Several Fulham regulars have been called up to represent their countries this week in a combination of World Cup qualifying games and friendly matches.
Chris Baird and Aaron Hughes are both likely to start for Northern Ireland when they face Azerbaijan in a crucial Group F match at Windsor Park on Wednesday. Michael O’Neill’s side currently lie fourth in the group but do have a game in hand on each of the countries above them. Maximum points are a necessity if they’re to close the gap on Portugal, Israel and Russia.
Iran are also in World Cup qualifying action when they face Uzbekistan in Tehran on Wednesday. Ashkan Dejagah will hope to transfer the form he’s shown in his recent appearances for the Whites to the national team as Iran aim to replace the Korea Republic at the top of Group A in the Asian qualifying section.
Out-on-loan winger Kerim Frei looks set to finally make his debut for Turkey after injury prevented him from doing so back in August, when they welcome Denmark to Istanbul for a friendly match.
Alexander Kačaniklić will be keen to impress for Sweden when they face England in Stockholm. The young winger has shone for the national team in the handful of appearances he has made to date and the arrival of the Three Lions to the Swedish capital is a challenge he is relishing.
Stephen Kelly will be on the bench for the Republic of Ireland’s friendly clash with Greece at the Aviva Stadium after Giovanni Trapattoni announced his starting lineup in advance.
Australia have a friendly match with the Korea Republic in Hwaseong for whom Mark Schwarzer starts in goal, while Brede Hangeland is likely to captain Norway in their friendly tie with Hungary in Budapest.
Ryan Williams and Corey Gameiro are competing in the AFC U19 Championship Semi-Final against Iraq. Gameiro has been the star of the tournament so far with six goals in four games for the Young Socceroos.
Lasse Vigen Christensen is part of the Denmark U19 squad that has three qualifying matches in quick succession next week against Cyprus, Montenegro and Finland.
Omri Altman has joined up with Israel U21s for a friendly game with Belarus, while Dino Islamovic and Jack Grimmer will take part in training camps with Sweden U19s and Scotland U19s respectively.