Slovenia are no mugs internationally speaking: since independence from the old Yugoslavia in 1991, they reached both Euro 2000 and the 2002 World Cup and they are currently ranked 57th in the world and 31st in Europe (which puts them ahead of Wales!) and they lie third in World Cup qualifying group three, two points behind Northern Ireland with three games left to play.
With a population of just over 2 million – about the size of Greater Manchester – it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that nearly all of the squad play outside Slovenia. Their best known player is Robert Koren of West Brom, who also holds the record for the most international appearances. The potential goal scoring threat is Milivoje Novakovic of FC Koln who is a big unit and will test our defenders; on that subject, Gary Cahill of Bolton has been called up to provide cover for Wes Brown and John Terry – it’ll be interesting to see if he gets any playing time today.
Coverage on ITV starts at 4:45pm GMT and we’ll have the result when it comes in; over the next couple of days we’ll have a round up of the rest of today’s qualifiers.