Slovakia still waiting on Napo...


Slovakia still waiting on Napoli's Lobotka to be released from quarantine

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Slovakia remain hopeful that midfielder Stanislav Lobotka will be made available for Thursday's Euro 2020 playoff with the Republic of Ireland.

The 25-year old remains in Italy, quarantined with the rest of his Napoli teammates.

The Napoli squad have been undergoing regular testing after a number of positive cases at the club precipitated their not playing Juventus in Serie A at the weekend.

Two players - Piotr Zielinski and Elif Elmas - have since tested positive for COVID-19.

Napoli say their latest round of tests conducted at their Castel Volturno retreat have returned negative so far. However, two results are outstanding.

"Stano [Lobotka] is still in Naples," Slovakia head coach Pavel Hapal said, "But I believe he will come because he was twice negative. One more test awaits him."

Lobotka had already been identified by Ireland manager Stephen Kenny as one of Slovakia's danger men, saying at the weekend, "Most holding midfield players, their first instinct is to pass, one touch, look up, pass - but he’s different.

"The first thing he does is run with it when he gets it off the back four, which is unusual, very unusual. He’s small, dynamic."

Hapal is already without a host of frontline players for Thursday's game in Bratislava.

First-choice goalkeeper Martin Dubravka is missing with an ankle injury, while striker Michal Duris and defender Lubomir Satka were both replaced in the squad.

Hapal explained that Satka had been in close contact with a positive case at his club, Lech Poznan, and did not want to risk bringing him into their camp.

Slovakia head into Thursday's game off the back of a disappointing 1-1 draw with Israel last month in the UEFA Nations League.

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Coronavirus Covid-19 Ireland Italy Martin Dubravka Naples Napoli Pavel Hapal Republic Of Ireland Slovakia Stanislav Lobotka Stephen Kenny

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