Slovenia travel to Scotland on Sunday evening in a crucial match in Group F. As it stands, England top the group on 10 points, while Slovenia are second with 8 points. Scotland have four points from their four games so far and defeat against Slovenia would almost end their hopes for qualifying for the World Cup in 2018.
It was always going to be difficult for both Scotland and Slovenia to qualify for the World Cup with England in the group, however a second place finish in the group offers a route to qualification via the play-offs.
Scotland started their qualifying campaign with a 5-1 victory over Malta, but that’s as good as it’s been for the Tartan Army so far. They followed it up with a 1-1 draw with Lithuania and a 3-0 defeat to Slovakia. Qualification was made even more difficult following another 3-0 defeat to England, which saw calls for Gordon Strachan to resign.
On the other hand, Slovenia have had an unbeaten start to their qualifying campaign and sit second in the group, with 8 points from four games. They drew with Lithuania, drew with England at home and have defeated Slovakia and Malta. If they defeat Scotland and England fail to beat Lithuania, Slovenia could top Group F at the end of this international break.
Scotland vs. Slovenia Predictions
Scotland will be at home and will have the roar of Hampden Park behind them, however this promises to be a very tough task. If Scotland fail to win, the qualifying campaign could be all over for them and Strachan would likely have to resign.
Scotland vs. Slovenia Betting Tips
Scotland are slight favourites heading into this match and are available at 27/20. Slovenia are well priced at 47/20 and the draw is available at 41/20. Chris Martin leads the goalscoring markets with odds of 21/4 to score first and 41/20 to score anytime.
Head to Head
- Scotland have managed just one win in their last five games, that coming against minnows Malta.
- Slovenia are unbeaten in their last seven games, including a 0-0 draw at home to England.
Scotland Team News
Grant Hanley suffered an injury and was replaced by Leeds defender Liam Cooper. West Brom winger Matt Phillips and Crystal Palace’s James McArthur also miss out. James Morrison missed the midweek friendly against Canada, but could return to play Slovenia.
Scotland Squad: Craig Gordon, David Marshall, Allan McGregor, Christophe Berra, Grant Hanley, Russell Martin, Charlie Mulgrew, Andrew Robertson, Keiran Tierney, Lee Wallace, Ikechi Anya, Stuart Armstrong, Barry Bannan, Scott Brown, Oliver Burke, Tom Cairney, Darren Fletcher, James Forest, Ryan Fraser, James McArthur, John McGinn, James Morrison, Matt Phillips, Matt Ritchi, Robert Snodgrass, Steven Fletcher, Leigh Griffiths, Chris Martin, Steven Naismith, Jordan Rhodes
Slovenia Team News
Slovenia also have injury problems going into the match, with Josip Ilicic almost certainly missing the tie with an ankle fracture. Of the 24 men selected in Srecko Katanec’s squad, just nine completed a full 90 minutes for their clubs last weekend.
Slovenia Squad: Jan Oblak, Vid Belec, Jan Koprivec, Bostjan Cesar, Bojan Jokic, Luka Krajnc, Miha Mevlia, Miral Samardzic, Aljaz Struna, Andraz Struna, Matija Sirok, Valter Birsa, Matic Crnic, Kevin Kampl, Rene Krhin, Jasmin Kurtic, Zan Majer, Nik Omladic, Benjamin Verbic, Miha Zajc, Robert Beric, Roman Bezjak, Josip Ilicic, Milivoje Novakovic