Penpix of Slovenia squad
Samir Handanovic (Udinese). Goalkeeper. Born July 14 1984. Caps 38. Goals 0.
The undisputed first choice for his country since 2004, Handanovic is an excellent shot-stopper and good at dealing with crosses and coming off his line. Kept seven clean sheets in Slovenia's 12 qualifiers.
Jasmin Handanovic (Mantova). Goalkeeper. Born Jan. 28 1978. Caps 3. Goals 0.
Had a disappointing debut in a 4-3 defeat to Bosnia-Herzegovina in a friendly but showed his ability in a 0-0 World Cup qualifying draw with the Czech Republic, when he deputised for his cousin Samir. He will be Samir's understudy in the finals.
Aleksander Seliga (Sparta Rotterdam). Goalkeeper. Born Feb. 1 1980. Caps 1. Goals 0.
Seliga won his solitary international cap in a 4-1 win over Qatar in a friendly after Slovenia had qualified for the World Cup finals. Has been a regular starter for his club this season and is likely to make the squad as the third choice.
Jan Koprivec (Gallipoli). Goalkeeper. Born July 17 1988. Caps 0.
The young goalkeeper, loaned from Udinese to his present club playing in Italy's second division, has an outside chance of making the final 23-man squad. He has made six appearances for Slovenia's under-21 side.
Miso Brecko (FC Cologne). Defender. Born May 1 1984. Caps 30. Goals 0.
The versatile defender is often used as a holding midfielder and was one of the pillars in the qualifying campaign. He had four quiet years in Germany with clubs including Hamburg SV and Hansa Rostock before a 2008 move to Cologne, where he has been a regular starter.
Bostjan Cesar (Grenoble). Defender. Born July 9 1982. Caps 41. Goals 3.
The tall central defender was seen as one of the most talented centre-backs in Europe when he started his professional career at Croatian side Dinamo Zagreb in 2000 but has not lived up to the billing. Had four patchy seasons at Olympique Marseille followed by a season on loan at West Bromwich Albion before moving to his present club in 2009.
Branko Ilic (Lokomotiv Moscow). Defender. Born Feb. 6 1983. Caps 36. Goals 0.
The right back can also operate further up field as a winger and is likely to be used as cover in the finals. After a six-year start in Slovenia with Domzale and Olimpija Ljubljana, he had three inconsistent seasons at Real Betis, including a loan spell at FC Moscow, before his March 2010 move to his present club.
Matej Mavric (Koblenz). Defender. Born Jan. 29 1979. Caps 32. Goals 1.
The centre-back is likely to be a substitute in the World Cup finals, having made only three appearances in the qualifiers. He spent three years at Norwegian first division side Mole before a 2007 move to his present club in the German second division. Won two successive Slovenian Cups with Gorica in the early stages of his career.
Bojan Jokic (Sochaux). Defender. Born May 17 1986. Caps 33. Goals 1.
A left back who was loaned to Italian side Chievo Verona after three topsy-turvy years in the French first division, where he failed to establish himself as a regular starter. Has been in good form for Slovenia in the World Cup qualifiers.
Marko Suler (Ghent). Defender. Born March 9 1983. Caps 16 Goals 2.
Broke into the squad in a friendly against Hungary ahead of the 2010 World Cup qualifiers and has been a regular centre-back since. He is quick, good in the air and has a commanding personality. The long-haired defender has been an automatic choice at his club since he moved to the Belgian first division in 2008.
Dejan Kelhar (Cercle Brugge). Defender. Born April 5 1984. Caps 1. Goals 0.
Made his solitary international appearance as a substitute in a 4-1 win over Qatar in a friendly after Slovenia had qualified for the World Cup. Has a decent chance of making the squad after a good season with his club.
Suad Filekovic (NK Maribor). Defender. Born Sept. 16 1978. Caps 14. Goals 0.
Has a slim chance of featuring in the World Cup, having made two appearances in the qualifiers as cover for injured and suspended players. His long list of professional endeavours include a week-long trial at English Championship (second division) side Barnsley in 2009 after which he returned to Maribor, where he played 123 games from 1999 to 2003.
Elvedin Dzinic (Maribor). Defender. Born April 25 1985. Caps 1. Goals 0.
The centre-back earned his spot in the provisional squad after an impressive season with his club in the Slovenian first division. Still, he is unlikely to break into the final squad unless a more heralded defender picks up an injury.
Aleksandar Rajcevic (Koper). Defender. Born Nov. 17 1986. Caps 0.
Another upcoming player and a versatile defender as he can play either as centre-back or right back. Scored one goal in 22 appearances for the Slovenian champions this season, and is a good prospect for the future.
Andraz Kirm (Wisla Krakow). Midfielder. Born Sept. 6 1984. Caps 25. Goals 2.
A talented central midfielder who quickly won a first-team place under Slovenia coach Matjaz Kek after his 2007 debut against Montenegro in a friendly. Played in all 12 qualifiers on the road to South Africa. Has had an excellent season with his club after showing his talent at local outfit Domzale, where he scored 22 goals in 127 league games from 2005 to 2009.
Robert Koren (West Bromwich Albion). Midfielder. Born Sept. 20 1980. Caps 45. Goals 4.
Captain and one of Slovenia's most influential players, the versatile playmaker established himself as one of the most distinguished players in Norway's first division with Lillestroem before he joined his present club in 2007. He has been a regular at WBA, scoring 16 goals in 124 games for the English side.
Mirnes Sisic (Giannina). Midfielder. Born Aug. 8 1981. Caps 12. Goals 2.
Played in five of Slovenia's 12 qualifiers and is likely to be a substitute in the World Cup. Currently in his second spell in the Greek first division, where he played for Larissa from 2004 to 2006. Had a brief spell at debt-ridden Serbian club Red Star Belgrade in 2009, when he said he had to borrow money from friends to pay food and rent.
Valter Birsa (AJ Auxerre). Midfielder. Born Aug. 7 1986. Caps 33. Goals 2.
Birsa is a midfield dynamo used mainly as a substitute in the early qualifiers, but broke into the first team midway through the campaign and held on to his place with excellent performances for club and country. Scored goals in 68 games for Sochaux before his 2009 move to their French first division rivals Auxerre.
Andrej Komac (Maccabi Tel Aviv). Midfielder. Born Dec. 4 1979. Caps 40. Goals 0.
Regarded as one of Slovenia's most talented players, the central midfielder was an automatic starter early on in the qualifiers but was dropped to make way for the younger and more agile Birsa. He had three solid seasons with Swedish first division side Djurgarden before his 2009 move to Israel.
Dalibor Stevanovic (Vitesse Arnhem). Midfielder. Born Sept. 27 1984. Caps 15. Goals 1.
Played in Slovenia's last four World Cup qualifiers but made only one start, when he scored his solitary international goal in a 3-0 win against San Marino. He was dropped after a poor Euro 2008 qualifying campaign and recalled following a string of good performances in the Dutch first division.
Aleksander Radosavljevic (Larissa). Midfielder. Born April 25 1979. Caps 14. Goals 1.
Started seven World Cup qualifiers, having made an international return after six years in the wilderness. Dropped after Slovenia's 5-0 rout by France in a Euro 2004 qualifier but good performances in the Russian Premier League for Tomsk earned him a second lease of life, resulting in a move to Greece in January 2010.
Rene Krhin (Inter Milan). Midfielder. Born May 21 1990. Caps 3. Goals 0.
A bright prospect for the future, the teenager played as a substitute in two friendlies and one qualifier, having also made three appearances for his club in the Italian Serie A. Captained Slovenia's under-19 side and was picked as a substitute for the two-legged World Cup playoff against Russia.
Darijan Matic (Rapid Bucharest). Midfielder. Born May 28 1983. Caps 3. Goals 0.
Made three appearances in the qualifiers, each of them as a substitute in added time. He is a regular starter for his club in the Romanian first division but only injuries to more fancied midfielders are likely to win him a place in the 23-man World Cup squad.
Dare Vrsic (Koper). Midfielder. Born Sept. 26 1984. Caps 5. Goals 2.
Made his international debut against Romania in 2007 but has rarely featured for Slovenia since. Had an outstanding second half of the season and helped his club to win the Slovenian league title with 8 goals in 10 matches after he was loaned by Romanian side Timisoara.
Milivoje Novakovic (FC Cologne). Striker. Born May 18 1979. Caps 37. Goals 14.
Top scorer in qualifying with five goals. He is a mobile striker and a clinical finisher. Scored 51 goals in 108 appearances for his present club, having guided them to the Bundesliga from the German second division in 2008.
Zlatko Dedic (Vfl Bochum). Striker. Born Oct. 5 1984. Caps 23. Goals 3
Scored the goal that secured Slovenia's berth in the World Cup finals on away goals, when he headed the winner in a 1-0 second-leg playoff win over Russia. Dropped after a poor 2006 World Cup qualifying campaign, he was recalled by Kek for the 2010 qualifiers and repaid his coach's faith handsomely.
Zlatan Ljubijankic (Ghent). Striker. Born Dec. 15 1983. Caps 16. Goals 4
Used mainly as a substitute in the qualifiers, the burly striker is likely to compete with Dedic for a place in the starting line-up. He won the Slovenian Sports Journalists' Player of the Year award in 2007 while he was at Domzale, where he scored 43 goals in 155 games.
Nejc Pecnik (Nacional Funchal). Forward. Born Jan. 3 1986. Caps 7. Goals 2.
Scored the priceless away goal in the dying moments of Slovenia's 2-1 defeat by Russia in the first leg of their World Cup play-off, having come on as a substitute with eight minutes left. He is an old-fashioned number 10 able to play either as an attacking midfielder or a second striker. Made no impact at Sparta Prague but rediscovered his form after moving to the Portuguese first division in 2009.
Miran Burgic (AIK Solna). Striker. Born Sept. 25 1989. Caps 5. Goals 0.
Won three successive Slovenian league titles with Gorica before he moved to the Swedish first division in 2006, scoring 13 goals in 58 appearances for his present club. If he squeezes into the 23-man squad, it is likely to be at the expense of one of the youngsters.
Tim Matavz (Groningen). Striker. Born Jan. 13 1989. Caps 0. Goals 0.
The young striker has had an excellent season with his Dutch first division club, scoring 12 goals in 28 appearances. Coach Kek has talked up his chances of breaking into the 23-man World Cup squad as he would inject much-needed fresh blood up front. (Compiled by Zoran Milosavljevic; Editing by Clare Fallon; To query or comment on this story email firstname.lastname@example.org)