Inter Milan defender Milan Skriniar has been ruled out of Slovakia's Euro 2020 play-off semi-final against Ireland after testing positive for Covid-19.

Skriniar, who had been expected to start against Stephen Kenny's side in Bratislava, tested positive for the virus while in camp with the Slovakian team.

The defender, who was linked with a move to Tottenham before the transfer window closed, is the second Inter Milan player to test positive for the virus following Alessandro Bastoni. 

Skriniar is also the second Slovakian player to be ruled out the Ireland game after midfielder Stanislav Lobotka was forced out when his club was hit by coronavirus.

The 25-year-old Napoli player and his team-mates were placed in quarantine over the weekend after players Piotr Zielinski and Elif Elmas and staff member Giandomenico Costi tested positive for Covid-19.

National boss Pavel Hapal had hoped Lobotka would be allowed to join up with the Slovakia squad ahead of Thursday night's showdown in Bratislava (Live on RTÉ2), but has now had to admit defeat despite three negative tests.

Stanislav Lobotka is one of Slovakia's most highly rated midfielders 

A statement on Twitter from the Italian club at 6.25pm Irish time said that Lobotka's latest swab had not yet been processed. 

Hapal said earlier today: "We did our best, but then the Italian club stopped communicating. Probably not only Napoli decided, but also someone from hygiene.

"This is strange because the Juventus players were able to travel and join their national teams. The difference is probably in the region and in the decision of the right person, but I think the rule should be the same.

"Stano has been tested three times with a negative result, but we must do everything we can to replace him."

Hapal had already called up Fatih Karagumruk's Erik Saba as cover for Lobotka, but the absence of a man who would have formed a formidable midfield trio along with Juraj Kucka and the returning Marek Hamsik represents a blow.

The last four matches between Slovakia and Ireland, three of them European qualifiers, have all ended in draws, but there must be a winner on this occasion with either Bosnia and Herzegovina or Northern Ireland waiting in the wings.

Hapal knows that will be no easy task, but is confident his team has what it will take to pass it.

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He said: "We want to play in a big tournament once again. I personally would like to repeat the Euros, it's an amazing tournament.

"I believe that the time has come for Slovakia and Ireland to break the draw. We know what they are strong at, so it's up to us to show our strength.

"They are definitely not a weak team, the players will fight for the whole 90 minutes. They can decide the match in their favour even at the very end."

The tie could be decided by which team best holds its nerve, but Hapal has insisted there is no room for anxiety.

He said: "There is no time for that, not even a place. I don't feel it and I don't feel like the players feel it. It's an important step, we are set up to handle it."

Follow Slovakia v Republic of Ireland (Thursday, 7.45pm) via our live blog on RTÉ.ie/sport and the RTÉ News app, watch live on RTÉ2 and the RTÉ Player from 7pm or listen to live commentary on RTÉ 2fm's Game On.