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Slovenia vs Serbia Euro 2024 prediction: Which nation can take a step towards knockout rounds?

Slovenia and Serbia open play on 20th June with a key match for both nations regarding their prospects of qualification from Euro 2024 Group C.

Slovenia vs Serbia latest prediction

The two teams endured contrasting opening days but can still draw confidence from those results. Slovenia fought back from behind to earn a hard-fought 1-1 draw with Denmark, while Serbia suffered a narrow 1-0 defeat to England but finished that game strongly.

Slovenia, the group’s outsiders, can look to their decent head-to-head with Serbia and go for qualification here. Four points have always been enough to reach the knockout phase in this format so far. Serbia will be up against it, but there is still a chance they could qualify with a win here.

Serbia certainly have the personnel to deserve favouritism in this match. Their players play at a higher level than the majority of the Slovenian squad, but we have seen enough times in international football that the best players don’t necessarily make the best team. Slovenia will be highly motivated to hang in there and make life very difficult for their neighbours, and they have enough quality to hurt the Serbians as well.

Slovenia and Serbia meet in the second round of Euro 2024 group stage fixtures on June 20 at the Munich Arena in Munich at 2pm (UK time).

Slovenia, who also faced Denmark in qualifying, cancelled Christian Eriksen’s opener when Erik Janža’s powerful effort flew past goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel with 13 minutes remaining. “We showed them too much respect in the first half,” said Slovenia boss Matjaž Kek. “Many of my players have never played in such a big competition. When we saw something was possible, they started playing. I think we will learn from this.”

Serbia head coach Dragan Stojković said his side deserved more from a 1-0 defeat to England to open their Euro 2024 campaign. England had gone in front through a Jude Bellingham header in the 13th minute, but the Serbs responded strongly in the second half, and Jordan Pickford was forced into a late save to deny Dušan Vlahović.

“To have the English defending, I’m very proud of how the players reacted,” Stojković told reporters. “We haven’t deserved to be defeated, but it is what it is. We keep going on.”

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Slovenia latest team news

Slovenia have a genuine front two in Andraz Sporar and wonderkid Benjamin Sesko, so it is interesting how they will formulate their team behind them. Head coach Matjaz Kek has no reason to deviate from the 4-4-2 he utilised last time. Jan Mlakar is more of a forward player slotting in as a wide man, and Petar Stojanović, though initially a right-back, can perform further up the field.

A lot will fall again on Elsnik and Cerin to cover the space in central midfield. Cerin is also a very talented technician and will have some playmaker responsibilities in the team.

With the attacking setup ahead of them, pressure is also put on the defence, usually a back four. Erik Janza is an experienced campaigner, and Jaka Bijol has come off a good season in Serie A, so there is some talent in the backline.

The main star of Slovenian football for the last decade is Jan Oblak in goal. They will need him to have an excellent tournament for progression to be realistic.

Serbia latest team news

There are a lot of household names in the Serbian team. Aleksander Mitrovic is now the country’s record goalscorer and is still in his twenties, even though he now plies his trade in Saudi Arabia. His clubmate Sergej Milinkovic-Savic started against England in the number 10 role but could make way for the supremely creative Dusan Tadic, who came off the bench against Gareth Southgate’s men.

Dragan Stojkovic will likely retain Serbia’s 3-4-1-2 shape with no major chances, meaning Dusan Vlahović will line up alongside Mitrovic in attack. At the same time, Filip Kostic and Andrija Zivkovic remain as wing-backs. For now, Vanja Milinkovic-Savic, who played every minute of the qualifiers and started against the Three Lions, continues to be Serbia’s number one, with Chelsea goalkeeper Djorje Petrovic settling for a backup role.

Slovenia vs Serbia head-to-head

Four meetings between the two nations have seen both pick up one win, with two draws in the other two encounters. All four meetings have come since 2010, with the two nations meeting twice in 2022 in the UEFA Nations League. This isn’t a bad record for Slovenia, usually ranked under Serbia in the FIFA rankings, but this clearly doesn’t come across as obvious in the matches between the pair.

Serbia vs Slovenia H2H
Date Score Ground
12/06/22 2-2 Stožice Stadium, Ljubljana
05/06/22 4-1 Stadion Rajko Mitić, Belgrade
11/10/11 0-1 Ljudski vrt Stadion, Maribor
07/09/10 1-1 tadion Crvena Zvezda, Belgrade

How to watch Slovenia vs Serbia live

The second round of Group C continues as Slovenia take on Serbia, with the game set to be broadcast live on ITV1 and STV, as well as online via ITVX and the STV Player.

Every game at Euro 2024 will be shown live on either BBC or ITV, with the two platforms sharing the broadcast rights.