Slovenia vs Slovakia by Luke
Slovenia didn't start the qualifications in a proper way, since the team managed to take only a point in a 2:2 draw awa from home against Lithuania early in September. Even though they were much better during the match, the team also needs to feel very happy to have taken the point, since they were losing 2:0 at the halftime (goals from Cernych and Slivka), just to equalize in third minute of additional time.
Krhin reduced the deficit in 77th during the second halftime which completely belonged to the visitors, who finally got the point thanks to a goal from Cesar, as already said in third minute of additional time. After only a point here, Slovania now needs a victory against Slovakia, since only a three pointer would keep them with decent chances of getting two top spots, as the team is drawn in a group together with England, Scotland and Slovakia out of more stronger teams and simply can't afford to have consecutive setbacks. They didn't win in previous four matches, scoring only in the previous match against Lithuania.
Experienced players such as goalkeeper Handanovic (Inter), defenders Brecko (Nurnberg) and Ilic (Urawa) are not part of the team anymore having retired from international duty. Defender Struna (Giannina) and midfielder Kirm (Olimpija Ljubljana) will not participate here out of more known players.
Slovakia, on the other side, looked generally well in the defense intheir first game of the qualifying round, when the team welcomed England and suffered defeat with a 0:1 result. However, must be said that they did almost nothing in offense, not being able to create anything dangerous in front of opponents goal, while their lives became even less easy when central defender Skrtel had to leave the pitch in 57th minute due second yellow card.
England was attacking and attacking, keeping much more of the ball to their feet, finally managing to get the deserved victory in fifth minute of additional time with a goal from Lallana. After this defeat, the team needs to react here and simply can't afford to lose another game.
Visitors won't be counting at forward experienced forward Vittek (Debrecen), but also midfielders Stoch (Fenerbahce), Weiss (Al-Gharafa) and defender Pekarik (Hertha), plus couple of more who were part of the team in previous year or two.
Neither of the teams are really in the best shape, but for me Slovaks remain stronger, surely having at least a bit more of individual quality. After all, they were present at Euro and didn't leave that poor impression, while Slovenia doesn't inspire with confidence at all. One way or another, I don't see the Slovakian team losing here, even though they miss couple of players.