Slovakia will be without Martin Dubravka for Ireland playoff

Newcastle goalkeeper left the ground on crutches after win over Southampton

Newcastle United goalkeeper Martin Dubravka will miss the Euro 2020 playoff between Slovakia and Ireland. Photo: Owen Humphreys/PA Wire

Newcastle United goalkeeper Martin Dubravka will miss the Euro 2020 playoff between Slovakia and Ireland. Photo: Owen Humphreys/PA Wire

 

Newcastle United goalkeeper Martin Dubravka is out of the Euro 2020 playoff game between Slovakia and Ireland after his club confirmed that the 31-year-old will be sidelined by a knee injury for a month a more.

Dubravka sustained the injury at the weekend when he clashed with Danny Ings during the 1-0 win over Southampton. The goalkeeper played on but the seriousness of the problem became clearer after the final whistle and he left the ground on crutches.

The news will come as a blow to the home side and their manager, Pavel Hapal. Dubravka has been the country’s undisputed number one and was a regular through the group stages of the Euro2020 qualification campaign.

The only other goalkeeper in Slovakia’s squad for the qualifiers in November to have been capped was Dominik Greif, a 22-year-old who plays for Slovan Bratislava. He has made two appearances for his country; both of them in friendlies.

Hapal already has concerns over the availability of several squad members who are based in Italy and the association has said that it has been in talks about the situation since restrictions were put in place on travel between the two countries.

Mick McCarthy, who is due to name is his squad for the game on Friday afternoon has a number of concerns himself and Dubravka’s Newcastle teammate, Ciarán Clark, is only of those who seems unlikely to be fit in time for the game if it goes ahead as currently scheduled.

The Slovak FA announced on Tuesday that the current intention is that it will be played behind closed doors on March 26th but the FAI’s deputy chief executive, Niall Quinn, subsequently acknowledged that it might yet be postponed and that in the current circumstances, there was nothing the associations could do but follow the advice given to them by the health and public authorities.

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