Slovenia was competitive for some time in the Euro qualifying bid last year, however, being drawn in the group together with Poland and Austria was simply too much for them.
In the end, they ended up as the fourth team with the same number of points as Northern Macedonia. Quite a poor finishing of the qualifying path also, as they suffered three defeats in the last four rounds.
It were losses against North Macedonia, Austria, and Poland, only winning at home against rock bottom-placed Latvia.
The hosts will miss left-back Jokic (100/1, Ufa), defender Struna (21/1, Houston), midfielders Ilicic (65/9, Atalanta), Krhin (48/2, Nantes), Verbic (29/5, Dynamo Kyiv), and striker Matavz (38/11, Al-Wahda) out of more noticeable ones compared to previous call-ups.
Greece disappointed in the previous qualifying stage, being completely out of shape at the start of it and their chances were minimal almost after the first couple of matches.
In the end, they took the third position with three victories in a row when their fate was already sealed actually. Victories came at home over Bosnia & Herzegovina and Finland, pulling out a minimal victory on the road to Armenia.
Surely that such results didn’t meet the standards of their demanding fans, but do stand as a good sign for the challenges that are coming and are important for the atmosphere around the national team.
Defenders Retsos (5/0, Leverkusen), Torosidis (101/10, Olympiacos), Sokratis (90/3, Arsenal), Manolas (42/1, Napoli), midfielder Samaris (39/1, Benfica) and forward Donis (11/1, Reims) won’t be part of the team this time.
New – open style
With a new coach, the Greeks are opting for a really offensive and I expect their matches to have more goals than usually in the next matches. Slovenia themselves aren’t that naive in the attack either, so goals are more likely than what the odds suggest. Value bet though.