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Friendlies

  • 29 February 2012
  • • 19:45
  • • ŠRC Bonifika, Koper
  • Referee: A. Stavrev
  • • Attendance: 4190
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Slovenia - Scotland Preview: Craig Levein's men continue rebuilding process after Euro 2012 disappointment

Slovenia - Scotland Preview: Craig Levein's men continue rebuilding process after Euro 2012 disappointment

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The visitors start to look forward to their opening World Cup qualifcation matches in September and hope to claim their second friendly win in a row against Slovenia

  PROBABLE LINE-UPS
SLOVENIA

Handanovic
Cesar, Suler, Brecko, Jokic
Kirm, Radosavljevic, Ilicic, Birsa
Matavz, Ljubijankic
SCOTLAND

McGregor
Foster, Caldwell, Berra, Mulgrew
Adam
Forrest, Cowie, Morrison, Mackie
Miller

Slovenia coach Slavisa Stojanovic goes into his second game in charge of the national side after replacing Matjaz Kek without the veteran duo of Hull City’s Robert Koren and Koln striker Milivoje Novakovic.

Stojanovic is also sweating on the fitness of his talented young forward, Tim Matavz, who recently played in PSV’s 3-2 victory over Feyenoord despite carrying an injury.

Scotland boss Craig Levein will be without the services of Celtic captain Scott Brown, Sunderland full-back Phil Bardsley and Blackpool winger Matt Phillips, who recently switched his allegiance from England where he was capped at under-20 level.

Similarly Bristol City full-back Richard Foster has been called up in place of Aston Villa's Alan Hutton, who has withdrawn from the squad due to injury.

However, Levein is boosted by the return of Sunderland goalkeeper Craig Gordon, who has been recalled to the national side despite only playing in three reserve games for Martin
O’Neill’s side.

Levein has also handed a first call-up to Celtic defender Charlie Mulgrew, after the 25-year-old’s superb performances for the Parkhead side took them top of the Scottish Premier League.

DID YOU KNOW?

  • Slovenia failed to qualify from Euro 2012 Group C, finishing behind Italy, Estonia and Serbia, which led to the sacking of Kek.
  • Stojanovic suffered a defeat in his opening game in charge of, losing 3-2 to the USA in November.
  • The Slovenians are currently ranked 27th in Fifa World rankings, 21 places above their opponents.
  • Scotland boss Levein's original squad announcement included seven players who were born in England.
  • Cardiff striker Kenny Miller (pictured right) is the top goalscorer in the current Scotland squad with 16 goals whilst second-placed players Gary Caldwell and Jamie Mackie have two apiece.
  • Miller comes into the game on the back of disappointment in the League Cup final. His side lost out on penalties to Liverpool after a 2-2 draw following extra time.
  • The sides have met twice during the World Cup 2006 qualifiers, were they drew at Hampden before Darren Fletcher, James McFadden and Paul Hartley helped Walter Smith’s side claim a victory in Celje.

Players to watch

T. Matavž

Position: Attacker

Games: 1

  • 0
  • 0
  • 0
The 23-year-old striker is the new star of Slovenian football, having joining PSV Eindhoven from FC Groningen at the end of the summer transfer window and claiming 17 goals for his new side this season.

He has already netted seven times so far in his 12 appearances for the national side, which makes him the top scorer in the current squad.

K. Miller

Position: Attacker

Games: 0

  • 0
  • 0
  • 0
The Cardiff striker comes into the game off the back of the Welsh side’s heartbreaking lost in the League Cup final against Liverpool.

And, with Craig Mackail-Smith and Jordan Rhodes putting pressure on the 32-year-old hitman, he will be looking to put in a performance to keep the pair at arm’s length.

Editor's Prediction

Having failed to reach Euro 2012, both sides will be looking to use this game in order to start the rebuilding process as they look towards the World Cup 2014 qualifiers.

With Slovenia having fallen to defeat at home to the USA in Slavisa Stojanovic’s first match in charge they will be looking to rectify the situation with a victory.

Meanwhile, Scotland will be hoping to continue from where they left off in their previous friendly fixture away to Cyprus as Levein’s side prepare for a double header against Serbia and Macedonia in September.

Last Five Matches

Head To Head

Slovenia

Scotland

Wins
0
2
1
Wins

Betting & Predictions

Reader's Predictions

Slovenia SVN
Slovenia Slovenia
Draw
Scotland SCO
Scotland Scotland
49%
20%
31%

Top 3 Predictions

Slovenia SVN
2 - 0
Scotland SCO
Slovenia SVN
1 - 2
Scotland SCO
Slovenia SVN
1 - 1
Scotland SCO

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