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Slovakia sweating over star Hamsik

SLOVAKIA are facing an injury crisis ahead of Friday’s Euro 2012 qualifier against Ireland in Dublin, with star midfielder Marek Hamsik set to miss out.

The Slovaks began training this morning to prepare for Friday’s crucial Group B game but coach Vladimir Weiss had only 15 players for his first training session.

His son – also called Vladimir – was absent as he was in Spain completing his loan move to Espanyol from Manchester City, though Weiss Jnr will be back in time for international duty.

Defender Peter Pekarik was also missing due to a move, from Wolfsburg to a Turkish club.

Of more concern is the |fact that Liverpool defender Martin Skrtel and Hearts keeper Marian Kello missed training, along with Lokomotiv Moscow defender Jan Durica, but |the big worry for Slovakia |and Weiss is the fitness of midfielder Hamsik.

The Italian-based star, who has been linked with a number of English Premier League clubs, was injured in a friendly game for Napoli last weekend, and while Hamsik has stayed with the squad in the hope that he can be fit for next week’s game with Armenia, he is not expected to be fit for the Ireland game.