Wales call for Norwich City forward Marley Watkins but Nelson Oliveira misses out on Portugal squad
PUBLISHED: 12:06 28 September 2017 | UPDATED: 15:14 28 September 2017
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Norwich City forward Marley Watkins has retained his place in the Wales squad for two upcoming World Cup qualifiers.
The 26-year-old summer signing from Barnsley has been an unused substitute for the last three matches but gets another chance to join up with the likes of Gareth Bale and Aaron Ramsey in pursuit of his first cap.
The former Swansea City trainee has scored once in nine appearances for the Canaries so far and set up James Maddison’s winner in the 1-0 win at Middlesbrough on Tuesday.
Chris Coleman’s team are second in Group D ahead of their final two games, away to Georgia on Friday, October 6 (5pm UK time) and a crucial clash with third-placed Republic of Ireland in Cardiff on Monday, October 9 (7.45pm).
Canaries star Wes Hoolahan is in Ireland’s squad for that match, which follows a home clash with Moldova on October 6.
Nelson Oliveira has missed out on a place in the Portugal squad though, as he makes his way back from a groin problem, returning after a three-game absence in the closing stages of City’s 1-0 win at Middlesbrough on Tuesday.
The striker earned a national recall earlier this season after scoring three goals in his opening four games of the campaign and then scored in a 5-1 home qualifying win over the Faroe Islands, before staying on the bench during a 1-0 win in Hungary.
The European champions are three points behind Switzerland with two games remaining, in Andorra and at home to the leaders.
City goalkeeper Michael McGovern has retained his place in the Northern Ireland squad as Michael O’Neill’s side look to make sure of second place and play-off qualification in Group C, at home to group leaders and world champions Germany on Thursday, October 5 (7.45pm) and away to Norway on Sunday, October 8 (7.45pm).
Russell Martin and Steven Naismith miss out on the Scotland squad due to fitness issues but new signing Grant Hanley has been selected ahead of Group F games at home to Slovakia on October 5 (7.45pm) and in Slovenia on October 8 (5pm) as they chase second place.
Angus Gunn has also retained his place in the England Under-21 squad, for a home game against Scotland at Middlesbrough’s Riverside Stadium – where he kept his fifth consecutive league clean sheet for City earlier this week – on Friday, October 6 (7.45pm).
A trip to minnows Andorra follows on Tuesday, October 11 (5pm) as Aidy Boothroyd’s side continue qualification for the 2019 European U21 Championships in San Marino and Italy.
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