Slovenia vs Cyprus
Competition: UEFA Nations League
Date: 16 October 2018
Kick-off: 20:45 CET
Third narrow defeat for Slovenia in as many games in this group, but despite how narrow it was, 1-0, it’s very hard to claim they deserved to leave Norway on Saturday with a point. They were second best on the field practically throughout the game, and deep down they were a bit lucky not to concede more than once. Hosting a team, Cyprus, that is theoretically – and not only – weaker than Bulgaria and Norway, the Slovenes have the chance to earn their first point, or, even better, points. They won’t finish first in the group, but finishing last, without a win, would be a blow to their image. They have just one win in their last eight matches, over Montenegro, in a friendly game back in June.
Cyprus took an unexpected lead in Sofia on Saturday, just before halftime. If the game had ended like that, the group would now have three teams on six points each, with the top spot open for all, but the Cypriots succumbed in the second half, playing against a better side. Two goals until the 67th minute had Cyprus 2-1 down, after which, they failed to respond. They finished the game on just a few attempts, five, while Bulgaria had 14, and, as expected, Cyprus had much smaller ball possession as well, sort of sitting back and waiting for counterattack opportunities to strike. The plan worked in the first half, went to the trashcan in the second one. They are on three points from as many games, having beaten Slovenia back home, last month. A win in this game will, maybe, keep their hopes alive, depending on what happens in Norway as well. Next month they are hosting both Bulgaria and Norway, so… there is still hope for them.
Previous five matches:
Norway vs Slovenia 1-0
Cyprus vs Slovenia 2-1
Slovenia vs Bulgaria 1-2
Montenegro vs Slovenia 0-2
Slovenia vs Belarus 0-2
Bulgaria vs Cyprus 2-1
Cyprus vs Slovenia 2-1
Norway vs Cyprus 2-0
Jordan vs Cyprus 3-0
Cyprus vs Montenegro 0-0
Slovenia’s next game is versus Norway, again at home, in a month from now. Cyprus will be hosting Bulgaria (both Nations League matches).
Slovenia vs Cyprus: Head to head Stats
Slovenia have hosted Cyprus three times before, and have beaten them all three. Total goals, 9-2(!).
Slovenia vs Cyprus: Prediction
The hosts are considered big favorites to win the game. I’m going against the odds, backing the Cypriots to earn a draw.
Slovenia vs Cyprus: Betting Tips
Cyprus’ double chance is at 2.15. That’s my only tip, in a game that has two teams that, as previously mentioned, have won just one of their last eight matches each.