Scotland v Slovenia: Srecko Katanec out to match hosts' aggression at Hampden

Slovenia head coach Srecko Katanec takes training at Hampden
Srecko Katanec took his side on a Saturday evening training session at Hampden
World Cup qualifier: Scotland v Slovenia
Date: Sunday, 26 March Venue: Hampden Park, Glasgow Kick-off: 19:45 BST
Coverage: Listen on BBC Radio Scotland 810MW/DAB/online; live text commentary on BBC Sport website

Slovenia must match Scotland's aggression if they are to take three points from Hampden, according to head coach, Srecko Katanec.

His side are second in Group F, two points behind leaders England, and the visiting boss says they are only focused on a victory.

"We expect an aggressive opponent and we have to be the same," Katanec said ahead of Sunday's World Cup qualifier.

"We must concentrate on the second ball."

Slovenia are unbeaten in the last seven internationals since a 1-0 loss to Turkey in a friendly last May, while the Scots lie second bottom of Group F after gathering only four points from four games.

But Katanec insists he will not be fooled into thinking the contrasting fortunes will automatically give his side the edge in Sunday's game in Glasgow.

"Scotland are at home, so they will be the favourites, but we want the win because, in this group, one point is not enough," he said.

It is a match described by his opposite number, Gordon Strachan, as a must-win for Scotland, but Katanec thinks Sunday's hosts have been unlucky so far.

"They are not as bad as their results suggest and some of the goals they have conceded so far have been unlucky," he insisted.

Slovenia captain Bostjan Cesar echoed his coach's thoughts on the Scottish style.

Slovenia captain Bosjan Cesar in training at Hampden
Bostjan Cesar hopes his side can exploit Scotland's defence - and lack of support - at Hampden

"They are aggressive all over the pitch, but they have good players," said the 34-year-old Chievo defender.

"They tend to play long balls, so the second ball is going to be very important for us.

"We expect a tough match."

The expected attendance at Hampden is only 25,000 - less than half capacity.

Cesar experienced the Hampden roar with Slovenia in 2004 and thinks it will be a boost for his side if the home fans stay away in numbers.

"If the stadium is not full then that could be a plus for us, but we still have to do our thing on the pitch," he said.

Cesar is hopeful of exploiting a defence that have shipped an average of two goals per game.

"They are aggressive all over the pitch and have good players, but maybe their weakness is at the set-pieces because they leave too much room for the opponents to score at that time," he said.

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