Slovenia’s second time in the competition

Will they cause a few upsets against the big teams of european football?

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SloveniaParticipating Teams in the Euro Football 2024 Tournament

Slovenia are one of the 24 nations taking part in this summer’s European Championships in Germany. Reaching the knockout phase will be a tall order, but can the Slovenians spring a surprise in the 2024 Euro Cup?

In this Slovenian team preview, we look back at their qualifying campaign, analyse their expected performances this summer, and check out their possible Euro squad. Can the Slovenians cause a couple of upsets in Germany? 

The Slovenian Football Team in the Euro Football Tournament

Slovenia are making just their second appearance at the European Championships. They first featured on the top Euro stage when they qualified for the tournament in Belgium and the Netherlands in 2000.

The Slovenians booked their place in the 2024 European Championship by finishing runners-up to Denmark in qualifying Group H. They impressed during the qualifiers, winning seven of ten games. 

For the draw for the finals in Germany, Slovenia were seeded in Pot 3. Netherlands, Scotland, Croatia, Slovakia, and Czech Republic were in the same pot, so those nations will avoid one another in the group stage. 

Matjaz Kek’s men have been drawn into a tough 2024 Euro Cup group in Germany. They will go head-to-head with the Danes again, while Serbia will also take part in Group C. Slovenia’s toughest test on paper will be the game against England on June 25th

In their opening 2024 European Championship fixture, the Slovenians will square off against Denmark at the MHPArena in Stuttgart on June 16th. In qualifying, the Danes picked up four points out of six against Slovenia, but the two nations finished level on points. 

Slovenia then head to Munich to face Slovakia. With England and Denmark expected to battle for the top two places in Group C, the matchup against the Slovakians at the Allianz Arena could be huge in the race for a top-three finish. 

The top two will enter the knockout phase, while third place could also be enough. Four of the six teams that finish third will progress to the Round of 16. 

Slovenia end their Group C campaign with a game against England at the RheinEnergieStadion. The English, who reached the final of the last Euro Championship, are one of the tournament favourites in Germany. 

As you would expect, Slovenia will be the massive underdogs against the Three Lions in Cologne. However, they did hold England to a goalless draw in a World Cup qualifier back in 2016. 

With the 2024 edition being just their second appearance, Slovenia are relatively newcomers on the elite European stage. However, they did compete as part of Yugoslavia until 1990. As Slovenia, they made their World Cup debut in 2002 and qualified for the 2010 version in South Africa. 

At the end of the 20th century, Slovenia managed to secure qualification for the Euro Cup in 2000. They finished second behind Norway in Group 2 and entered the play-offs. The Slovenians got the better of Ukraine to book their place in the European Championship finals for the first time. 

Slovenia went up against Spain, Yugoslavia, and Norway in a tricky Group C in Belgium and Holland. Despite picking up two draws, they finished at the bottom of the group and were eliminated. 

The Slovenians were involved in a six-goal thriller with Yugoslavia in game one. They were 3-0 up with around 25 minutes to go, but a late fightback earned the Yugoslavians a share of the spoils in Charleroi. 

Slovenia then fell to a narrow defeat to Spain in Amsterdam. They levelled up in the second half after an early Spanish goal, but La Roja went straight down the other end to score the winning goal on the hour. 

Slovenia still had a chance of reaching the knockout phase on the final day, but they needed to beat Norway on Arnhem. Unfortunately, the Norwegians held them to a 0-0 draw, and Slovenia were subsequently knocked out.  

Slovenia’s Road to the European Championship 2024

Slovenia surprised a few by finishing in the top two of qualifying Group H. They went up against Denmark, Finland, Kazakhstan, Northern Ireland, and San Marino. The Danes were tipped to win the group, but the fight for second was set to be thrilling. 

Slovenia’s campaign got off to the perfect start, as goals from David Brekalo and Zan Vipotnik gave them an impressive 2-1 win against Kazakhstan in Astana. They followed that up with a comfortable 2-0 home victory over San Marino three days later.   

Qualifying resumed in June, and the Slovenians returned to action with a disappointing defeat on the road. They suffered a 2-0 loss to Finland at the Helsinki Olympic Stadium in the Finnish capital. 

Slovenia dusted themselves down and picked up an excellent result in the next one. Matjaz Kek’s side welcomed Denmark to the Stozice Stadium in Ljubljana. The home team took a first-half lead, but the Danes levelled before half time, and the game finished in a 1-1 tie. 

Three months later, Northern Ireland were next to visit Ljubljana. It was a six-goal thriller at the Stozice Stadium, with Slovenia running out 4-2 winners on home soil. Andraz Sporar continued his fine scoring form with a brace. 

Slovenia followed that up with a routine 4-0 away victory against San Marino in Serravalle, with four different names getting on the scoresheet. They then took another giant leap towards Germany with a 3-0 win against Finland in October. 

In the last three games, Slovenia would play Northern Ireland, Denmark, and Kazakhstan. Their quest to reach the 2024 Euro Cup was boosted with a 1-0 victory over Northern Ireland in Belfast. 

They fell to a narrow 2-1 loss to Denmark in their penultimate match, which left the qualification door wide open on the final day. The Danes were through, but Slovenia and Kazakhstan were left to battle it out for second place.

The pair went head-to-head in a crucial game at Stozice Stadium on November 20th. A 41st-minute Benjamin Sesko penalty put Slovenia in front. However, Kazakhstan were level three minutes after half time. A draw was enough for the home team, but Slovenia stole all three points thanks to Benjamin Verbic’s goal four minutes from time. 

Denmark lost in Belfast on the final day, so Slovenia finished level on points with the Danes at the top. However, the Danish national team took first place on head-to-head points. Nevertheless, it was a sensational qualifying campaign for Kek’s Slovenia. 

They had an identical record to Denmark’s, winning seven, drawing one, and losing two of ten qualifiers. The impressive Sesko finished as Slovenia’s top scorer, netting five times. 

Slovenia’s Star Players in the Team

In Jan Oblak, Slovenia have one of the world’s very best goalkeepers. Oblak has been a mainstay in the Atletico Madrid team for the past decade, playing over 300 La Liga games for the Madrid side since making the switch from Benfica B in 2014. 

He made his Slovenia debut way back in 2012 and has been a vital player for his national side ever since. However, Oblak will have to be at the top of his game if Slovenia are to go far in Germany.

Kek has several top players to call upon this summer, with most of them playing in the top leagues in Europe. Petar Stojanovic is well-known to Serie A fans, having played for Empoli and Sampdoria. Jaka Bijol is a Udinese player, while Sandi Lovric also plays his football at the Stadio Friuli in Udine.  

Alongside Oblak, Benjamin Sesko will be a huge player for Slovenia in the 2024 European Championship. Sesko was Slovenia’s top scorer during qualifying, netting several important goals. 

Sesko is one of the hottest prospects in the Bundesliga right now, and the striker will turn 21 a month before the finals begin. Can the Red Bull Leipzig man get the goals in Germany for his national side? 

Slovenia’s Chances of Winning the 2024 European Championship

Slovenia have an experienced coaches in the dugout. Kek has been a manager since 2000, taking over the Slovenian national team in 2018. He has built something special over the past five years, and getting the nation to the 2024 Euro Cup finals goes down as one of his best achievements to date. 

They also have several top players. Jan Oblak has been one of the best goalkeepers in Europe over the past decade, while young Benjamin Sesko is progressing nicely at RB Leipzig. 

Getting out of the group will be a tough task. However, they finished level on points with Denmark in qualifying, and Kek’s men will fancy their chances of unsettling England in Cologne. All three of Slovenia’s group matches will be available to bet on with us at Unibet. 

First and foremost, Slovenia will be looking to finish in the top three of Group C. They are one of the outsiders to win the 2024 tournament, but the Slovenian national team will enjoy every minute in Germany no matter what happens.




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