International preview: Nine Norwich City players preparing for action with their countries
International action continues for Norwich City’s players today ahead of a busy weekend of World Cup qualification.
Canaries under-23 squad players Jamal Lewis and Joe Crowe are both hoping to make their Northern Ireland U21 debuts in a qualifier for the 2019 European U21 Championship away in Estonia (4pm UK time).
Lewis, a left winger or full-back, and Crowe, a central defender or defensive midfielder, have both previously played at U19 level but have been included in the plans of new U21 boss Ian Baraclough.
Timm Klose could then be back in action for Switzerland tomorrow, in a World Cup qualifier in the Faroe Islands (7.45pm). The centre-back played the second half of a 1-0 friendly win over Belarus last Thursday, winning his 16th cap, and will hope to help his country continue their 100 per cent record at the top of Group B.
Final preparations for the European U21 Championship will be made by England with a friendly against Iceland at St George’s Park on Saturday (11am), with Angus Gunn and Jacob Murphy in the squad ahead of the tournament opener in Poland, against Sweden next Friday (5pm).
Later in the day is the big game of World Cup qualifying for Russell Martin and Steven Naismith as Scotland take on England at Hampden Park (5pm).
Gordon Strachan’s side need to beat the visiting Group F leaders to keep their fading hopes of qualification for Russia 2018 alive, as they currently sit fourth behind Slovakia and Slovenia.
Michael McGovern is looking to continue his good international form with Northern Ireland, having kept five clean sheets in his last six games.
The keeper won his 21st cap when playing the majority of a 1-0 friendly win over New Zealand in Belfast last Friday. An away clash with Azerbaijan (5pm) awaits as Michael O’Neill’s side try to keep hold of second place in Group C.
Wes Hoolahan has already been in friendly action twice with the Republic of Ireland, ahead of Sunday’s Group D clash with Austria in Dublin (5pm). The 35-year-old playmaker came on in the 64th minute of a 3-1 defeat to Mexico in the USA last Friday and at half-time of a 3-1 win over Uruguay in Dublin on Sunday.
Martin O’Neill’s side are tied on points with Serbia in top spot.
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