Slovenia are set to play host to Croatia at the Stozice Sports Park on Wednesday for their latest FIFA World Cup qualifying fixture.
Slovenia come into this game on the back of a 0-0 draw against ten-man Greece last November at the Georgios Kamaras Stadium. Slovenia registered only one shot on target compared to Greece's seven, who had AZ Alkmaar centre-back Pantelis Chatzidiakos sent off late in the second-half.
Croatia, on the other hand, lost 3-2 to Portugal last November at the Stadion Poljud. A brace from Manchester City centre-back Ruben Dias and a goal from Atletico Madrid attacker Joao Felix secured the win for Portugal. A brace from Chelsea midfielder Mateo Kovacic proved to be a mere consolation for Croatia, who had Cagliari midfielder Marko Rog sent off in the second-half.
Slovenia vs Croatia Head-to-Head
In nine head-to-head encounters between the two sides, Croatia hold the clear advantage. They have won six games and drawn three.
The two countries last faced each other way back in 2018, with Croatia beating Slovenia 3-2. A brace from midfielder Ivan Rakitic and a goal from right-back Darijo Srna ensured victory for Croatia. Centre-back Marko Suler and winger Mirnes Sisic scored the consolation goals for Slovenia.
Slovenia form guide: D-W-D-W-W
Croatia form guide: L-L-L-W-L
Slovenia vs Croatia Team News
Slovenia manager Matjaz Kek has named a strong squad. Atletico Madrid goalkeeper Jan Oblak and Atalanta forward Josip Ilicic feature. There could be a debut for Olimpija Ljubljana goalkeeper Ziga Frelih.
Meanwhile, experienced Real Madrid midfielder Luka Modric, Chelsea midfielder Mateo Kovacic, Inter Milan forward Ivan Perisic, and Marseille centre-back Duje Caleta-Car have all been named in the Croatia squad. Gorica winger Kristijan Lovric could make his debut. Dinamo Zagreb striker Bruno Petkovic is out injured.
Injured: Bruno Petkovic
Slovenia vs Croatia Predicted XI
Slovenia Predicted XI (4-2-3-1): Jan Oblak, Petar Stojanovic, Miha Blazic, Miha Mevlja, Jure Balkovec, Jasmin Kurtic, Miha Zajc, Josip Ilicic, Sandi Lovric, Damjan Bohar, Haris Vuckic
Croatia Predicted XI (4-3-1-2): Dominik Livakovic, Sime Vrsaljko, Dejan Lovren, Duje Caleta-Car, Borna Barisic, Luka Modric, Mateo Kovacic, Marcelo Brozovic, Mario Pasalic, Ivan Perisic, Andrej Kramaric
Slovenia vs Croatia Prediction
In Atletico Madrid's Jan Oblak, Slovenia have one of the best goalkeepers in world football. Atalanta forward Josip Ilicic has been a key player for the club for some time now, and could prove to be crucial here.
Croatia, on the other hand, boast of incredible midfield resources. Real Madrid's Luka Modric, Inter Milan's Marcelo Brozovic, Chelsea's Mateo Kovacic and Atalanta's Mario Pasalic have all impressed, while Hoffenheim's Andrej Kramaric and CSKA Moscow's Nikola Vlasic have been in fine form this season.
Croatia have a good squad and should be able to beat Slovenia.
Prediction: Slovenia 1-2 Croatia