Slovenia vs Macedonia
EURO 2020 Qualification
Date: Sunday, 24 March 2019
Kick-Off at 19:45 UK / 20:45 CET
Venue: Stadion Stozice (Ljubljana).
Slovenia are looking to fix the dreadful impression they left in the inaugural edition of the UEFA Nations League. They finished their respective Group in League D at the rock bottom of the standings with three draws and losses apiece in six games against the likes of Norway, Bulgaria and Cyprus. Such an underwhelming run was a sign for managerial change as Matjaz Kek took charge in November last year.
Kek will have a very tough task to lead Slovenia to one of top two spots in an evenly-matched Group G of EURO Qualifications past the likes of Poland, Austria, Israel and Macedonia. It is by no means a mission impossible, but a bright start would be of a huge help. Can Slovenians rise and pick up the spoils when they host Balkans rivals Macedonia in the second round on Sunday evening at Stadion Stozice?
Slovenia vs Macedonia: Head-to-head
Macedonians have always been unpleasant rivals for Slovenia.
The Red Lynxes won three and lost one of past four encounters with Slovenians.
Macedonia bagged at least two goals in each of three wins over Slovenia.
Zmajceci came on top in the last H2H encounter though, beating Macedonia 1-0 in a friendly in March 2016.
Slovenia vs Macedonia: Prediction
Kek has a strong midfield line led by a pair of Italian Serie A regulars Josip Ilicic (Atalanta) and Jasmin Kurtic (SPAL). Saint-Etienne’s striker Robert Beric will be the biggest threat to Macedonian goal here and we can say the hosts have weapons to hurt the Red Lynxes who lack high-quality players at the back.
Macedonia revealed their defensive weaknesses in a demolishing 4-0 defeat to Armenia in UEFA Nations League tie in October last year. It was their lone defeat in six matches in the competition as Igor Angelovski’s troops earned the promotion to League C by topping their group ahead of Armenia, Gibraltar and Liechtenstein.
Unlike Slovenians, Macedonia have a back-up way to make it to EURO 2020 through the Nations League play-offs. The hosts, who have more quality in their squad, cannot afford a failure here and we expect them to pick up the victory in Ljubljana.
Slovenia vs Macedonia: Bet Tips
Slovenia to win @ 1.57 (4/7)
Slovenia Over 1.5 Team Goals @ 1.90 (9/10).