Slovenia Euro 2024 squad review: Šeško to shock England?

The Slovenia Euro 2024 squad will be only their natioa's second-ever flagbearers at the European Championship finals, but they could scarcely come into it in better form.

Although they finished second to a Denmark side they'll meet in their very first Euro 2024 test, the Slovenians were top scorers in their qualification group.

That was thanks in no small part to hot-shot striker Benjamin Šeško, who already has his fair share of summer transfer window suitors. But the squad is more than about just one man.

The Slovenia Euro 2024 squad will be hoping for their best performance ever
The Slovenia Euro 2024 squad will be hoping for their best performance ever – Photo by Icon Sport

Slovenia – Key facts

Year founded: 1992

Nickname: Kekci

Current FIFA ranking: 57

Highest FIFA ranking: 15 (2010)

Year of Euro debut: 2000

Best Euro performance: Group stage (2000)

Player to watch: Josip Ilicic

Full Slovenia Euro 2024 squad

Goalkeepers

  • Jan Oblak
  • Vid Belec
  • Igor Vekic
  • Matevž Vidovšek

Defenders

  • Petar Stojanovic
  • Jaka Bijol
  • Miha Blazic
  • Jure Balkove
  • Zan Karnicnik
  • David Brekalo
  • Erik Janza
  • Vanja Drkusic
  • Zan Zaletel

Midfielders

  • Timi Max Elsnik
  • Jasmin Kurtic
  • Benjamin Verbic
  • Miha Zajc
  • Sandi Lovric
  • Adam Gnezda Cerin
  • Jon Gorenc Stankovic
  • Timi Max Elšnik
  • Tomi Horvat
  • Adrian Zeljkovic
  • Nino Zugelj

Attackers

  • Josip Ilicic
  • Andraz Sporar
  • Benjamin Šeško
  • Luka Zahovic
  • Zan Celar
  • Jan Mlakar
  • Zan Viptonik

Surprise inclusions in Slovenia Euro 2024 squad

Josip Ilicic

A few seasons ago, Josip Ilicic was one of the finest attackers in Europe. Across his five seasons in a swashbuckling Atalanta side, he recorded 0.85 goals and assists per 90 minutes.

However, in 2022, the now-36-year-old struggled with depression, and withdrew from the sport. Having gradually returned to his best at former club Maribor, Ilicic is back after a two-and-a-half year absence.

Vanja Drkusic

Another surprising name in the Slovenia squad is Vanja Drkusic.

The centre-back plays for Sochi in Russia, whose teams have been totally banned from European competition. The 24-year-old also played barely 100 minutes in qualifying.

Sesko is his side's potential superstar – Photo by Icon Sport

In-form players for Slovenia

Benjamin Šeško

Without doubt, Slovenia's great hope at Euro 2024 is Benjamin Šeško. The 20-year-old striker started slowly after moving to RB Leipzig this summer, but has since exploded into life alongside Lois Openda.

Šeško, who has earned comparisons to Erling Haaland, has scored 0.75 goals per 90 minutes for his club this season, and has been red-hot at the business end of the season, scoring in his last seven matches in a row.

The striker will be all too aware of interest from the likes of Arsenal, and could make himself a household name this tournament.

Jan Oblak

At the opposite end of the pitch to Šeško, Jan Oblak has been one of the world's best goalkeepers for some years now.

A key part of the notoriously mean Atletico Madrid defence, Oblak is a more old-school goalkeeper than what we are used to now, but is a near-superhuman shot-stopper.

Oblak's heroics could make the difference for his nation.

Jan Oblak is one of the best goalkeepers at Euro 2024 – Photo by Icon Sport

Slovenia Predicted Euro 2024 XI

Veteran manager Matjaz Kek has largely set up his side in a 4-4-2, selecting it in five of their last six games.

Between the sticks, Jan Oblak will start every game. Marshalling the defence will be Udinese's Jaka Bijol, joined by veteran Miha Blazic in the middle, flanked by Erik Janza and Zan Karnicnik in the full-back spots.

In central midfield, Adam Gnezda Cerin and Timi Max Elšnik are certain to play, after both scored in a surprise 2-0 win over Portugal.

Out wide, Pisa's Jan Mlakar will run the left flank. On the right, there has been much rotation, but Peter Stojanovic will likely start on form, after his man of the match display against Portugal.

Up top, Benjamin Šeško and Andraz Sporar have been the preferred strike force, but Josip Ilicic may come on to change games late.

Slovenia vs Denmark

(4-4-2) Oblak; Janza, Bijol, Blazic, Karnicik; Stojanovic, Cerin, Elšnik, Mlakar; Šeško, Sporar

Slovenia's opener is against a familiar foe, Denmark. The two faced off twice in Qualifying Group H, with the Danes winning by an aggregate score of 3-2.

Denmark have a talented squad, with the likes of Rasmus Højlund very dangerous.

However, with their strong form, we expect Slovenia to stick to their guns and play their way against the Danes.

Slovenia vs Serbia

(4-4-2) Oblak; Janza, Bijol, Blazic, Karnicik; Horvat, Cerin, Elšnik, Mlakar; Šeško, Sporar

Serbia and Slovenia are fairly evenly matched sides. Serbia have slightly more talent, on account of the likes of Sergej Milinkovic-Savic.

But the Slovenians are in far better form, and will fancy themselves once again. The only change we foresee them making is a rotation on the right, with Tomi Horvat a candidate to come in for Stojanovic.

Jude Bellingham is a massive threat – Photo by Icon Sport

Slovenia vs England

(4-5-1) Oblak; Janza, Bijol, Blazic, Karnicik; Stojanovic, Cerin, Elšnik, Zeljkovic, Mlakar; Šeško.

Without doubt the toughest team in the group, England will be a real challenge for Slovenia, though they will take heart from their win over Portugal.

To combat England's talismanic midfielder Jude Bellingham, we expect defensive midfielder Adrian Zeljkovic to come in for striker Andraz Sporar.


William Evans is a football and politics fanatic. A first-class graduate of UEA's Broadcast and Digital Journalism MA course, he also achieved a first class degree in politics and media studies during his time at UEA.