Scotland coach Gordon Strachan says he hopes the national team side would play a friendly game before their “must-win” clash against Slovenia in 2017 so the players can warm up ahead of the game.
Scotland is four points behind second-placed opponents but they hope to tap into the opportunity presented by four home games of five.
English Premier League side Arsenal are interested in landing Slovenia international Jan Oblak as they have been keeping tabs on him for a while, reports say.
The North London side are however stuck as his club Atletico Madrid placed a €100 million price tag on him. The goalkeeper is one of the finest goalkeepers in Europe and he has drawn interests from many top clubs who are keen on luring him away from Madrid.
Malta has named the squad that will prosecute the important game against Slovenia.
The game, slated for November 11, is a Group F World Cup qualifier for Russia 2018. Also, Malta are set to place Euro 2016 surprise side, Iceland four days later. Both games are billed to hold at Malta’s national stadium, and the team is preparing seriously for both ties.
Slovenia opened their World Cup 2018 qualification campaign with a disappointing 2-2 draw against Lithuania.
Compared to the rest of the national sides in Group F of the 2018 World Cup qualifying groups, Slovenia actually has the upper hand when it comes to actually qualifying for the worldwide competition as they have done it on 2 other occasions back in 2002 and 2010.
Only Scotland and England have a better record in terms of qualifying for the FIFA World Cup but some other national teams have struggled making their presence felt at the big stage.
In 2015, a number of arrests were made to different UEFA officials after it was discovered that they had been involved with fraud, bribery and money laundering. One of these officials was the president of UEFA, Michel Platini.
Slovenia has been beaten by Turkey in a friendly match which served as the last preparation game for Turkey.
Indeed, Turkey will be participating to the Euros in France while Slovenia were eliminated in the play-offs by Ukraine.
Burak Yılmaz scored the only goal of the game in the 6th minute of the match. Yilmaz, who currently play in China for Beijing Guoan, scored from a header on a HakanÇalhanoğlu free-kick. This was the 20th goal that Yilmaz has scored for Turkey so far in his career.
Slovenia opens its newly concluded national football centre with over 500 guests attending its opening ceremony.
The centre is located at Brdo by Kranj, some 30km north of the capital Ljubljana. The guests at its opening include Slovenia’s prime minister Miro Cerar, FIFA president Gianni Infantino, UEFA general secretary ad interim Theodore Theodoridis and delegates from national football associations across Europe.
The Slovenia Football Association (NZS) president said:
Luciano Vietto remains confident of rediscovering his scoring touch, which appears to have deserted him after the move from Villarreal to Atletico Madrid.
The 22-year-old has scored only three goals since the move in the summer. Being one of the younger players in the squad,Vietto spoke about the film that he has received from established stars at the club. However, he says that he never expected goalkeeper Jan Oblak to have such a commanding presence in the dressing room since he is still very young. The Slovenian goalkeeper came as the replacement for Thibaut Courtois.
The Slovenian national football team has always struggled trying to get beyond the group stages of any competition.
In their latest journey at the international stage, Slovenia sustained a 3-1 defeat against Ukraine which left the team of Srecko Katanec out of the 2016 Euro’s and unable to make it past the group stages as they needed that victory in order to win their play-off’s and advance into the next rounds of the tournament.