Slovenia travel to Windsor Park to face Northern Ireland on Tuesday in matchday eight of the UEFA Euro Qualifiers. Though Slovenia look likely to clinch the group, Northern Ireland are already out of contention and can only try to prevent others qualifying.
Northern Ireland currently sit fifth in Group H after seven games. With two wins and five losses, Northern Ireland have just six points to their name, six points behind fourth place Kazakhstan and ten points behind top of the group Slovenia.
In their last five games in all competitions, Northern Ireland have one win and four losses. Northern Ireland could only manage six shots and 32% of the possession as Jonas Wind scored the only goal of the game in the opening minutes of the second half, Denmark won 1 - 0. Northern Ireland were once again on the wrong end of a 1 - 0 scoreline. Abat Aimbetov scored the only goal of the game for the 1 - 0 win for Kazakhstan.
Northern Ireland put up a good fight against Slovenia. Isaac Price and Jonny Evans both scored for Northern Ireland, but it wasn’t enough as Slovenia won 4 - 2. When Northern Ireland travelled to Kazakhstan, they once again lost 1 - 0. Maksim Samorodov scored in the first half to give Kazakhstan the win.
The last time out for Northern Ireland was against San Marino, the only team below them in the group. Paul Smyth, Josh Magennis and Conor McMenamin all scored in the 3 - 0 win for Northern Ireland.
Slovenia, on the other hand, sit top of Group H after seven games with five wins, one draw and one loss. This leaves them on 16 points, the exact same as second place Denmark, but by virtue of goal difference, Slovenia sit top and four points ahead of third place Finland.
In their last five games in all competitions, Slovenia have three wins, one draw and one loss. The one loss came against Finland in June. Joel Pohjanpalo and Oliver Antman both scored in the 2 - 0 win for Finland, despite Slovenia having 59% of the possession and 14 shots. Slovenia then somewhat bounced back against Denmark. Andraz Sporar opened the scoring for Slovenia, but Rasmus Hojlund equalised for Denmark before halftime. Denmark dominated the rest of the game, but it finished 1 - 1 with each team taking home a point.
The first meeting against Northern Ireland was a big win for Slovenia. Sporar grabbed a brace and along with a goal from Benjamin Sesko and an own goal from Evans gave Slovenia the 4 - 2 win, despite Evans trying to mount a comeback. Zan Vipotnik, Jan Mlakar, Sandi Lovric and Zan Karnicnik all scored in the 4 - 0 win for Slovenia over San Marino.
Last time out for Slovenia was against Finland on Saturday. Sesko grabbed a first half brace and an extra time goal from Erik Janza gave Slovenia the 3 - 0 win over Finland.
Northern Ireland and Slovenia have met just six times in their histories, with the first meeting coming as recent as 2008. Northern Ireland have a marginal lead in the fixture with three wins in comparison to Slovenia’s two wins, with the other game ending in a draw.