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Skrtel injury fears allayed as Slovakia eye progress

| 06.06.2010

Slovakia have been boosted by the news that Martin Skrtel’s ankle injury is not as bad as first feared, and the commanding centre-back is set to be passed fit for the World Cup.

The Liverpool defender limped out of Slovakia’s 3-0 friendly win over Costa Rica after only 16 minutes and was then taken to hospital for scans. But Skrtel has been told he needs only a few days’ rest before he returns.

Slovakia’s victory against Costa Rica comes after a credible draw with Cameroon, and the World Cup debutants look to be in decent form.

They are expected to win their opening match against New Zealand on June the 15th, and they are priced convincingly at 2/5 to do so.

Slovakia are far from a one man team. Napoli midfielder Marek Hamsik is one of Serie A’s most exciting young talents, and his goalscoring capabilities are why he is 7/2 to be Slovakia’s top scorer.

There is a youthful, daring quality to Slovakia’s midfield, with Chelsea and Manchester City wingers Miroslav Stoch and Vladimir Weiss showing attacking promise during recent loan spells at FC Twente and Bolton respectively.

Slovakia’s manager, also named Vladimir Weiss, will have his sights set on qualifying from Group F, where his side have been drawn with Italy, Paraguay and New Zealand.

And if they can follow their 3-0 win over Costa Rica with a victory against New Zealand, Slovakia will be brimming with confidence when they face Paraguay on June the 20th.

Paraguay will be Slovakia’s chief rivals for the second qualification spot in Group H, so if Slovakia beat the South Americans, they will be very well placed to reach the round of 16 at 11/8.

How far do you think Slovakia can go? They are 11/2 to reach the quarter-finals. See the full Slovakia Specials market.

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Author

Robbie Morris

Robbie studied sports journalism at the University of Gloucestershire, an establishment chosen for its proximity to Cheltenham racecourse, where he was a season ticket holder. Upon graduation, Robbie was a contributor to GolfPunk, a national magazine aimed at ridding golf of its traditionalist image, before joining the news.ladbrokes team.