Slovenia – World Cup 2010 – Betting
World Cup appearances: 1
Best World Cup: Round 1; 2002
FIFA World Ranking: 23
Manager: Matjaz Zahovic
Captain: Robert Koren
Slovenia Team Profile
Slovenia are part of a group of surprise inclusion travelling to South Africa in that very few would have tipped them to progress before qualifying. However, despite having a population of just 2 million, Slovenia will fancy their chances of being South Africa’s Dark Horses after excelling during qualification, fending off the challenges from Poland and Czech Republic in the group stage before knocking out the tricky Russians in the play-off’s. The scalp of Russia proved there and then that Slovenia should no longer be seen as simple minnows on the international stage.
Their reward for qualifying was to draw England in Group C in South Africa, although the second automatic qualifying spot will remain up for grabs between themselves, USA and Algeria, so a good performance against the latter two teams and Slovenia’s fairytale, in what is just their second appearance in a World Cup, could roll on into the last-sixteen stage of the tournament – What would be considered a huge achievement back home.
Slovenia Key Players
Slovenia coach Matjaz Kek will want to make good use of Robert Koren’s valuable knowledge of English football, the Premier League specifically, as one of their toughest assignments in South Africa will be their final game in Group C against England. Koren, who received the captains armband back in 2008, has played 45 times for his country and will travel to South Africa as one of the more experienced Slovenians in camp. The current West Bromwich Albion play-maker will play an instrumental part in Slovenia’s attack in the summer, although his slim return of just four goals while on international duty means he shouldn’t be much of a threat in front of goal himself.
Up front, Milivoje Novakovic of FC Cologne in Germany, will be Slovenia’s best outlet in the final, and their main source of goalmouth activity. Standing in at a daunting 6ft 4inc, Novakovic is clearly a threat from set-pieces and crosses, scoring 14 goals in 37 international appearances, although all of his international goals have come against fairly ordinary opponents. Even so, his presence and danger in the air will make him an instant threat and a target for the Slovenia’s to lump long balls up to should they find little success in breaking through some well-drilled and highly-trained defences.
Slovenia appear to have this underdog aurora about them. They won’t be fancied in the slightest to go far in South Africa but could cause a few countries a problem with their stiff and rigid approach to games. They should also merit some form of respect for beating Russia in a two-legged play-ff just to get this far, beating the Russian’s home and away.
Also, Slovenia finished qualifying with the best defensive record, beating the likes of England & Spain to that honour after conceding just 4 goals in 10 qualifiers. That’s a staggering statistic for such a small nation on a football scale.
Their obvious flaw is that they don’t boast too many well known players, which could be seen as a good factor as it makes then an unknown quantity. However, in this day and age just about every player with an ounce of talent gets spotted and picked up by the big clubs and the fact that these Slovakian players haven’t been lured away is a concern. However, the vast majority do ply their trade with European clubs so they will have some form of knowledge of how the big names in Europe play. Still, a big lack of quality in camp makes them a weak proposition.
Slovenia Qualification for the World Cup
Goals Scored: 18
Goals Conceded: 4
Slovenia boast the best defensive record in Europe after conceding just four goals in ten qualifiers. However, their solid defence wasn’t enough to seal qualification via the group as they had to battle their way past Russia in a play-off to finally seal their passage in South Africa. Slovenia beat Russia 3-1 on Aggregate, winning in both Russia & Slovenia.
World Cup Potential: 2/5
Their amazing defence during qualifying makes them a potentially awkward opponent for some and they could very well spring a surprise if they defend well in games and knick a rare goal on the break. We don’t think they’ll stand much of a chance against the bigger nations but we don’t think Slovenia will leave South Africa empty handed. We fancy the Slovenians to claim at least one scalp this summer, before they inevitably pack their bags, unfortunately.
Slovenia World Cup Betting Odds
Slovenia to win the World Cup (Outright): 400/1 bWin
Before the World Cup the odds on Slovenia were 300/1
Official Slovenia World Cup Squad
Samir Handanovic (Udinese Calcio)
Jasmin Handanovic (AC Mantova)
Aleksander Seliga (Sparta Rotterdam)
Bojan Jokic (Chievo Verona)
Marko Suler (KAA Gent)
Bostjan Cesar (Grenoble Foot)
Branko Ilic (Lokomotive Moscow)
Matej Mavric (TuS Koblenz)
Elvedin Dzinic (NK Maribor)
Miso Brecko (Cologne)
Suad Filekovic (NK Maribor)
Andraz Kirm (Wisla Cracovia)
Andrej Komac (Maccabi Tel Aviv)
Rene Krhin (Inter Milan)
Dalibor Stevanovic (Vitesse Arnheim)
Robert Koren (West Bromwich Albion)
Aleksander Radosavljevic (AE Larissa)
Valter Birsa (AJ Auxerre)
Milivoje Novakovic (Cologne)
Zlatko Dedic (VfL Bochum)
Zlatan Ljubijankic (KAA Gent)
Nejc Pecnik (Nacional Funchal)
Tim Matavz (FC Groningen)
last update: 18 June 2010
World Cup 2010 Slovenia Fixtures – Group C
|Date - Time||Group||Match||Result|
|12/06 - 19.30||C||England - USA||1-1|
|13/06 - 12.30||C||Algeria - Slovenia||0-1|
|18/06 - 15.00||C||Slovenia - USA||2-2|
|18/06 - 19.30||C||England - Algeria||0-0|
|23/06 - 15.00||C||Slovenia - England||0-1|
|23/06 - 15.00||C||USA - Algeria||1-0|
World Cup 2010 Group C - Table
|Rank||Team||Matches / Points|
|1||USA||3 Matches / 5 Points|
|2||England||3 Matches / 5 Points|
|3||Slovenia||3 Matches / 4 Points|
|4||Algeria||3 Matches / 1 Point|