Slovenia - Scotland Preview: Craig Levein's men continue the rebuilding process after Euro 2012 disappointment
The visitors start to look forward to their opening World Cup qualification matches in September and hope to claim their second friendly win in a row
By Matthew Harold
Cesar, Suler, Brecko, Jokic
Kirm, Radosavljevic, Ilicic, Birsa
Hutton, Caldwell, Berra, Mulgrew
Forrest, Cowie, Morrison, Mackie
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.
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
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 Craig 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.
|Sign up with William Hill for a free bet up to £25|
|Sign up with bet365 for a free bet up to £200|
|Sign up to Paddy Power for £250 in free bets|
Top 3 Predictions
Slovenia 1-2 Scotland
- 18.64 %
Slovenia 2-0 Scotland
- 18.64 %
Slovenia 1-1 Scotland
- 11.86 %
|International Friendlies (FR)||29 Feb 2012||Slovenia 1 - Scotland 1|
|19 Nov 2013||Slovenia 1 - Canada 0||FR|
|15 Oct 2013||Switzerland 1 - Slovenia 0||WCQE|
|11 Oct 2013||Slovenia 3 - Norway 0||WCQE|
|10 Sep 2013||Cyprus 0 - Slovenia 2||WCQE|
|6 Sep 2013||Slovenia 1 - Albania 0||WCQE|
Times In GMT
Live Final scheduled Suspended Cancelled Postponed