Group H.


Match preview

 Slovakia manager Stefan Tarkovic on March 30, 2021© Reuters

After starting their Euro 2020 campaign with a surprise victory over Poland, everyone associated with Slovakia would have been confident of earning a place in the last 16.

However, on the back of losing a tight game versus Sweden, Stefan Tarkovic witnessed his team succumb tamely against Spain, conceding five goals during a 41-minute spell which subsequently ended their tournament.

Positives will be taken from their experiences during the competition, but it remains to be seen whether their most recent result will hamper their efforts to qualify for next year's World Cup.

Despite the 2-1 success against Russia back in March, the draws with Cyprus and Slovakia are still fresh in the memory, results which have left Slovakia behind Croatia and Russia.

With the leaders to come at the weekend, the Falcons can ill-afford another setback if they want to stay in close proximity to the top two.

Slovenia coach Matjaz Kek pictured on March 27, 2021© Reuters

The same can be said of Slovenia, who head into this encounter having suffered defeats against Cyprus and Russia respectively.

While the result in Sochi was not necessarily damaging, losing out in their following game in Nicosia could prove to be the difference between a playoff spot and elimination.

Matjaz Kek will insist that there is plenty of time to make amends, but it feels imperative that maximum points are recorded against Slovakia and Malta before next week's trip to Croatia.

Slovenia played two friendlies at the back end of last season, earning a draw with North Macedonia before thrashing Gibraltar by a 6-0 scoreline.

Slovenia World Cup Qualifying - Europe form:
  • W
  • L
  • L

Slovenia form (all competitions):
  • D
  • W
  • L
  • L
  • D
  • W

Slovakia World Cup Qualifying - Europe form:
  • D
  • D
  • W

Slovakia form (all competitions):
  • W
  • D
  • D
  • W
  • L
  • L



Team News

Newcastle United goalkeeper Martin Dubravka pictured in February 2020© Reuters

Slovenia will make at least a couple of changes to the team which started their last World Cup qualifier with Cyprus.

Andraz Sporar is likely to replace the injured Blaz Kramer in attack, while a reshuffle in defence may see Jure Balkovec moved into the centre.

Jan Oblak and Josip Ilicic, the two key men of this Slovenia squad, should line up between the sticks and in attack respectively.

With goalkeeper Martin Dubravka missing through injury, Slovakia boss Tarkovic could hand an opportunity to Fulham stopper Marek Rodak.

David Hancko is in line to be named at left-back, replacing the injured Tomas Hubocan, while Vladimir Weiss will hope to earn an opportunity on the flank.

Ondrej Duda or Robert Bozenik are competing for one place down the middle of the attack.

Slovenia possible starting lineup:
Oblak; Stojanovic, Blazic, Balkovec, Jurcevic; Lovric, Bijol, Kurtic, Zajc; Ilicic, Sporar

Slovakia possible starting lineup:
Rodak; Pekarik, Satka, Skriniar, Hancko; Kucka, Hromada; Weiss, Hamsik, Mak; Bozenik


SM words green background

We say: Slovenia 1-1 Slovakia

Both sides are conceding at a rate of a goal per game, suggesting that no-one should expect an entertaining fixture on Wednesday night.

Despite a draw not being that helpful to either nation, the most likely result is a stalemate after 90 minutes of two evenly-matched teams cancelling each other out.



Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting a double chance bet on a home win or an away win in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Home/Away:data


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How you voted: Slovenia vs Slovakia

Slovenia
44.7%
Draw
35.5%
Slovakia
19.9%
141
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Slovakia's Milan Skriniar celebrates scoring their second goal with teammates on March 27, 2021
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Slovakia Euro 2020 preview - prediction, fixtures, squad, star player
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