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Kenny facing injury woes

Blow for Slovakia as No 1 keeper Dubravka out


Slovakia and Newcastle goalkeeper Martin Dubravka

Slovakia and Newcastle goalkeeper Martin Dubravka

Slovakia and Newcastle goalkeeper Martin Dubravka

Slovakia have suffered a major blow ahead of next week's Euro 2020 playoff clash with Ireland as first-choice keeper Martin Dubravka has ruled himself out of the tie.

But there will be no gloating from Stephen Kenny as he prepares to name his squad later today, with a number of injury concerns that will sideline players like Troy Parrott, Callum O'Dowda, Ciaran Clark and Robbie Brady, while back-up keeper Mark Travers is a major concern.

Kenny's counterpart, Pavel Hapal, also names his squad for the playoff today and he was given some good news from far-off China as talisman and all-time top scorer Marek Hamsik insisted he was ready to travel.

Issues related to Covid-19 and the fact that he is based in China prevented him from participating with the national side last month.

But Dubravka will not be involved as he has not recovered from the ankle injury which has forced him to miss all five games for Newcastle this season. "My ankle is healing. Even though that's good news it won't allow me to travel to Slovakia and play for the team, it would be too much of a risk. I am sorry I can't help the lads out but that's the reality," he said.

Slovakia will ask second choice Marek Rodak to fill in for Dubravka but a lack of first-team action for him at Fulham is a concern.

Darren Randolph is also starved of action as he was again left on the bench for West Ham in Sunday's win over Wolves. Travers was on the bench for the Nations League games against Bulgaria and Finland but he is now a major doubt.

He picked up an injury in a League Cup tie against Manchester City last week and then suffered a recurrence during the warm-up for Saturday's league game against Norwich, when he had to withdraw from the matchday squad.

Cherries Manager Jason Tindall says the Kildare lad will be assessed this week but he may not be fit to travel to Dublin.

Kenny's staff were last night checking with the medical teams at his players' clubs before confirming his squad but it's highly unlikely that Parrott, Brady, Clark and O'Dowda will be fit.

Parrott suffered an ankle injury on his debut for loan club Millwall and manager Gary Rowett expects the teenager to be out for another spell.