Slovakia picks injured trio for early squad

Slovakia has selected injured strikers Filip Holosko and Robert Vittek in a preliminary squad for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.

Slovakia has selected injured strikers Filip Holosko and Robert Vittek in a preliminary World Cup squad.

Liverpool defender Martin Skrtel was also picked in coach Vladimir Weiss' 29-player squad Tuesday, despite not having played since breaking his foot in February.

Holosko, who broke his leg last year, currently can't train as he has residual pain in his leg. Vittek has a knee injury.

All three said they hoped to make the final 23-man squad for South Africa that will be named June 1.

The squad includes all of Slovakia's top players, including captain Marek Hamsik, who scored 12 goals in Serie A this season and helped Napoli qualify for the Europa League, and goalkeeper Jan Mucha, who is moving from Legia Warsaw to Everton.

Weiss was scheduled to comment on his squad on Wednesday.

His son Vladimir, Manchester City's attacking midfielder who was on loan at Bolton this season, is also included, along with another rising Slovak star, midfielder Miroslav Stoch, who has just won the Dutch title with FC Twente, where he is on loan from Chelsea.

Slovakia won its qualifying group to advance to the World Cup for the first time.

The team will open on June 15 against New Zealand before facing Paraguay and defending champion Italy in Group F.

Slovakia is scheduled to play a warmup game against Cameroon on May 29 in Klagenfurt, Austria, where the team will have a training camp in Bad Kleinkirchheim and will then take on Costa Rica in Bratislava on June 5.


Goalkeepers: Jan Mucha (Legia Warsaw), Dusan Kuciak (Vaslui), Lubos Kamenar (Nantes), Dusan Pernis (Dundee United).

Defenders: Peter Pekarik (Wolfsburg), Martin Petras (Cesena), Martin Skrtel (Liverpool), Lubomir Michalik (Leeds United), Jan Durica (Hannover), Radoslav Zabavnik (Mainz), Marek Cech (West Bromwich Albion), Tomas Lubocan (Zenit St. Petersburg), Kornel Salate (Slovan Bratislava).

Midfielders: Kamil Kopunek (Spartak Trnava), Jan Kozak (Timisoara), Juraj Kucka (Sparta Prague), Miroslav Karhan (Mainz), Marek Sapara (Ankaragucu), Mario Pecalka (Zilina), Stanislav Sestak (Bochum), Marek Hamsik (Napoli), Vladimir Weiss (Manchester City), Miroslav Stoch (Chelsea), Dusan Svento (Salzburg), Zdeno Strba (Xanthi).

Forwards: Erik Jendrisek (Schalke), Robert Vittek (Ankaragucu), Martin Jakubko (Saturn Moscow), Filip Holosko (Besiktas).