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Popov withdraws with injury, Muarem added to squad

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Goran Popov withdrew due to his troublesome knee; photo: zimbio.comGoran Popov withdrew due to his troublesome knee; photo: zimbio.comAfter Mario Gjurovski withdrew due to club obligations, Goran Popov will also miss the upcoming two friendlies with a troublesome knee.  In their absence, manager John Toshack named one replacement in Muarem Muarem.

The operated knee is continuing to give Goran Popov problems so he had to withdraw from the Macedonian squad for the upcoming friendlies against Portugal and Angola later this month.  Popov needs to undergo further therapy to address the troublesome knee that was originally operated in November of last year.  With the top two left-back options now both out with injuries, as Aleksandar Lazevski is also injured, their absences should present an opportunity for Yani Urdinov of Ekranas.  He now becomes the only natural LB remaining on the squad, although Vladimir Dimitrovski has the ability to play both CB and LB.  With the versatility of Dimitrovski, Toshack decided not to name a replacement for Popov.

Meanwhile, FFM also officially confirmed that Mario Gjurovski will be withdrawn from the squad due to club obligations.  His team, Muangthong United, plays several leagues games around the dates of the two friendlies so they decided not to allow Gjurovski to join the Macedonian national team.  In Mario's absence, Toshack did announce a replacement in fellow midfielder Muarem Muarem from Azerbaijani side Qarabağ.  Muarem has been capped three times for the senior national team of Macedonia thus far, and will look to add to that tally in the Portugal and Angola friendlies.

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