17th February 2019



15th November 2014

The Three Lions welcome the second placed team in Group E - Slovenia to Wembley for the European qualifier clash. England are still unbeaten in the group and lead with nine points.

Not surprisngly at 1/3 best price they are short enough to win the game.

Roy Hodgson will hope that his team gets the required win to maintain their 100% record in the group. It will also move them one step closer to the Euro finals in France in 2016.

Saturday could see the manager hand debuts to Southampton's Nathaniel Clyne and West Bromwich Albion striker Saido Berahino and also the return of Stewart Downing, who has not played for England since 2012.

Apart from the game, a lot of attention will be on captain Wayne Rooney, who will receive his 100th cap when he takes the field against the Slovenians and he will also be looking to get closer to Bobby Charlton's record of 49 England goals. The Three Lions skipper has currently got 43 goals for his country.

The other big talking point has been the state of the pitch with the FA admitting the surface is not ideal after allowing American football to take place just alst weekend.

Slovenia's Coach Srecko Katanec will hope the experienced Valter Birsa can inspire his team and that the pitch is a leveller.

Slovenia also come into this game high on confidence following back-to-back victories against Switzerland and Lithuania.

The win against the Swiss would have come as a surprise and coach Sreèko Katanec will hope that his players replicate that performance against England on Saturday.

The manager praised goalkeeper Samir Handanovic following the victory over Vladimir Petkoviæ's men and he will need a similar performance from his stopper. But the manager does have problems as striker Josip Ilicic has refused to play for his country and has been left out of the squad.

Apart from that the manager has a fully fit squad and will call upon experienced campaigners Valter Birsa and Milivoje Novakovic to step up and deliver for his team.

The game may well not be as straightforward as 1/3 odds imply - but sentiment may play a big part and it would not be the biggest shock ever if Rooney picks up man of the match - even if he performs at 80% of his level.


Joe Ross