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England can qualify for Russia with a win against Slovenia

Last updated: October 4, 2017 by Leon Marshal

Game details

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Kick-off: Thursday, 19:45pm
Venue: Wembley
Coverage: ITV
Home Team Form: WWDWW
Away Team Form: WLWLW
Last Meeting: Slovenia 0 – 0 England
Competition: Premier League

A break from the Premier League means once again that there are international fixtures, as we look forward to the final two matches of the World Cup qualifiers. England have all but assured automatic qualification, while Slovenia have their work cut out for them just to make it through to the playoff round. Slovenia must win, while a win for England will mean they are assured of their place in Russia.

England know that a win would book their place in Russia as winners of group F. Technically, they need just two points from the final two games, but surely the Three Lions would want to earn the win in front of their own fans at Wembley. England haven’t necessarily played great throughout the course of the campaign, but they are unbeaten, having drawn twice. They have also won all four of the home games so far and will be hoping to make it five. England’s strikeforce are in deadly form at the moment. Harry Kane especially has found his scoring form and will be wanting to get back on the scoresheet for England.

Along with Scotland, Slovenia are the only other team to have taken points from England, when they earned a 0-0 draw twelve months ago. England were missing a number of first-team players that day and this is surely set to be a tougher test. Slovenia can still technically get second place and make it through to the playoff round. However, they will need to win here and hope the result of the Scotland and Slovakia match goes their way, while beating Scotland in the final game. It’s a tough run in and it would seem that Slovenia will just miss out. Nevertheless, they should be up for this one and with Jan Oblak in goal, England will always find it tough to score.


Team News

Phil Jones and Fabian Delph have withdrawn from the team due to injury.

The form of Harry Kane and Marcus Rashford mean they are surely both to start for England, although Deli Alli misses out through suspension.

Slovenia have one of the best goalkeepers in the world in Jan Oblak, who is sure to start.

Benjamin Verbic is Slovenia’s top goalscorer in the competition with two goals so far.


Expected Line-Ups:

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England (4-3-3): Hart, Bertrand, Cahill, Stones, Walker, Dier, Livermore, Henderson, Sterling, Rashford, Kane
Subs: Butland, Creswell, Smalling, Maguire, Keane, Trippier, Winks, Oxlade-Chamerberlain, Lingard, Defoe, Sturridge
Injured: Phil Jones, Fabian Delph
Doubtful:
Not available: Alli
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Slovenia (4-3-2-1): Oblak, Struna, Samardzic, Cesar, Jokic, Kampl, Krhin, Kurtic, Birsa, Ilicic, Bezjak
Subs: Kranjc, Beric, Verbic, Crnic, Zajc, Mevlija, Sirok, Struna, Novakovic, Omladic, Koprivec, Belec
Injured:
Doubtful:
Not available:

So Far This Campaign

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England So Far This Campaign Slovenia So Far This Campaign
1st League Position 3rd
4 (2) Wins (away) 3 (1)
4 – 0 vs. Malta Biggest Win 4 – 0 vs. Lithuania
0 (2) Draws (away) 1 (1)
Biggest Defeat 1 – 0 vs Scotland
Harry Kane (3) Top Goal Scorer Benjamin Verbic (2)
Y11, R0 Discipline Y17, R0
1 Failures to Score 2
6 Clean Sheets 5
20% Both Teams to Score Games 10%
50% Over 2.5 Goals 20%
50% Under 2.5 Goals 80%
  • England have won all of the qualifying matches at home so far in the campaign, conceding just one goal.
  • Slovenia can technically still qualify but will have to win here and hope that the Slovakia and Scotland result go their way.
  • England have scored at least two goals in each of their last five matches and you’d expect that trend to continue.
  • Slovenia do have five clean sheets in their last seven matches, suggesting that England will at least find it hard to break them down.

Head to Head

Last Five Competitive Meetings Between The Sides
Date Game Result Round First Goal-scorer
05/09/2016 Slovenia 0 – 0 England World Cup Qualifier
14/06/2015 Slovenia 2 – 3 England European Championship Novaković 37′
14/06/2015 England 3 – 1 Slovenia European Championship Henderson OG 57′
15/11/2014 Slovenia 0 – 1 England World Cup Defoe 23′
05/09/2009 England 2 – 1 Slovenia Friendly Lampard 31′

Conclusion & Betting Tips

England only managed a draw in the reverse fixture last year and this will be another tough test. However, they were missing key players at that time and were not in the best form. This match is at home and England can qualify with a win. Despite having Oblak in goal, Slovenia will likely be unable to prevent an England victory here.

There’s not much value in the win, so we’re going with an England win with over 1.5 goals, which you can get at 8/13 at Paddy Power.