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Skipper Steven Davis heads home from Northern Ireland camp for personal reasons

Northern Ireland v Slovakia – UEFA Euro 2020 – Play-offs – Final – Windsor Park
(Image credit: Brian Lawless)

Northern Ireland captain Steven Davis will miss Wednesday’s Nations League clash against Romania for personal reasons.

Davis has left the Northern Ireland squad in Belfast to travel home, ruling him out of their final Group B1 fixture.

The Rangers midfielder played all 120 minutes of Thursday’s 2-1 extra-time defeat to Slovakia in the Euro 2020 qualifying play-off final and was a second-half substitute as Northern Ireland lost 2-1 to Austria in Vienna on Sunday, his 124th international appearance.

Davis’ absence will further limit Ian Baraclough’s options for Wednesday’s match, with Niall McGinn already ruled out through injury while George Saville also left the squad for personal reasons prior to the Austria trip.

Kyle Lafferty and Jordan Thompson were also ruled out on Tuesday.

Lafferty has, like Davis, left the team for personal reasons, while Thompson has been forced out through injury.

In the wake of the withdrawals, Aberdeen winger Matty Kennedy has returned to the squad, having himself pulled out with an injury last week.

Northern Ireland are awaiting a ruling from UEFA on the cancelled Romania-Norway match to learn their fate in the Nations League, and could be relegated from League B prior to Wednesday’s kick-off.

Romania are expected to be awarded a walkover win after Norway were unable to travel for the match due to a positive test for coronavirus within the camp, a verdict that would relegate Northern Ireland if confirmed.

However, other options, including the drawing of lots, are also possible.