Zinchenko injured, Malinovskiy left out of Ukraine’s 2022WC qualifiers squad


Euro 2020 semi-finalists lose key players ahead of qualifying deciders

Ukraine will be looking to revive their 2022 World Cup qualifying campaign against Group D rivals Finland (October 9) and Bosnia & Herzegovina (October 12). After drawing five previous encounters, nothing but victories in the final three matches may guarantee Aleksandr Petrakov’s men a chance of sealing second place in the group. 

Zinchenko, Buyalskyi ruled out with injuries

‘The Blue and Yellow’ currently suffer from bad squad depth. Most notably, they will be without Manchester City midfielder Oleksandr Zinchenko who is set to miss two upcoming football games due to a calf injury picked up in the Champions League group game against RB Leipzig (6-3). The 24-year-old will reportedly return to first-team training on October 8-10.  

Other notable absentees will be left-back Vitaliy Mykolenko and attacking midfielder Vitaliy Buyalskiy. Both Dynamo Kyiv players left the national team camp early after a medical check-up. The second-choice custodian Denys Boyko will be unavailable as well due to ‘family issues’.

Serie A star Malinovskiy snubbed by Shevchenko’s successor

Atalanta midfielder Ruslan Malinovskiy, so prolific during Andriy Shevchenko’s spell at Zbirna, didn’t get a call-up for the upcoming international break by the newly appointed head coach Oleksandr Petrakov. 

Last season’s revelation at the Gewiss Stadium and Petrakov were reportedly involved in a heated exchange after Ukraine’s previous WC2022 qualifier against France (1-1) in September. Atalanta man was expecting to start, but Petrakov only subbed him on eight minutes before full-time to cause a dressing room spat after the game. Reports claim the player asked the coach’s permission to leave the camp earlier, without waiting for the friendly against the Czech Republic. 

According to Sport.ua – even though Malinovskiy does not fit Petrakov’s system, Ukraine does not have many players like him who play in Europe’s big leagues and are capable of making a difference.

However, Petrakov has refused to explain his decision to leave the 28-year-old out:

“The whole country can’t sleep, talking about Malinovskiy all the time. What a bastard Petrakov is, he should call and apologize to him, get on his knees and so on. I have already told the whole truth about Malinovskiy. But no one needs the truth in our country. You can’t tell the truth in this country. I will not say anything else,” – the coach said on the first day of the national team training.

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