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Skrtel and Dubravka absent from Slovakia squad to take on Ireland

The European Championship play-off semi-final is due to be played in Bratislava on 8 October.

Slovakia goalkeeper Martin Dubravka, who plays his club football for Newcastle United.
Slovakia goalkeeper Martin Dubravka, who plays his club football for Newcastle United.
Image: Daniel Hambury

A 26-MAN SQUAD has been named by Slovakia manager Pavel Hapal for his side’s European Championship play-off semi-final against Ireland in Bratislava on Thursday week (8 October).

Notable absentees include former Liverpool defender Martin Skrtel and current Newcastle United goalkeeper Martin Dubravka.

Hapal revealed last week that he was considering coaxing Skrtel out of international retirement after his team collected just one point from their double-header of Uefa Nations League fixtures against Czech Republic and Israel earlier this month.

However, surgery to remove his appendix has prevented the 35-year-old centre-back – who’s now with Turkish club Istanbul Başakşehir – from accepting a call-up.

Dubravka, who played in every minute of Newcastle United’s Premier League campaign last season, will miss a competitive game for his country for the first time since 2017 due to an ankle injury.

Slovakia will also have to plan without first-choice left-back David Hancko. The 23-year-old, who’s on loan at Sparta Prague from Fiorentina, continues to nurse a knee problem.

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Better news for the hosts is the return of former Napoli star Marek Hamsik, who missed the recent Nations League games as a result of quarantine rules relating to travel from China, where he now plays for Rafa Benitez’s Dalian.

Goalkeepers: Marek Rodák (Fulham), Dominik Greif (Slovan Bratislava), Dušan Kuciak (Lechia Gdaňsk).

Defenders: Peter Pekarík (Hertha Berlin), Ľubomír Šatka (Lech Poznaň), Martin Koscelník (Slovan Liberec), Milan Škriniar (Inter Milan), Martin Valjent (RCD Mallorca), Norbert Gyömbér (Perugia), Denis Vavro (Lazio), Róbert Mazáň (Mladá Boleslav), Lukáš Pauschek (Slovan Bratislava).

Midfielders: Marek Hamsik (Dalian), Ján Greguš (Minnesota United), Albert Rusnák (Real Salt Lake), Stanislav Lobotka (Napoli), Patrik Hrošovský (Genk), Juraj Kucka (Parma), Ondrej Duda (Köln), Matúš Bero (Vitesse Arnhem), Lukáš Haraslín (Sassuolo), Jaroslav Mihalík (Lechia Gdaňsk), Róbert Mak (Ferencváros).

Forwards: Róbert Boženík (Feyenoord), Michal Ďuriš (Omonia Nicosia), Ivan Schranz (FK Jablonec).

About the author:

Paul Dollery

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