Preview: Slovenia vs. Cyprus 

Preview: Slovenia vs. Cyprus 

Slovenia head into their fixture with Cyprus realistically requiring all three points to have a chance of ending Group H in third position.

While bottom-placed Cyprus have been out of contention for months, they will want to conclude their World Cup qualifying campaign on a high note.

When Slovenia started Group H with an eye-catching 1-0 victory over Croatia, they would have had high hopes of a third appearance at a World Cup.

However, their campaign petered out before it had really got going, that result being followed by narrow defeats to Russia and Cyprus respectively.

While the inconsistency of other nations left them with hope, Matjaz Kek would have been realistic that it was not to be once they had posted just two wins from six outings.

Three of their four defeats have come by one-goal margins, an indication that things could have easily turned out differently, but Josip Ilicic required far more assistance in the final third.

Although there will be an acceptance that fourth position looks most likely with Slovakia facing Malta, Kek will want a strong performance on Sunday, at least to make up for losing to the same opponents earlier this year.

At the time, Cyprus had lost 10 of their previous 13 matches, their only success during that period coming at home to Luxembourg.

Nevertheless, their 1-0 triumph over Slovakia proved to be a false dawn, Nikos Kostenoglou’s team since going on to lose seven of their last eight games.

Each of those defeats came without getting on the scoresheet, their only two strikes since the end of March coming during the 2-2 draw at home to Malta in October.

Despite qualification never realistically being on the cards, this campaign has been somewhat of a comedown after far more respectable efforts ahead of the previous three major tournaments.

Slovenia World Cup Qualifying – Europe form:
Cyprus World Cup Qualifying – Europe form:

We say: Slovenia 3-0 Cyprus
Given their capitulation in Russia, do not expect much from Cyprus in this contest. Slovenia performed well in Slovakia, and we are backing the home side to produce more of the same on Sunday afternoon.

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