Lithuania vs Slovenia

October 11, 2014
By: Nemanja Lazarevic

Lithuania will be feeling confident following back to back wins over San Marino and Estonia, but chances are they could face a difficult task against revived Slovenia on Sunday. Srecko Katanec’s charges showed a great deal of character to defeat Switzerland on Thursday and they will fancy their chances of getting another win.

Bright start for Lithuania

Lithuania have never made it to a World Cup or European Championship since the first qualifying campaign in 1994 and the dismal run looks highly unlikely to end any time soon. For the first time in quite a while, the national team enjoyed a good start to the qualifying campaign, but chances are they only took advantage of a very easy fixture list. Lithuania enjoyed away win over weak San Marino, before recording a hard-fought triumph over Estonia at home, and while they are currently tied on points with leaders England, everything suggests they won’t be able to challenge Switzerland and Slovenia for a tip 3 finish. While Igoris Pankratjevas’ charges are no whipping boys and can be quite difficult to break at times, they lack the quality to match the best sides in the group, with not a single player in the squad plying his trade in a top European league. Lithuania rarely manage to score in home games against stronger sides as they usually fully focus on defence and having lost at home to Greece and Bosnia in the previous campaign, I doubt they will fare any better against very motivated Slovenia.

Marius Zaliukas, Lukas Spalvis and Nerijus Valskis have been overlooked, while there are no new worries for coach Igoris Pankratjevas.

Invaluable triumph over Switzerland

After enjoying a very poor start to the 2014 World Cup qualifiers, Slovenia showed a great deal of improvement since Srecko Katanec returned to the bench at the start of 2013, but they narrowly missed out on a place in the play-offs despite recording four wins in last five games. The national team had high hopes ahead of the Euro 2016 qualifying campaign, but they were pretty unfortunate to start the competition with an away defeat to Estonia, conceding a late goal with ten men on the pitch after they had dominated the proceedings. Slovenia then faced a very difficult match against 2014 World Cup surprise package Switzerland, but, despite being on the back foot, they showed a lot of character and determination to record a very important victory. Buoyed by that result, Srecko Katanec’s men are widely expected to continue the rich vein of form and defeat average Lithuania side, with the atmosphere in the team much better than just few days ago. With Dalibor Stevanovic back to the side and all key men in pretty good form, away win does look on the cards here.

Dalibor Stevanovic is back from suspension, meaning Srecko Katanec will have fully fit squad to choose from against Lithuania.


Lithuania may have beaten the two weakest sides in the group, but they will have much bigger fish to fry when they host Slovenia on Sunday. The visitors are flying high after the win over Switzerland and they have more than enough quality and experience to make another important step towards Euro 2016 berth.

Top pick: Away win   2.30 (13/10) @ BetVictor

Alternative pick 1: Under 2.5 goals   1.67 (2/3) @ Paddy Power

Alternative pick 2: Lithuania not to score   2.40 (7/5) @ Ladbrokes

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