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Atletico Madrid’s Oblak, Leipzig’s forward Sesko join Slovenia squad for Malta qualifier

Slovenia to face Denmark, Serbia, England in this summer’s Euro 2024.

Slovenia’s national team squad will include key players Jan Oblak and Benjamin Sesko for this Thursday’s international friendly against Malta, in Ta’ Qali.

Led by Matjaz Kek, Slovenia will face Malta and then Cristiano Ronaldo’s Portugal in a double-header during this month’s international window.

Ranked 55th in the world, Slovenia are preparing for this summer’s big appointment in Euro 2024 where they will face Denmark, Serbia and Euro 2021 runners-up England.

Having represented his country on 60 occasions, Oblak continues to remain fixture in this Slovenia’s squad.

Oblak is at the back of a heroic performance against Inter in the Champions League’s last 16 second leg with the Slovenian goalkeeper denying both Alexis Sanches and Davy Klaassen in the penalty shoot-out that sent Atletico Madrid into the final eight.

On the other hand, sensation forward Sesko is also included in the squad as he is currently on 10 goals in 25 appearances for his country.

This season, the 20-year-old has 11 goals and two assists in 34 matches for RB Leipzig in all competitions.

“Malta plays with a three-man backline formation which gives us the opportunity to look for solutions that will come hand in future games, including against Denmark and Serbia,” the Slovenia coach told a news conference.

SQUAD

GOALKEEPERS
Jan Oblak (Atletico Madrid, Spain); Vid Belec (APOEL, Cyprus); Igor Vekic (Vejle, Denmark).

DEFENDERS
Peter Stojanovic (Sampdoria, Italy); Jaka Bijol (Udinese, Italy); Jure Balkovec (Alanyaspor, Turkey); Miha Blazic (Lech Poznan, Poland); Zan Karnicnik (Cejle); David Brekalo (Orlando City, USA); Vanja Drkusic (Soci, Russia).

MIDFIELDERS
Jasmin Kurtic (Sudtirol, Italy); Benjamin Verbic (Panathinaikos, Greece); Sandi Lovric (Udinese, Italy); Adam Cerin (Panathinaikos, Greece); Jon Stankovic (Sturm Graz, Austria); Timi Elsnik (Olimpija Lljubljana); Tomi Horvat (Sturm Graz, Austria); Nino Zugelj (Bodo Glimt, Norway).

FORWARDS
Andraz Sporar (Panathinaikos, Greece); Benjamin Sesko (RB Leipzig, Germany); Jan Mlakar (Pisa, Italy); Zan Celar (Lugano, Switzerland); Zan Vipotnik (Bordeaux, France).

Belarus name squad for Malta friendly

Meanwhile, 99th ranked Belarus have also named their squad as they will face Malta in a friendly match, next week.

Spanish coach Carlos Alos, who took charge of the national team last year, selected a squad which is mainly composed of players based in Belarus and Russia.

Key player Maks Ebong, who plays for Kazakhstan’s Astana, is selected as well having scored in last October’s 3-3 draw with Switzerland and captained Belarus in their 1-0 win over Andorra the following month.

At U-21’s level, Belgium have selected 23 players as they gear up for their Malta clash in the European qualifications.

In Group B, Belgium are currently joint-second on 10 points and will face Spain in this window too.

Included in their squad is 17-year-old Julien Duranville who made his Bundesliga debut for Borussia Dortmund back in February, in a 3-2 defeat against Hoffenheim.

Another Bundesliga-based player included in the 23-player list is Bayer Leverkusen’s Noah Mbamba. The young midfielder, 19, made six appearances with two goals under Xabi Alonso this season.

Lyon’s January signing Malick Fofana is also part of the squad with the 18-year-old midfielder already making nine appearances in Ligue 1.

Twenty-year old defender Zeno Van Den Bosch will be part of Belgium’s squad too. He is on the books of Royal Antwerp and played on three occasions in this season’s Champions League including against Barcelona and Porto.

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