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Slovenia's World Cup Preview: Roster Grades

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Slovenia

The Keeper

Udinese keeper Samir Handanovic is one of the few standouts on the team and he will need to play the best he ever has in his life to give Slovenia any real shot of going far in the World Cup.  The keeper will not have many big names helping him out on the back line, but Slovenia’s defense is very solid and underrated.

Grade: B-

The Defense

Not a particularly strong unit on paper and it is likely perceived to be the weakest link of this Slovenia squad because of this lack of star power.  Cesar, Suler, Jokic, and Brecko will be the likely starters in South Africa and not one of these guys plays in a major league for a well known squad.  In fact other then Jokic who plays D for an underrated Chievo squad, not a single one of the rest of the players is signed by a major squad in a major league.  But they give up only four goals in ten matches this WCQ, so you have to respect the guys.

Grade: C

The Midfield

Andraz Kirm is a critical player for the midfield unit at right winger and Robert Koren at attackingmidfield is the team captain and is one of the better players and leaders on the squad as well.  Another mediocre unit that is fairly unknown here as well.  Pecnic though makes them decent helping Koren out in the middle.  Komac is also a decent player with 40 caps in his international career.

Grade: C-

The Forwards

Milivoje Novakovic is the key player up top and there really is no guy that stands as a close second to the star.  Zlatan Ljubijankic will likely start as well, but I’d rather have the other Zlatan up top on my team.  The unit lacks any real depth, but Novakovic makes them a solid unit and he needs to carry his club to victory if they want to advance to the second round.

Grade: C+  

Overall

They have a strong defense and despite their lack of star power in the midfield they should be solid.  Between the posts they are also in good shape and that makes you a contender to advance alone.  Add the fact they have a solid striker that should produce a few goals and you never know what can happen.  Slovenia might not look great on paper, but they did beat Russia, Czech Republic, and Poland to get this far, so look out.

Grade: C +

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