Stoke City suffer potential injury blow as midfielder forced to miss international


Stoke City have suffered a potential injury blow with the news Jordan Thompson will miss Northern Ireland’s fixture against Austria on Sunday.

He suffered the setback during a painful Euro 2020 play-off defeat to Slovakia. Thompson, 23, has featured 12 times for Stoke this season, impressing in Michael O’Neill’s midfield.

Aberdeen winger Niall McGinn also misses out on the game, while Middlesbrough’s George Saville has returned to England for personal reasons, having missed Middlesbrough’s final match before the international window due to a family emergency.

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However, Ian Baraclough said all other players were available – including Craig Cathcart and Paddy McNair, who both hobbled off against Slovakia, and Stuart Dallas who played much of the game with an elbow injury.

A string of changes could still be made, with Baraclough and his staff to assess fatigue levels from a physically and emotionally draining 120 minutes of action before making the selection for Sunday’s match.

“Whoever takes to the pitch against Austria has their chance of staking a claim,” Baraclough said.

The Austria match is the first of two Nations League fixtures for Northern Ireland in the next few days, with their final Group B1 game at home to Romania on Wednesday night.

With only one point from four games so far, Northern Ireland are at risk of relegation in a tournament they have never enjoyed, and their fate may come down to their meeting with second-bottom Romania in Belfast depending on results this weekend.





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