The battle for a place in Euro 2016

Last updated: November 13, 2015 by Leon Marshal

Game details

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Kick-off: Saturday, 5pm
Venue: L’viv Arena
Coverage: Sky Sports 1, BBC 5 Live
Home form: LWDWW
Away form: WDWLL
Last meeting: 1-1
Competition: The Euro 2016 play-offs

The year was 1999. The Ukraine were visiting Slovenia in the first leg of the Euro 2000 play-offs . In the first half Shevchenko showed his pure class and opened with a very nice curling shot from about 20 metres. Then in the second half, Slovenia were better. Zahovic levelled 7 minutes after the break. It looked like the game would finish with a draw, but the Slovenian midfielder Acimovic had other plans. He scored from more than 50 metres to take the glory for himself. But there was another match between these two teams.

The second leg was played one week later. It was snowing in Kyiv and the Ukraine were 1-0 ahead 23 minutes to go. This result meant the Ukraine would go on to the final tournament. But 10 minutes before the end of the game Pavlin found the back of the net and sent the Slovenians to the first major tournament in their history.

The Ukraine have never won against Slovenia. There has been two draws and two victories for the Slovenians. So, it won’t be an easy game for the ‘Yellow-Blue’ team. In addition, all the Slovenian players are showing really good form. Jan Oblak is one of the best goalkeeper in The Spanish Primera Division. Milivoje Novakovic just can’t stop scoring goals.

Team News

The defender Mišo Brečko of Nurnberg is recalled into the Slovenia squad for the fixtures against the Ukraine. He took part in the first 6 group games.

Robert Beric of Slovenia is suffering from a serious knee injury and wasn’t selected by the manager. His recovery will take at least 6 months.

Ivan Petryak has been included into the Ukraine squad for the first time. The player has won 10 U21 caps for his country.

The Ukrainian captain Ruslan Rotan, Artem Fedetskiy and the goalkeeper Andriy Pyatov are doubtful for the game, because of injuries.

Quotes of the week

fomenko Mikhail Fomenko (Ukraine) : “We have to get the information from our doctors and talk to the players before any decisions on them.”

katanec Srečko Katanec (Slovenia) : “In such matches you also need some luck. We will play two games in three days, and in this situation sometimes even the best teams can slip.”

Expected line-ups:

Team: Ukraine
Goalkeepers: Andriy Pyatov (Shakhtar Donetsk), Denys Boyko (Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk), Nikita Shevchenko (Zorya Luhansk).
Defenders: Artem Fedetskiy (Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk), Vyacheslav Shevchuk (Shakhtar Donetsk), Olexandr Kucher (Shakhtar Donetsk), Yaroslav Rakitskiy (Shakhtar Donetsk), Yevhen Khacheridi (Dynamo Kyiv), Andriy Pilyavskiy (Zorya Luhansk).
Midfielders: Oleh Gusev (Dynamo Kyiv), Andriy Yarmolenko (Dynamo Kyiv), Serhiy Sydorchuk (Dynamo Kyiv), Denys Garmash (Dynamo Kyiv), Serhiy Rybalka (Dynamo Kyiv), Ruslan Rotan (Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk), Taras Stepanenko (Shakhtar Donetsk), Ruslan Malinovskiy (Zorya Luhansk), Oleksandr Karavayev (Zorya Luhansk), Mykyta Kamenyuka (Zorya Luhansk), Yevhen Konoplyanka (Sevilla), Anatoliy Tymoshchuk (Kairat Almaty), Ivan Petryak (Zorya Luhansk).
Strikers: Pylyp Budkivskiy (Zorya Luhansk), Artem Kravets (Dynamo Kyiv), Yevhen Seleznyov (Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk), Olexandr Gladkiy (Shakhtar Donetsk).
Team: Slovenia
Goalkeepers: Samir Handanovič (Internazionale Milano), Jan Oblak (Atlético Madrid), Nejc Vidmar (Domžale).
Defenders: Luka Krajnc (Cagliari), Boštjan Cesar (Chievo Verona), Andraž Struna (PAS Giannina), Siniša Andjelković (Palermo), Bojan Jokič (Villarreal), Miral Samardžić (Rijeka), Branko Ilič (Astana), Mišo Brečko (Nürnberg).
Midfielders: Valter Birsa (Chievo Verona), Josip Iličić (Fiorentina), Kevin Kampl (Bayer Leverkusen), Andraž Kirm (Omonia Nicosia), Jasmin Kurtič (Atalanta), Rajko Rotman (Istanbul BB), Dejan Lazarevič (Antalyaspor), Rene Krhin (Granada), Nejc Pečnik (JEF United), Benjamin Verbič (FC København).
Strikers: Zlatan Ljubijankič (Urawa Red Diamonds), Robert Berić (Saint-Étienne), Milivoje Novakovič (Nagoya Grampus).

So far this season

. . .
Ukraine this campaign Slovenia this campaign
3 (3) (at home) Wins (away) 3 (2)
3-0 vs. Luxembourg (twice) Biggest win 6-0 vs. San Marino
0 (1) (at home) Draws (away) 1 (0)
2 (1) (at home) Losses (away) 1 (3)
0-1 to Slovakia and Spain (twice) Biggest Defeat 1-3 to England
Yarmolenko (4) Top scorer Novakovic (6)
Y17, R0 Discipline Y22, R0
4 Failures to score 1
6 Clean Sheets 5
1 Both Teams to Score Games 4
3 Over 2.5 Games 4
7 Under 2.5 Games 6
  • Can Slovenia repeat their great performance against the Ukraine (3-2 on aggregate) in 1999 when the team qualified for Euro 2000?
  • The Ukraine have lost only two home matches in their last 17 games. They lost in their last game (0-1) to Spain, but the game wasn’t decisive for qualifying.
  • Slovenia lost 10 of their last 15 away games. The last two away victories were against Lithuania and San Marino. So, the Slovenians have serious problems when playing away from home.
  • The Slovenians know how to win in a play-off. They did it again in 2009 when they beat Russia 1-0 and qualified for the 2010 World Cup.

Head to Head

Last 5 meetings between the two sides
Date Competition Game Result First Goal-scorer
17/11/99 ECQ play-off Ukraine 1-1 Slovenia S. Rebrov 68′
13/11/99 ECQ play-off Slovenia 2-1 Ukraine A. Shevchenko 33′
11/10/95 ECQ Slovenia 3-2 Ukraine Skrypnyk 23′
12/10/94 ECQ Ukraine 0-0 Slovenia