The Slovenia Times

Football: Katanec Names Squad for 1st Euro 2016 Qualifier


The line-up, which brings no major surprises, has notably been expanded with midfielder Damjan Bohar and Mitja Viler of Slovenian champions Maribor, who qualified for the UEFA Champions League earlier this week.

Back on the team after a longer absence is Dominic Maroh, defender for FC Köln, while defenders Bojan Jokić and Martin Milc are off the list because of injury problems.

"I didn't write anyone off. I'm trying my best to get together the best team for a specific game, cycle. The players summoned are presently the best, but we will see what the situation will be in a month," Katanec said.

Veteran defender Marko Šuler meanwhile bid his farewell to the national team recently. The 31-year-old, who currently plays for Maribor, has 39 caps for Slovenia and has scored three goals.

The Slovenian team, which will open its training camp at Brdo pri Kranju next Monday, will face Estonia in Tallin on 8 September. It will then host Switzerland in Maribor on 9 October, play an away game in Lithuania on 12 October and face England at Wembley on 15 November in qualifying Group E.

In a major change from previous Euro final tournaments, a total of 24 teams will qualify, which is eight more than in the past. Group winners, runners-up, and the best third-placed team among all nine groups directly qualify for the finals, and the remaining eight third-placed teams go into the play-offs.

* Slovenia's roster for Estonia:
- goalkeepers: Samir Handanović (Inter), Jan Oblak (Atletico Madrid), Vid Belec (Inter);
- defenders: Gregor Balažic (Karpaty Lviv), Mišo Brečko (Köln), Boštjan Cesar (Chievo), Branko Ilić (Partizan), Dominic Maroh (Köln), Miral Samardžić (Rijeka), Mitja Viler (Maribor)
- midfielders: Damjan Bohar (Maribor), Josip Iličić (Fiorentina), Kevin Kampl (Red Bull Salzburg), Jasmin Kutrić (Sassuolo), Dejan Lazarević (Chievo), Aleš Mertelj (Maribor), Rajko Rotman (Istanbul Basaksehir), Dalibor Stevanović (Torpedo Moscow), Andraž Struna (Giannina), Valter Birsa (Chievo);
- strikers: Zlatan Ljubijankić (Omiya Ardija), Tim Matavž (Augsburg), Milivoje Novaković (Shimizu S-Pulse).


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