Aaron Ramsey ruled out of Wales’ European Qualifier vs Slovakia

Aaron Ramsey

Wales midfielder Aaron Ramsey has been ruled out of the European Qualifier against Slovakia on Thursday due to injury.

The 28-year-old has remained in Cardiff in order to concentrate on regaining full fitness for Sunday’s game against Croatia.

Ramsey was withdrawn from warming up at half-time during Juventus’ 2-1 win at Inter Milan on Sunday after feeling what boss Maurizio Sarri described as “a twinge”.

Wales manager Ryan Giggs said on Wednesday evening: “He has a chance for Sunday. He just had a little bit of tightness in his abductor.

“He then had to travel, he got with us on Monday evening, did a bit on the grass today. The physio has stayed back to work with him over the next couple of days and we’re hopeful that he’ll be available for Sunday.”

Wales are fourth in Group E but a win over second-placed Slovakia on Thursday would take them level on nine points with their opponents with a game in hand, and Giggs knows they must be vastly improved away from home after summer defeats in Croatia and Hungary.

“We need to play better, but the circumstances were different in the summer,” Giggs said. “Some players hadn’t played for five weeks. You can always lose in football, but it is how you come back that’s important.”

UEFA had originally ordered for the game to be played behind closed doors, with Slovakia fans found guilty of making ‘illicit chants’ during last month’s victory in Hungary.

Slovakia won their appeal against the fans’ ban, saying the chants had been political rather than racist, and there will be a 20,000 sell-out crowd at Trnava’s Anton Malatinsky Stadium.

UEFA’s three-step protocol for racial abuse ends with the officials abandoning a match if announcements inside a stadium do not stop the problem, but Giggs says he has not spoken to his players about the issue.

“It is not something Wales have really experienced, I think a bit with the U21s,” Giggs said. “It is not something we have really talked about.

“We recognise racism is a problem, but I don’t like to pre-empt what might happen. Hopefully we just have a good game of football with no problems.”