Belfast Telegraph

Euro 2016: Romania star set to miss game

Northern Ireland's hopes of victory in tomorrow night's Euro 2016 qualifier have been boosted with the news that playmaker Lucian Sanmartean is highly unlikely to be fit for the Group F showdown.

Sanmartean was the star performer for Romania when they beat Northern Ireland 2-0 in Bucharest in November and would relish taking on Michael O'Neill's team again.

It appears, though, that he won't get the opportunity with sources close to the Romanian team suggesting he only has 'a 5% chance of playing'.

Sanmartean was sent to controversial Serbian healer Mariana Kovacevic at the weekend in a bid to ensure his fitness for the top of the table clash, but his leg injury is more serious than first thought.

Kovacevic, who has used horse placenta as part of her treatments, has had better luck with Romanian captain Razvan Rat.

The left back, who has won over 100 caps, also visited Belgrade and his abductor problem is clearing up.

Rat is now rated as having a 50/50 chance of playing at Windsor. The Romanians will do all they can to get him out on the pitch believing his experience will be a major asset.

The defender trained for 20 minutes yesterday and is expected to be involved in training at Windsor Park tonight.

  • Euro 2016 Qualifiers  Group F: N Ireland v Romania, Windsor Park, Sat 7.45pm (Sky Sports)

Belfast Telegraph