Slovenia – Lithuania: Preview & Prediction
Slovenia took part in a qualification for the first time in the run-up to the 1998 World Cup in France. Since then, the still young country has been able to qualify twice in five attempts. The 2002 World Cup debut in Korea / Japan was unsatisfactory, as the Slovenians lost all three group games. 2010 in South Africa, however, they missed the leap into the round of the last 16 only narrowly. In this qualification, the team has been very respectable so far, which is not self-evident after the resignations of Samir Handanovic and Miso Brecko following the last European Championship. Jan Oblak is now the outstanding player of the team, which is usually very compact. Besides, there are people Kevin Kampl, Josip Ilicic and Tim Matavz in the team and also the coach, Srecko Katanec, is an old hare in the business. It was he who led the country to the World Cup in Japan / Korea and is now back after a round trip.
In the World Cup qualifiers, the Lithuanians had a hard time and never had a big tournament. Having missed the playoffs on the way to France in 1998, the campaign ended 4 years later for the tournament with only 2 draws in the group games to a disaster In the qualification for Germany 2006, Lithuania, in 10 games only 9 goals, but in the end jumped only a 5th place. In qualifying for South Africa 2010 they won against 3 World Cups (Romania, Austria and Serbia), but also finished fourth in the qualification for Brazil 2014. For this quality there was a great upheaval in the team, like Tomas Danilevicius and record player Andrius Skerla, with midfielder Arvydas Novikovas and captain and attacker Fiodor Cernych, the Lithuanians also have good ball players in their ranks. Igoris Pankratjevas, who has missed the team after the missed qualification for the Euro ’16, is now on the helm, since January 2016. He won the Champions League with Porto under Mourinho in 2004.
In this group both teams went different ways. England is divided in the front, but there is still a strong tussle in the pits for second place and, above all, third place. England have 17, Slovakia 15 points, then Scotland and Slovenia with 11 points each. Lithuania has only 5 points and is practically out, the last is Malta without point.
On the last Friday of the last round of the match, Slovenia were in Slovakia, with keeper Jan Oblack, who held the 0-0 draw with 10 minutes to go. In the end, the 24-year-old had still been beaten after a combination of defenses and bad luck.
Lithuania, on the other hand, played against Scotland in Riga and were the better team to the final third advantage thanks to the free-kick skills of the Scots, but failed to hit the opposing goal once again and can now re-arrange for the next qualifying, probably barely enough for Russia.
Nevertheless, I am a surprise to the Lithuanians, because the Slovenes are always involved with a lot of problems when you take the decisive figures out of the game. Lithuania made a very good start in the first leg and gave a 2: 0 lead from the hand to the 2-2 at the end and in the last EC Quali Lithuania was defeated in the 1-1 draw also in Ljubiljana only by an Elfertreffer.
Slovenia – Lithuania: Betting Tips
1/1 HT/FT – Odds: 1.90
Over 2 goals – Odds: 1.55