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Slovenia in EURO 2024: Full squad, match timings, live streaming info, preview, team news

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Slovenia made the most of a favourable draw in the qualifiers for Germany 2024 to reach its second European Championship, 24 years after their debut appearance at the tournament.

It lost only twice as it finished second in Group H, level on points behind Denmark and ahead of Finland, Kazakhstan, Northern Ireland and San Marino, to book a place at the finals.

Participation in Germany will mark only the fourth major international tournament for the former Yugoslav republic, which has been playing as an independent entity since 1992.

As well as Euro 2000, where it drew two games and lost the other in the group phase, Slovenia also qualified for the World Cup in 2002 and 2010 but has yet to go beyond the group stage.

SLOVENIA AT A GLANCE

Previous Euro performance: One participation, group stage in 2000

Other honours: None

FIFA ranking: 57

Coach: Matjaz Kek

Star players: Jan Oblak, Benjamin Sesko

Main clubs: Maribor, Olimpija Ljubljana

How did it qualify: Runner-up in Group H

Pre-Euro friendlies:

Slovenia 2 Armenia 1

Slovenia 1 Bulgaria 1

Victory over Algeria in South Africa in 2010 is its only success at a major tournament and came under coach Matjaz Kek, who has been back for a second spell since 2018 and engineered the latest qualification

This time round it will be hoping to make more of an impact in Group C where it meets qualifying rivals Denmark first in Stuttgart on June 16 and then Serbia and Euro 2020 runner-up England.

Kek, 62, leads a team with little in the way of experience, save for captain and goalkeeper Jan Oblak, but with several exciting prospects.

The best of the lot is 20-year-old forward Benjamin Sesko, who scored five goals in the qualifying campaign and could be leaving Bundesliga club RB Leipzig for Serie A next season.

“He is the modern striker par excellence. I don’t know where he will play next season, he will decide but, for now, I’ll enjoy him this summer,” Kek told Italian reporters.

“We’re talking about a physically strong centre-forward who has made great progress also technically, month after month.”

The 31-year-old Oblak is regarded as one of the best keepers in world football and in his 10 seasons at Atletico Madrid has won the Europa League and been to the Champions League final. But this is a first major tournament for him.

A return to the Euros after a lengthy absence is a source of much pride for the Slovenes and a 2-0 win over Portugal in a march friendly will have made opponents sit up and take notice.

“We are happy, delighted, and proud. It’s well-deserved for this generation of footballers; they have restored faith in Slovenian football,” added Kek.

SLOVENIA SQUAD

Goalkeepers: Jan Oblak (Atletico Madrid/ESP), Vid Belec (APOEL Nicosia/CYP), Igor Vekic (Velje/DEN), Matvez Vidovsek (Olimpija Ljubljana)

Defenders: Petar Stojanovic (Sampdoria/ITA), Jaka Bijol (Udinese/ITA), Miha Blazic (Lech Poznan/POL), Jure Balkovec (Alanyaspor/TUR), Zan Karnicnik (Celje), David Brekalo (Orlando City/USA), Erik Janza (Gornik Zabrze/POL), Vanja Drkusic (Sochi/RUS), Zan Zaletel (Viborg/DEN)

Midfielders: Jasmin Kurtic (Sudtirol/ITA), Benjamin Verbic (Panathinaikos/GRE), Miha Zajc (Fenerbahce/TUR), Sandi Lovric (Udinese/ITA), Adam Gnezda Cerin (Panathinaikos/GRE), Jon Gorenc Stankovic (Sturm Graz/AUT), Timi Max Elsnik (Olimpija Ljubljana), Tomi Horvat (Sturm Graz/AUT), Adrian Zeljkovic (Spartak Trnava/SVK), Nino Zugelj (Bodo/Glimt/NOR)

Forwards: Josip Ilicic (Maribor), Andraz Sporar (Panathinaikos/GRE), Benjamin Sesko (RB Leipzig/GER), Luka Zahovic (Pogon Szczecin/POL), Jan Mlakar (Pisa/ITA), Zan Celar (Lugano/SUI), Zan Vipotnik (Bordeaux/FRA)

SLOVENIA MATCH SCHEDULE

Slovenia vs Denmark – June 16, 2024 -9:30 pm IST

Slovenia vs Serbia – June 20, 2024 – 6:30 pm IST

Slovenia vs England – June 26, 2024 – 12:30 am IST

LIVESTREAM AND TELECAST INFO

All of Slovenia’s matches at Euro 2024 will be telecasted on the Sony Sports Network. The matches will also be live-streamed on the SonyLIV app.

(With inputs from Reuters and AFP)

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