Our prediction for this World Cup 2022 match:
Slovenia and Russia square off against each other at Ljudski vrt in what is expected to be a close World Cup qualifier. Slovenia aim to build on a thrilling 4-0 win over Malta, but this game will be anything but a walk in the park for the hosts. A man to keep an eye on in the home team will be Serie A ace Josip Ilicic, who scored a brace in the last qualifying game.
The Russians, on the other hand, are eyeing their fourth consecutive win of the process, but beating Slovenia in Maribor is easier said than done. Zenit Artem Dzyuba has been left out of the squad once again, with Denis Cheryshev missing out as well. Anyhow, the share of spoils is on the cards at Ljudski vrt as the two teams seem to be evenly matched at the moment.
Highlighted Player (Jasmin Kurtic):
Jasmin Kurtic is a Slovenian player who started his senior career at Bela Krajina. The midfielder scored seven goals in 74 league appearances for the club, but at the end of the 2009/2010 season he moved to Gorica. After playing just 15 matches for the Slovenian outfit in the 2010/2011 campaign he moved to Palermo, where he gained a lot of experience.
Kurtic spent the 2011/2012 season on loan to Varese and he played an important role in the team, making 42 league appearances. In June, 2013 he signed a permanent deal with Sassuolo, but three months later he was sent on loan to Fiorentina. On 25 June, 2015, the Slovenian footballer joined Atalanta.
Jasmin Kurtic has 2 caps for Slovenia U21 and he made his debut for the senior team on 26 May, 2012. He scored a goal from the set piece against Greece back then. His contract with Atalanta expires on 30 June, 2019.
Highlighted Team (Russia):
While they won the 1960 European Championship, while losing in the final in 1964, 1972 and 1988 as Soviet Union, Russia have enjoyed little success since starting to compete as an independent country in 1992.
Their best result up to date is the third-placed finish at the Euro 2008 in Austria and Switzerland, while the team failed to get past the group stage at the World Cup finals in three attempts. However, with Russian Premier League getting stronger by the day, the national team have started to improve as well, and they now finally seem capable of matching the world’s top sides.
The new generation includes high-quality footballers such as Alan Dzagoev, Aleksandr Kokorin, Artyom Dzyuba and Oleg Shatov, while the likes of Igor Akinfeev, Sergei Ignashevich, Roman Shirokov and Yuri Zhirkov are nearing the closing stages of their careers. But, with plenty of exciting talent coming through the ranks, future definitely looks bright for the Russia national team.