Your Guide to SA 2010 : Slovenia

Slovenia enter the world cup having caused one of the biggest upsets of the Qualifying Campaign when the managed to eliminate Russia in the playoffs. Their only previous appearance in the World Cup was in 2002 and that campaign was disastrous to say the least.

Slovenia have built a strong squad built around a well organized defense which conceded only 6 goals in their entire qualifying campaign and only 4 in the group stages of the qualifying stage. After finishing second in their group ahead of the Czech Republic they faced off against Russia in the playoffs and drew 2-2 on aggregate, reaching the World Cup thanks to the away goals rule.

The Manager

Matjaz Kek was not a popular choice upon being appointed in 2007. Throughout the qualification campaign he was constantly criticized. However, his popularity has shot up after helping Slovenia secure qualification to the World Cup after knocking out Russia.

The Squad

Samir Handanovič, Aleksander Šeliga, Jasmin Handanovič.

Mišo Brečko, Elvedin Džinič, Marko Šuler, Boštjan Cesar, Branko Ilič, Bojan Jokić, Suad Filekovič, Matej Mavrič.

Robert Koren, Valter Birsa, Rene Krhin, Andraž Kirm, Aleksander Radosavljevič, Andrej Komac, Dalibor Stevanovič.

Zlatan Ljubijankič, Milivoje Novakovič, Zlatko Dedič, Tim Matavž.

Man to watch

Samir Handanovič

The Udinese keeper is highly regarded in Italy. He is well known for his athletic ability and at just 25 is well on his way to becoming one of the highest capped Slovenian player.

FP Verdict
 Slovenia have a very difficult task ahead of them - only defensive grit can keep them alive in the tournament.

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