Home and Away: Slovenia expecting frosty reception as they travel to Iceland

7Jun 2013

World Cup Brazil 2014

Jonno Turner focuses on international action as Bosnia and Iceland look to take one step closer to Brazil 2014...

We're off to Riga for our penultimate pick of the week, as Latvia welcome World Cup qualifying group G leaders Bosnia and Herzegovina to the Skonto Stadium.

The home side line up for this clash sitting second bottom of the group - with just one win and one draw from their opening five encounters - both against lowly Liechtenstein.

With a six point deficit on second placed Greece, Aleksandrs Starkovs side are not mathematically out of the running for Brazil - but it would take a turnaround of massive proportions for the Sarkanbaltsarkanie to find themselves soaking up the sun in samba country come next June.

Four games without a win going into this one will have knocked confidence in the home camp, but more telling is the 10 goals shipped in that time, which suggests that the visitors may be presented with a chance or two this evening.

Bosnia will be boosted by the return of midfielder Pjanic, who pulls all the strings for them - and four wins on the bounce ahead of this clash is the perfect preparation for the away side to continue their dominance in this qualifying campaign.

With a three point lead on second placed Greece, the World Cup is within touching distance for Safet Susic's side - and five unbeaten on the road suggests that they are more than capable of getting a win in Riga.

But it's the manner in which Bosnia have performed of late which has been most impressive, and four clean sheets from their last five on the road, as well as 14 goals scored, shows just home dominant they have been.

The last time these two sides met, Bosnia ran out comfortable 4-1 winners, and I expect the visitors to secure another three points in this clash - to extend their lead at the summit of the group.

Bet 1: Bosnia and Herzegovina (AWAY) @ 1.61

 

Switching our attentions to action in Iceland now, as the Scandinavians line up against group E bottom side Slovenia.

The hosts going into this one occupying third place in the group - and are level on points with second placed Albania, which makes three points in this clash all the more important.

A victory would move Iceland within touching distance of booking their place in the finals of a major competition for the first time in it's history, and boss Lars Lagerback certainly has the experience to ensure that his side don't throw away their advantage here.

Three wins from their five outings in this campaign isn't ideal, but it has been enough to keep Iceland in with a shout as we approach the end of the qualification period - and with second placed Albania facing a tricky visit from Norway, the hosts could quite easily go into the weekend having leapfrogged them.

Slovenia go into this one with their campaign in tatters following four losses from their opening five games, and with just three points to their name, you have to question whether their motivation will match that of their hosts here.

Srecko Katanec's side have won just one from six on the road, and 17 goals shipped in their last 10 games suggests that their defensive weaknesses could be the difference in this clash.

A 2-0 victory over Turkey in a friendly last month was an impressive result for the visitors, but in competitive outings their record is far less flattering - and six without a win from eight indicates that they may struggle in this clash, against an Iceland side with it all to play for.

Bet 2: Iceland (HOME) @ 2.62

Bet HERE

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Keywords: Home and Away, Slovenia, Iceland

Source: Betfair

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