Slovenia welcome the visitors North Macedonia in the Euro Qualification – Round 2. The match will be held on Sunday, March, 24th, at the Stadion Stozice (Ljubljana).
The Slovenia national team were again appointed a new manager. After the failure in the UEFA Nations League, the side are guided by Matjaz Kek. It’s not the specialist’s first appointment here – just under his stewardship, the team attained their first pass to the World Cup 2019. In the first Euro 2020 qualifier, the hosts on the day drawed against the plucky Israel out, 1:1.
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In the first qualification round, the North Macedonia (former Macedonia) didn’t face any special issues against Lithuania at home, 3:1. The thing is that the Lithuanians are very weak now, running winless in nine matches in the row, drawing against Andorra and losing to Gibraltar.
On their turf, North Macedonia play very confident against weaker sides like Lichtenstein, Armenia, Gibraltar, and Azerbaijan; when they compete with teams of their level or stronger ones, they struggle. The Macedonians attained one point at most clashing with Ireland, Bulgaria, and Turkey – provided they played in front of their fans. On the road, Macedonia struggle even more: while they somehow manage to win Lichtenstein and Gibraltar, Ukraine, Albania, Finland, Armenia, and even Luxemburg are not doable for them. Same as Slovenia that they lost to in the sole meeting held three years back, 1:0.
Either Sunday opponent are staffed with foreign players who compete in frugal leagues and frugal clubs. Still, Slovenia have some crucial advantages: the promising manager and the home pitch. Both nations used to belong to Yugoslavia. Six republics parted not well, to put it mild, and still have issues between themselves, which affects football competitions as well. Therefore, we may foresee a combative encounter with many bookings, possibly, a dismissal (by the way, the Spanish referee Fernandez will be there – he is very generous for yellow cards), and a small number of goals.
In fifteen latest home fixtures, Slovenia lost just four times and only 3 matches produced over 2.5 goals. Considering the above, no goal-fest is expected, and the homeside are supposed to attain some points.
Prediction for the match: Slovenia to win or Draw & Under 2.5 goals.