Russia VS Slovenia, predict a comfortable triumph for the home side

Posted Sat, 27 Mar 2021 09:00:38 GMT        

Match Time:3/27/2021 22:00 Saturday  (GMT+8)

FIFA World Cup qualification (UEFA) --  Russia   VS   Slovenia

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Russia and Slovenia square off on Saturday afternoon with the opportunity to record successive wins in Group H.

 

While Russia made hard work of their opening fixture against Malta, Slovenia posted a surprise 1-0 win over 2018 World Cup finalists Croatia.

 

Match preview

Despite the 5-0 reverse in Serbia back in November, Stanislav Cherchesov would have had few concerns ahead of opening their campaign with a game against Malta.

 

However, it took until the 89th minute for Russia to seal all three points against the minnows of the group, a result which will not necessarily lift the mood in the camp ahead of welcoming Slovenia to Sochi.

 

On a positive note, Russia ended a six-match winless streak which had lasted since September 6, and Croatia's defeat earlier this week has given Cherchesov's squad an opportunity to establish a lead in the group.

 

Alexander Sobolev came off the substitutes' bench to net his second international goal against Malta, building on the 10 strikes in 16 league games for Spartak Moscow this season.

 

Having been provided with an easier UEFA Nations League group, Slovenia went through the closing months of 2020 putting together an eight-match unbeaten run.

 

Nevertheless, their success over Croatia was unexpected, particularly being able to hold on for 75 minutes after Sandi Lovric's early goal in Ljubljana.

 

Aware that defeat at the weekend could leave his side down in mid-table, Matjaz Kek will not get too carried away at this stage as he looks to guide Slovenia to their first World Cup since 2010.

 

However, the result against the group's top seeds made a statement with eight clean sheets having now been recorded in their last nine fixtures.

 

Russia World Cup Qualifying - Europe form:W

Russia form (all competitions):DDDLLW

Slovenia World Cup Qualifying - Europe form:W

Slovenia form (all competitions):WWDWDW

 

Team News

Despite the short turnaround after a difficult fixture, Kek could opt against making any alterations to his Slovenia XI.

 

Amedej Vetrih is an option in midfield if the head coach wants to introduce fresh legs, while Domen Crnigoj may be introduced on one of the flanks.

 

Midfielder Aleksei Miranchuk is in line to return to the Russia side, taking the place of Daniil Fomin.

 

Barring any late fitness issues, the remainder of the side could stay the same, leaving Sobolev to accept a spot among the replacements.

 

Russia possible starting lineup:

Shunin; Fernandes, Semenov, Dzhikiya, Karavaev; Akhmetov, Miranchuk; Kuzyaev, Golovin, Ionov; Dyzuba

 

Slovenia possible starting lineup:

Oblak; Stojanovic, Blazic, Mevlja, Balkovec; Vetrih, Kurtic, Lovric; Ilicic, Sporar, Bohar

 

Russia 2-0 Slovenia

 

Russia VS Slovenia, predict a comfortable triumph for the home side