Timely tonic – stricken Stoke City and Wales favourite handed fresh incentive



It’s the news which will bring some long overdue cheer to Joe Allen.

Stoke’s popular midfielder looked certain to miss the European Championships with Wales – possibly his last chance on that kind of international stage – after suffering a ruptured achilles tendon against Hull onĀ  March 7.

But then the coronavirus crisis threw the fixture calendar into turmoil and the first casualty is this summer’s European Championships.

Scheduled to be played not in one country for once, but across a dozen countries, it has now been postponed until next year following a meeting among Uefa’s top brass today.

Wales were due to play Switzerland and Turkey in the Azerbaijan capital Baku on Saturday June 13 and Wednesday June 17 respectively before their final group game against Italy in Rome on Sunday June 21.

Today’s decision also has implications for Stoke’s other three Welsh internationals, goalkeeper Adam Davies, striker Sam Vokes and on-loan defender James Chester.

And for Stoke manager Michael O’Neill, of course, who had been hoping to round off his tenure as Northern Ireland boss by steering them through their play-off ties this spring against Bosnia and, if successful, then the Republic of Ireland.

But it would now appear that he has managed his country for the last time thanks to the postponements.





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