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Preview: Slovenia vs. Serbia

Preview: Slovenia vs. Serbia

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The curious psychology of tournament football means that group positions are often deceptive after one round of fixtures. Serbia are bottom of Group C but had plenty of positives to take from their narrow defeat to England, while Slovenia are in third due to their yellow card count and yet will have been satisfied to take a deserved point from their game with Denmark.


By Ian King


The result of all this is that, after two narrow games in the lowest scoring group in the first round of fixtures, there’s a feeling that anything could happen in the last four. Both were tight, low scoring and featured few chances. And next up, Serbia and Slovenia have to deal with each other. 

Against England, Serbia were defensively strong and physical in midfield, but stodgy in attacking positions. They only really troubled Jordan Pickford once, from distance through Dušan Vlahović, with eight minutes left. It was their only shot on target of the night, and against an England defence that is undoubtedly that team’s weakest link, that’s not a very impressive return.

Having said that, Slovenia only went one better against Denmark, though they did score and grab a point thanks to Erik Janža’s equaliser, scored with thirteen minutes to play. Christian Eriksen’s first half goal, in his first match in the finals of this competition since his cardiac arrest in Copenhagen three years earlier, was so laden with narrative that Slovenia almost seemed to melt into the background until they popped up with an equaliser which popped much of the fairytale narrative that was being prepared by writers everywhere. 

The history between the two teams is scant. In the same qualification group for Euro 2012, they drew 1-1 in Belgrade while Slovenia won 1-0 in the return match in Ljubljana. In the Nations League in 2022, Serbia won 4-1 while the return match finished in a 2-2 draw, but they’ve been nothing if not inconsistent these last couple of years, having failed to secure the same result twice successively since the last World Cup.

Slovenia didn’t qualify for that, but they’ve only lost once since the start of 2023 and are now seven games unbeaten. Benjamin Šeško, upon whom so many of their hopes rest, did look impressive against Denmark. But what they can take from this game may come down to which Serbia team turn up. The team that gave England such a tough night could also cause Slovenia problems.


(Cover image from IMAGO)


You can follow every game from Euro 2024 live with FotMob — featuring deep stats coverage, xG, and player ratings. Download the free app here.

Preview: Slovenia vs. Serbia

The curious psychology of tournament football means that group positions are often deceptive after one round of fixtures. Serbia are bottom of Group C but had plenty of positives to take from their narrow defeat to England, while Slovenia are in third due to their yellow card count and yet will have been satisfied to take a deserved point from their game with Denmark.


By Ian King


The result of all this is that, after two narrow games in the lowest scoring group in the first round of fixtures, there’s a feeling that anything could happen in the last four. Both were tight, low scoring and featured few chances. And next up, Serbia and Slovenia have to deal with each other. 

Against England, Serbia were defensively strong and physical in midfield, but stodgy in attacking positions. They only really troubled Jordan Pickford once, from distance through Dušan Vlahović, with eight minutes left. It was their only shot on target of the night, and against an England defence that is undoubtedly that team’s weakest link, that’s not a very impressive return.

Having said that, Slovenia only went one better against Denmark, though they did score and grab a point thanks to Erik Janža’s equaliser, scored with thirteen minutes to play. Christian Eriksen’s first half goal, in his first match in the finals of this competition since his cardiac arrest in Copenhagen three years earlier, was so laden with narrative that Slovenia almost seemed to melt into the background until they popped up with an equaliser which popped much of the fairytale narrative that was being prepared by writers everywhere. 

The history between the two teams is scant. In the same qualification group for Euro 2012, they drew 1-1 in Belgrade while Slovenia won 1-0 in the return match in Ljubljana. In the Nations League in 2022, Serbia won 4-1 while the return match finished in a 2-2 draw, but they’ve been nothing if not inconsistent these last couple of years, having failed to secure the same result twice successively since the last World Cup.

Slovenia didn’t qualify for that, but they’ve only lost once since the start of 2023 and are now seven games unbeaten. Benjamin Šeško, upon whom so many of their hopes rest, did look impressive against Denmark. But what they can take from this game may come down to which Serbia team turn up. The team that gave England such a tough night could also cause Slovenia problems.


(Cover image from IMAGO)


You can follow every game from Euro 2024 live with FotMob — featuring deep stats coverage, xG, and player ratings. Download the free app here.