Slovaks dealt a further blow w...


Slovaks dealt a further blow with Skriniar ruled out of Ireland playoff

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Slovakia defender Milan Skriniar has tested positive for COVID-19, barely 24-hours before the Euro 2020 playoff semi-final with the Republic of Ireland.

Italian paper Gazzetta dello Sport confirmed the news of his positive test on Wednesday night.

He's the second Inter player to contract the virus in recent days, following Italy U21 international Alessandro Bastoni.

Skriniar joins a lengthy list of absentees from Pavel Hapal's Slovakia side for the crucial game in Bratislava.

First-choice goalkeeper Martin Dubravka had been ruled out early-on with an ankle injury.

Another defender - Lubomir Satka - wasn't risked to travel having been a potential close contact of an infected teammate at Lech Poznan.

Striker Michal Duris is out with a concussion.

And influential midfielder Stanislav Lobotka was also ruled out of the game, as his club Napoli failed to release him in time.

Skriniar's loss could be most keenly felt, however. He's started in each of Slovakia's last 15 competitive internationals.

Ireland manager Stephen Kenny isn't getting carried away with Slovakia's ever-increasing absentee list saying, "We know that Slovaks have a wide range of people and they deal with it. We have to focus on our performance."

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Euro 2020 Ireland Milan Skriniar Pavel Hapal Playoff Republic Of Ireland Skriniar Slovakia Stanislav Lobotka

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