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A potential dark horse?

Group C preview: Slovenia

It's been 14 years since we last saw Slovenia in a major tournament when the country finished behind England and the USA at the 2010 World Cup. 

We have to go all the way back to 2000 for their last European Championships. That time, Slovenia didn't win any of their three games but there is a feeling that Matjaž Kek's could surprise a few this year with a squad that has some star names among them.

For all the expert opinion on Slovenia, we spoke to Slovenian football expert Nik (@sloveninho1).

Keep an eye out for Playmaker's definitive guide to the Euros, complete with profiles on all 24 nations competing, in the latest issue of 'The Mighty Delta'


@Getty /

Star man

The star man of the Slovenian team will without a doubt be their goalkeeper, Jan Oblak. Surprisingly, it will be the 31-year-old's first international tournament in his career.

The experienced Atlético man has his most important summer ahead of him, firstly with the national team where will be a key figure and then possibly also securing a new team for himself with Oblak being reported hunted by clubs from all over Europe, from Manchester United to PSG.


Slovenia's Euro 2024 squad

PositionNameTeam
Goalkeeper
Denmark
Vejle BK
Goalkeeper
Spain
Atlético de Madrid
Goalkeeper
Cyprus
APOEL
Defender
Poland
Lech Poznan
Defender
Italy
Udinese
Defender
Turkey
Alanyaspor
Defender
USA
Orlando City
Defender
Russian Federation
FK Sochi
Defender
Poland
Górnik Zabrze
Defender
Slovenia
NK Celje
Defender
Italy
Sampdoria
Midfielder
Slovenia
Olimpija Ljubljana
Midfielder
Greece
Panathinaikos
Midfielder
Austria
Sturm Graz
Midfielder
Austria
Sturm Graz
Midfielder
Italy
SüdTirol
Midfielder
Italy
Udinese
Midfielder
Slovakia
Spartak Trnava
Forward
Slovenia
Maribor
Forward
Switzerland
FC Lugano
Forward
France
Bordeaux
Forward
Greece
Panathinaikos
Forward
Germany
RB Leipzig
Forward
Italy
Pisa
Forward
Greece
Panathinaikos
Forward
Norway
Bodo/Glimt
[G=Games, M=Minutes, GS=Goals Scored, YC=Yellow cards, 2Y=Double Yellows, RC=Red cards]


Young gun

The present and the future of the Slovenian team is undoubtedly Benjamin Šeško. The RB Leipzig striker finished his season in the Bundesliga with 14 goals, impressively scoring in each of his last 7 appearances.

At the age of just 20, Šeško has already struck 11 times for the national team and is set to become the top scorer of his nation in the future. He could end up not just being the young gun, but the star man too.


@Getty /

Wildcard

Josip Iličić returns for one final goodbye to the national team. After two difficult years for the former Atalanta man, Iičić is back to his best and back in the team.

He may not be able to play the full 90, but in tight games, he could end up being the difference at a tournament like this. He wants it, the nation wants it, but we will have to wait to see what impact his presence will have on the team.


Opinion

Slovenia is facing a very tough group, consisting of familiar foes. The good thing is that Slovenia usually performs better against 'bigger' sides, as we’ve just seen in the recent friendlies, first only drawing against Malta but then beating Portugal. 

Indeed, since losing to Serbia in the 2022/23 Nations League campaign, results have been impressive. Slovenia have lost just twice in the last 19 games. Those positive results will boost Matjaž Kek's hopes that they can be the dark horses of the tournament and surprise everyone. 

Although the reality is probably hoping for a lucky third place in the group to get to the round of 16.


Preferred formation: 4-4-2


 



Poll
POLL RESULTS
SLOVENIA
DRAW
DENMARK

Comments

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motivo:
JW
2024-06-09 17h21m by jwhiteheadbarnes
As a passionate Slovenian football fan, I have high hopes for our team in the upcoming Euros. It's been 14 years since we last qualified for a major tournament and I believe this squad has what it takes to surprise a few this year. Our star goalkeeper Jan Oblak will undoubtedly be the key player for us. I can't wait to see him in action on the international stage for the first time. Let's go Slovenia!
2024-06-09 16h57m by l_10_brownfield
Nik (@sloveninho1) As a Slovenian football fan, I am extremely excited to finally see our national team back in a major tournament after 14 years. Our squad may not be the most experienced, but we have some talented players, especially our star goalkeeper Jan Oblak. I have high hopes for our team and I believe we can surprise a few people. Let's go Slovenia!
2024-06-09 16h37m by sjacksons_9_2_1
As a fan of Slovenia's football team, I am feeling quite optimistic about our chances this year. It's been a long time since we've been in a major tournament, but our squad is looking strong and we have some star players like Jan Oblak. I think we have the potential to surprise a few teams and make a good run in the tournament. Can't wait to see our country represented on the big stage again!
JR
2024-06-09 16h07m by jreedmanbrst
As a Slovenian, I have to say I am beyond excited to see our country back in a major tournament after so long. And having a world-class player like Jan Oblak in our squad just adds to the excitement. He's truly our star man and I have no doubt he will make some incredible saves during the Euros. Fingers crossed for a successful tournament for Slovenia!
2024-06-09 15h34m by ocollinsworth
As a fan of the Slovenian team, I'm excited to see Jan Oblak finally get the chance to play in an international tournament. He's been a consistently top-performing goalkeeper for Atletico Madrid and I have no doubt he'll be a key player for Slovenia this year. It's been a long wait since our last major tournament appearance, but I have a feeling Kek's squad could surprise us and make a strong showing. Can't wait to see them in action!
featured game(s)
U Sunday, 16 June 2024 - 17:00
Mercedes-Benz Arena
Sandro Schärer
1-1
Erik Janza 77'
Christian Eriksen 17'
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