Slovenia

Coach Kek believes team must play entertaining football even if they lose every match.

    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


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