Cologne's Novakovic has been an automatic starter for his country [GALLO/GETTY]

Formerly members of the Yugoslav team, Slovenia – population: 2 million – qualified for the first time since their debut in 2002 courtesy of an away-goals playoff win over Russia (pop: 142 million).

Having also knocked out East European big guns Poland and the Czech Republic on their way to South Africa, 25th-ranked Slovenia have every chance of making the knockout rounds.

Slovenia's teamsheet reads like a who's-not of European football, but coach Matjaz Kek has built his side around a formidable defence, with goals coming from Cologne striker Milivoje Novakovic.

Goalkeepers:

Samir Handanovic (Udinese), Jasmin Handanovic (Mantova), Aleksander Seliga (Sparta Rotterdam).

Group C fixtures

Saturday June 12

 England v USA

Sunday June 13

 
Algeria v Slovenia

Friday June 18

 
Slovenia v USA
 England v Algeria 

Wednesday June 23

 
Slovenia v England 
 USA v Algeria

Defenders:

Miso Brecko (FC Cologne), Bostjan Cesar (Grenoble), Branko Ilic (Lokomotiv Moscow), Matej Mavric-Rozic  (Koblenz), Bojan Jokic (Chievo), Marko Suler (Ghent), Suad Filekovic (NK Maribor), Elvedin Dzinic (NK Maribor).

Midfielders:

Andraz Kirm (Wisla Krakow), Robert Koren (Unattached), Valter Birsa (AJ Auxerre), Andrej Komac (Maccabi Tel Aviv), Dalibor Stevanovic (Vitesse Arnhem), Aleksander Radosavljevic (Larissa), Rene Krhin (Inter Milan).

Forwards:

Milivoje Novakovic (FC Cologne), Zlatko Dedic (VfL Bochum), Zlatan Ljubijankic (Ghent), Nejc Pecnik (Nacional Funchal), Tim Matavz (Groningen). 

Source: Al Jazeera and agencies