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Ljubljana: Slovenia coach Matjaz Kek trimmed his pre-World Cup squad further yesterday, sidelining four players who had been on a provisional list of 30.
It means goalkeeper Jan Koprivec, who plays for Gallipoli in Italy’s Serie B, Maribor defender Aleksandar Rajcevic, Koper midfielder Dare Vrsic and striker Miran Burgic, who plays for AIK Solna in Sweden, will not be travelling to the finals in South Africa.
Slovenia, who will play in group C with England, Algeria and the United States, will participate in a training camp at altitude in the Tyrol region of Italy this week. Kek will unveil his final, 23-man squad at the start of June. Slovenia face New Zealand, who are also qualified for the tournament, in a pre-World Cup friendly on June 4 in Maribor.
Slovenia squad: Goalkeepers: Samir Handanovic (Udinese/ITA), Jasmin Handanovic (Mantova/ITA), Aleksander Seliga (Sparta Rotterdam/NED).
Defenders: Bojan Jokic (Chievo/ITA), Marko Suler (Ghent/BEL), Bostjan Cesar (Grenoble/FRA), Branko Ilic (Locomotiv Moscow/RUS), Matej Mavric Rozic (Coblenz/GER), Dejan Kelhar (CS Bruges/BEL), Elvedin Dzinic (Maribor), Miso Brecko (Cologne/GER), Suad Filekovic (Maribor). Midfielders: Andraz Kirm (Wisla/POL), Andrej Komac (Maccabi Tel Aviv/ISR), Rene Krhin (Inter Milan/ITA), Mirnes Sisic (PAS Giannina/GRE), Darjan Matic (Rapid Bucharest/ROM), Dalibor Stevanovic (Vitesse Arnhem/NED), Robert Koren (West Bromwich/ENG), Aleksander Radosavljevic (Larissa/GRE), Valter Birsa (Auxerre/FRA).
Strikers: Milivoje Novakovic (Cologne/GER), Zlatko Dedic (Bochum/GER), Zlatan Ljubijankic (Ghent/BEL), Nejc Pecnik (Nacional/POR), Tim Matavz (FC Groningen/NED).
Meanwhile, France’s World Cup preparations were dealt a blow yesterday when key defensive midfielder Lassana Diarra was ruled out of the tournament with an intestinal problem.
Diarra missed training on Friday and Saturday after complaining of stomach pains while scaling a glacier with his team-mates at France’s pre-World Cup training base in the French Alps here on Thursday.
“Following the intestinal problem he contracted on the glacier at Tignes, medical examinations discovered an unforeseeable illness that necessitates rest for an indeterminate period,” read a statement on the French Football Federation (FFF) website. AGENCIES