Slovenia wait on fitness of striker Benjamin Sesko for England test

<span><a class="link " href="" data-i13n="sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link" data-ylk="slk:Benjamin Sesko;sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link;itc:0">Benjamin Sesko</a> has been on an individual training regime since Slovenia’s last match against Serbia.</span><span>Photograph: Shaun Botterill/Getty Images</span>

Slovenia will make a late call on the fitness of the striker Benjamin Sesko before their Group C decider with England.

The RB Leipzig player has been on an individual training regime since Slovenia’s last match against Serbia, and the manager, Matjaz Kek, says he will make his decision after a final training session on Tuesday.

Related: England’s required reboot on the hoof should be familiar to Lineker

“We had some problems after the match with Serbia that is true,” Kek said when asked about Sesko’s fitness. “Some players have had a special training regime but all have been in training today and still have more than 24 hours [to be ready].

“After the gym tomorrow we will see who is ready to play from the start. But we already know that facing England you need at least 11 fit players. We will respond if any players have issues.”

The expectation remains that Slovenia’s main man will still be selected for a game Kek described as “the biggest challenge” for this generation of players. Kek was keen to play up the strengths of his opponents and said England’s stuttering form in Germany has not changed his analysis.

“We respect England very much. We respect their individuals, we respect their strengths, their abilities. [Beating] such a team will be the biggest challenge of this generation, but I believe these players will play in such matches again in future.


“We are aware of the qualities of each England player, we know the level they play at and we also know they are a very strong team. The Euros have only just started and I see England as one of the favourites to win this tournament. The path is still quite long, we are still at the group stage, so I don’t know why I would question England.”

A point for Slovenia would put them in the mix for third-place qualification and a win could enable them to top the group after two points from their opening fixtures.

There has been talk among Slovenian media that Kek may switch formation having seen England struggle against the three central defenders of Serbia and Denmark. Kek, asked whether he would consider such an approach, said: “You don’t know how we will play. If you look at players of the team that England has you must know there are no easy paths through the match. We will have to defend all 10 players in front of [goalkeeper Jan] Oblak, but England will have watched our matches, they will know what we are about.

“We are doing our own maths and I am sure we will see an amazing match in Cologne. The atmosphere will be right.”