While all Israeli eyes will be turned to Palermo for tonight's match, Slovenia will host Cyprus in a game that is likely to have a greater bearing on the final outcome of Group 1 standings than the Israel-France contest.
Assuming that Israel loses to France, the Israeli squad would hope for a draw in the Slovenia-Cyprus match.
Slovenia was crushed by France 5-0 in its last outing in Paris and must win tonight if it wants to advance to the next round. "We are not thinking of any other possibility," said Slovenia coach Bojan Prasnikar.
The task will not be easy for the hosts, despite Cyprus's abysmal away record.
Sebastian Simerotic, a former Hapoel Petah Tikva player now with Italian Serie A side Lecce, is injured, as is Miljenko Assimovic and defender Aleksander Knavs, who is out with an injured shoulder. This leaves the Slovenians pinning their hopes on Zlatko Zahovic.
Cyprus coach Moca Vukotic knows that a loss tonight would significantly reduce his team's chances of gaining second place.
The Serbian is set to opt for a defensive lineup, although he will probably field Rainer Raufmann in the starting lineup. Raufmann scored the equalizing goal against Israel in Saturday's 1-1 draw.
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