Slove­ni­ans will put up a huge fight

The Sunday Post (Dundee) - - Scotland Latest - By Danny Ste­wart sport@sundaypost.com

De­fi­ant Slove­nia coach Srecko Katanec has in­sisted he and his play­ers will do ev­ery­thing in their power to spoil Scot­land’s party in Ljubl­jana tonight.

Win­ners in their last three World Cup qual­i­fy­ing games, Gor­don Stra­chan’s side can put them­selves firmly in line to clinch a play-off berth by see­ing off hosts who are all but out of con­tention.

For Slove­nia to progress, they would need to beat Scot­land at the Stoz­ice Sta­dium and have ri­vals Slo­vakia face to take full points at home to Group F min­nows Malta.

“Some of the Slove­nian jour­nal­ists who have been try­ing to un­der­mine me over the past year aren’t here. But the ex­pec­ta­tions are the same as every other game,” said Katanec, who will quit at the end of the cam­paign due to “per­sonal is­sues.”

“We still have a math­e­mat­i­cal chance to qual­ify and, as long as that is the case, we will do our best.

“The Scot­land team has strong char­ac­ter­is­tics. We know they will want to be as ag­gres­sive here as they would nor­mally be at home. But I be­lieve we can do our part and hope for the best in Slo­vakia.”

Scot­land will face a weak­ened op­po­nent with Val­ter Birsa, holder of 88 caps, and ex-In­ter Mi­lan mid­fielder, Rene Krhin, both banned.

They will, how­ever, be up against the for­mi­da­ble Bost­jan Ce­sar, who will win his 100th cap tonight and is in no mood to run up the white flag.

“Of course we want to win,” he said.“Firstly we know it be­cause it might be the last match for our coach.

“And we have to be­lieve we can fin­ish sec­ond for as long as the chance ex­ists.

“We have a chance be­cause we are very strong at the back, as we have proved by not con­ceded at home in this cam­paign.”

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