The Slovenia Times

Slovenia Hosting Group-Leading England in Euro Qualifiers


The 16,000 seat stadium is expected to receive some 2,500 English fans, who started arriving to Slovenia three days before the match.

Slovenia's head coach Srečko Katanec says that the English are clear favourites and that the guests will dominate ball possession, but he also believes that Slovenia will have their chances.

"If we make 50% fewer mistakes than in London, it will be a spectacle," said the coach, who wants his players to play their game and show no fear, as this is the only way to make a breakthrough.

"The English are a good team. We will try take advantage of our chances in certain phases of the match. We will certainly have some. It depends on individual quality whether we will score," added Katanec, who is looking forward to a packed stadium and support from the Slovenian fans.

England manager Roy Hodgson, who can count on a full squad with the exception of forward Danny Welbeck, did not want to reveal the team that will start the match due to tactical reasons.

Hodgson said that a lot of young players had been brought to the team since England's appearance at the World Cup a year ago, adding that his team was young and in need of experience, games and challenges.

Captain Wayne Rooney believes that despite the gruelling season, the English still have something left in the tank to finalise the season with a success against Slovenia.

Stožice Stadium is expected to be full, as English fans started coming to Ljubljana already on Thursday. The local tourism board has estimated that there will be between 5,000 and 8,000 English in the capital over the weekend.

According to the Slovenian Football Association, there will be some 2,500 English fans at the stadium. Security will be provided by around 600 police officers, including seven spotters from the British police.

Slovenia will be looking to avenge the 1-3 loss to England in London last November, but Katanec has noted that today's match will not be decisive for the outcome of the qualifiers.

After the match with England, Slovenia will have a two and a half month break before taking on Switzerland on the road on 5 September.

England lead the group with a perfect score of 15 points, followed by Slovenia and Switzerland (nine each), Lithuania (6), Estonia (4) and San Marino (1).


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