Steven Davis: Northern Ireland captain to miss Nations League game vs Romania

Steven Davis' absence will further limit Ian Baraclough's options for Wednesday's Nations League match, with Niall McGinn already ruled out through injury while George Saville left the squad for personal reasons prior to the Austria trip; Kyle Lafferty and Jordan Thompson also pull out

Northern Ireland captain Steven Davis is hopeful his teammates hold their nerve against Slovakia
Image: Steven Davis recently became Northern Ireland's most capped player

Northern Ireland captain Steven Davis has left the squad for personal reasons and will miss Wednesday's Nations League game with Romania.

Ian Baraclough's side are on the brink of relegation to League C following their 2-1 defeat to Austria, and must beat Romania at Windsor Park - live on Sky Sports Mix - to have any chance of survival, and they will also be without Kyle Lafferty and Jordan Thompson, who both followed Davis in withdrawing on Tuesday.

Rangers midfielder Davis, 35, was recently compared to Andres Iniesta after becoming Northern Ireland's most capped player, but will not be present as they attempt to end their Nations League curse, losing eight of their nine games in total across the competition.

Northern Ireland celebrate Josh Magennis' goal against Austria 1:02
Keith Gillespie praised Northern Ireland's performance against Austria and said it would have been hard to play so soon after their Euros disappointment

Striker Lafferty also pulled out due to personal reasons while Stoke City's Thompson misses the clash through injury, but Aberdeen winger Matty Kennedy has returned to the squad having himself pulled out with an injury last week.

Northern Ireland could yet secure Nations League survival - but it will depend on Norway's coronavirus predicament - with Romania expected to be awarded three points following the cancellation of their match with them, although there are other options including the drawing of lots, which are also possible.

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Live UEFA Nations League

UEFA's control, ethics and disciplinary body met on Monday and Northern Ireland's fate should be known before they host Romania.

Davis 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.

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Davis' absence will further limit 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.

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