World Cup qualifiers: NI striker Liam Boyce and goalkeeper Nathan Gartside out of Italy match

Liam Boyce
Boyce scored the goal when NI drew with Romania in their last match

Northern Ireland striker Liam Boyce and uncapped goalkeeper Nathan Gartside are out of Thursday's World Cup qualifier away to Italy.

The pair will not travel with the squad for the opening qualifier in Parma.

Boyce has stayed in Scotland as his wife has just given birth, while Gartside has a medical issue that has prevented him making the trip.

Manager Ian Baraclough also revealed that a decision on Jamal Lewis's fitness has not yet been made.

The Newcastle United left-back is a doubt for the match due to a groin injury.

"Nathan Gartside has got a medical issue that needs sorted and he won't be travelling to Italy. That's the very reason why we brought Liam Hughes into the group," Baraclough said.

"On Liam Boyce, I've allowed him to play for Hearts last night. He's close to home and close to his wife who has just given birth."

After the match in Italy, Northern Ireland have a friendly against USA at Windsor Park three days later before hosting Bulgaria at the same Belfast venue in their second qualifier on 31 March.

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