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Slovenia national football team
European Championship | Group Stage
Jun 20, 2024 at 2pm UK
Allianz Arena
Serbia national football team

Slovenia
1 - 1
Serbia

Karnicnik (69')
Janza (87'), Vipotnik (90+4')
FT(HT: 0-0)
Jovic (90+5')
Mladenovic (25'), Lukic (54'), Jovic (90+2'), Gacinovic (90+3')

Preview: Slovenia vs. Serbia - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Thursday's Euro 2024 clash between Slovenia and Serbia, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

HALF-TIME UPDATE: SLOVENIA 0-0 SERBIA

Slovenia's Benjamin Sesko in action with Serbia's Nikola Milenkovic on June 20, 2024© Reuters

It is all square at the break in Munich between Slovenia and Serbia - just the second goalless first half at Euro 2024 - with both sides currently lacking a cutting edge in the final third.

Slovenia started the brightest of the two teams and produced the first effort on goal in the seventh minute when Jan Mlakar's low drive was denied by the feet of Serbia goalkeeper Predrag Rajkovic.

Dragan Stojkovic's side were sloppy in possession during the opening half-hour, attempting to play out from the back, and were fortunate that they we not punished by a lively Slovenia outfit.

Serbia eventually grew into the game, though, and Dusan Vlahovic was their most threatening player, with the Juventus striker testing Jan Oblak with a close-range header shortly before the break.

Both teams will be keen to find a clinical touch in the second half as they endeavour to boost their chances of reaching the last 16 after failing to win their opening Group C matches.

HALF-TIME PREDICTION: SLOVENIA 1-1 SERBIA


Two Group C teams playing catch-up in the race to qualify for the last 16 of Euro 2024 square off at the Allianz Arena in Munich on Thursday afternoon, as Slovenia take on Serbia.

Both nations, who failed to win their opening group matches, are separated by just one point in the current standings and know that victory here would significantly boost their chances of reaching the knockout rounds.


Match preview

Slovenia's Erik Janza celebrates scoring their first goal with teammates on June 16, 2024© Reuters

Competing at their first European Championship since 2000 and first major tournament since the 2010 World Cup, Slovenia kick-started their Euro 2024 Group C campaign with a 1-1 draw with Denmark in Stuttgart last Sunday.

The Danes were leading at the break courtesy of a well-worked goal, finished by Christian Eriksen who scored exactly 1,110 days after suffering a cardiac arrest at Euro 2020. However, Slovenia valiantly fought back and restored parity 13 minutes from time when Erik Janza's deflected strike flew past Kasper Schmeichel.

Both nations were forced to share the spoils and Slovenia head coach Matjaz Kek felt that it was a "fair" result following a game of two "very different" halves, with his side ending the contest strongly.

Ranked 57th in the world by FIFA, Slovenia are still awaiting their first-ever victory at the European Championship as an independent nation after failing to come out on top in any of their previous three matches at Euro 2000, although one of two draws during that tournament was against Serbia (then playing as Yugoslavia).

Indeed, that thrilling six-goal draw saw Slovenia take a 3-0 lead before their ten-man opponents valiantly fought back to score three times in the space of just seven second-half minutes to rescue a 3-3 draw; Serbia boss Dragan Stojkovic was a first-half substitute in that match.

Slovenia are unbeaten in their last seven international games in all competitions, but they have only won one of their last four meetings with Serbia, most recently playing out a 2-2 draw in the UEFA Nations League in June 2022, just seven days after suffering a 4-1 defeat against the same opponent.

Serbia manager Dragan Stojkovic pictured before the game on June 16, 2024 [IMAGO]© Imago

Serbia are competing at the European Championship for the first time as an independent nation this summer, but they were unable to claim any points from their opening Group C fixture as they were beaten 1-0 by tournament favourites England last Sunday.

The Three Lions were deservedly in front in the 13th minute when Jude Bellingham headed home the opening goal, but Serbia gradually grew into the contest and particularly improved in the second half, forcing the Three Lions to soak up pressure for extended periods.

Although Serbia ultimately lacked a cutting edge in the final third, registering just one of their six shots on target, manager Stojkovic was keen to praise the "bravery" of his players and felt that his side "did not deserve to lose" against a nation ranked 29 places above them in the FIFA standings.

Including matches as Yugoslavia/Serbia and Montenegro, Serbia have now won just one of their last 12 European Championship fixtures (D2 L9) and defeat on matchday one leaves them rooted to the foot of Group C, needing at least one victory from their final two group games to realistically give themselves any hope of reaching the knockout rounds.

Serbia's four points accumulated from two Nations League encounters with Slovenia in 2022 should provide Stojkovic's men with an element of confidence heading into Thursday's contest, and they are sure to view this fixture as a must-win match before facing Denmark in their final Group C game on June 25.

Slovenia European Championship form:


Slovenia form (all competitions):


Serbia European Championship form:


Serbia form (all competitions):



Team News

Slovenia's Timi Max Elsnik in action on June 16, 2024 [IMAGO]© Imago

Slovenia boss Kek could name an unchanged starting lineup for Thursday's match, with last weekend's goalscorer Janza set to continue at left-back and join Jaka Bijol, Vanja Drkusic and Zan Karnicnik in the back four, protecting Atletico Madrid goalkeeper Jan Oblak.

Adam Gnezda Cerin and Timi Max Elsnik are set to links area once again in centre-midfield, although 92-cap Jasmin Kurtic will be pushing for a recall, while Petar Stojanovic and Jan Mlakar are expected to continue on the flanks.

Star striker Benjamin Sesko, who has scored 11 goals in 30 international caps for Slovenia, is set to be joined up front by Andraz Sporar, with Zan Celar and Jan Mlakar providing cover on the substitutes' bench.

Thirty-six-year-old Josip Ilicic will be hoping to feature in some capacity after watching on as an unused substitute last time out; the versatile Maribor attacker, formerly of Fiorentina and Atalanta BC, sits third on Slovenia's all-time scoring charts having netted 17 times in 81 appearances.

As for Serbia, Filip Kostic has been ruled out of the rest of Euro 2024 after sustaining a knee injury against England, so Filip Mladenovic is set to take his place at left wing-back.

Fulham's Sasa Lukic and Sevilla's Nemanja Gudelj could continue in centre-midfield, unless Stojkovic decides to move Sergej Milinkovic-Savic into a deeper role after starting as a number 10 last time out.

Should Milinkovic-Savic play deeper, that would open the door for playmaker Dusan Tadic, who surprisingly began as a substitute against England, to return to the starting lineup and play in behind Al-Hilal striker Aleksandar Mitrovic and Juventus star Dusan Vlahovic.

Tadic, who now plies his trade with Fenerbahce at club level, is Serbia's all-time record appearance-maker (109 caps) and he has chipped in with 29 goals and 40 assists since his debut in 2008, while Mitrovic is Serbia's all-time top goalscorer having netted 58 goals in 92 appearances, 20 goals more than Stjepan Bobek who sits second on the list.


Slovenia possible starting lineup:
Oblak; Karnicnik, Blazic, Bijol, Janza; Stojanovic, Gnezda Cerin, Elsnik, Mlakar; Sporar, Sesko

Serbia possible starting lineup:
V. Milinkovic-Savic; Veljkovic, Milenkovic, Pavlovic; Zivkovic, S. Milinkovic-Savic, Gudelj, Mladenovic; Tadic; Vlahovic, Mitrovic



SM words green background

We say: Slovenia 1-1 Serbia

Six of the last eight meetings between these two nations have ended as draw, and although both teams will be pushing for a victory on Thursday, a closely-fought contest could be on the cards in Munich.

Both nations possess star strikers that have the capabilities to cause problems on their day, but whether their threat is enough to power their side to three crucial points remains to be seen.



For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.




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Game History

How you voted: Slovenia vs Serbia

Slovenia
29.6%
Draw
34.1%
Serbia
36.3%
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RB Leipzig's Benjamin Sesko during the warm up on February 13, 2024
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Group A

TeamPWDLPTS
Q Germany Germany32107
Q Switzerland Switzerland31205
3 Hungary Hungary31023
4 Scotland flag Scotland30121

Group B

TeamPWDLPTS
Q Spain Spain33009
Q Italy Italy31114
3 Croatia Croatia30212
4 Albania national flag Albania30121

Group C

TeamPWDLPTS
Q England flag England31205
Q Denmark Denmark30303
Q Slovenia Slovenia30303
4 Serbia Serbia30212

Group D

TeamPWDLPTS
Q Austria Austria32016
Q France France31205
Q Netherlands Netherlands31114
4 Poland Poland30121

Group E

TeamPWDLPTS
Q Romania Romania31114
Q Belgium Belgium31114
Q Slovakia Slovakia31114
4 Ukraine Ukraine31114

Group F

TeamPWDLPTS
Q Portugal Portugal32016
Q Turkey Turkey32016
Q Georgia Georgia31114
4 Czech Republic Czech Republic30121


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