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Last Updated: Wednesday, 5 September 2007, 21:10 GMT 22:10 UK
Finnan ruled out of Republic game
Steve Finnan
Steve Finnan (left) picked up a knee injury last weekend

Slovakia v Republic of Ireland
Bratislava
Saturday, 8 September
Kick-off: 1930 BST
Coverage on BBC Radio 5live & the BBC Sport website.

Liverpool defender Steve Finnan has been ruled out of the Republic of Ireland's Euro 2008 qualifier against Slovakia on Saturday.

Finnan is out because of a knee injury although there are hopes that he may return to the squad for Wednesday's qualifier against the Czech Republic.

Wolves midfielder Darren Potter is also out because of a groin injury.

John O'Shea and Paul McShane both have knocks but should be fit for Saturday's game in Bratislava.

O'Shea sat out Wednesday afternoon's training after sustaining a knock to a knee in the morning session.

McShane is still recovering from a minor shoulder injury.

606: DEBATE

Finnan is first-choice right-back for Rafael Benitez but has been deployed at left-back on several occasions by Republic manager Steve Staunton.

The Liverpool man's absence further reduces Steve Staunton's full-back options as Stephen Carr has already been ruled out because of injury.

On the plus side, goalkeeper Shay Given's return to fitness is a major boost for manager Steve Staunton.

Goalkeeper Wayne Henderson and winger Alan O'Brien have already withdrawn from the Republic squad for the games against Slovakia and the Czech Republic (12 September).

Henderson has a back injury which kept him out of Preston's defeat by Coventry while O'Brien injured his ankle in Hibernian's victory over Inverness.

Behind runaway leaders Germany, the runner-up spot in the group is a battle between the Czechs, the Republic and the Slovakians.

With all three teams having five matches to play, the Czechs are a point clear of Staunton's team, who are a further four ahead of Slovakia.



SEE ALSO
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