Alejandro Garnacho with his Argentina team-mates.

Reds get set for June internationals

Tuesday 13 June 2023 07:00

The 2022/23 football season hasn’t quite reached its end yet, with international fixtures in the schedule later this week and into next.

UEFA’s European Championship qualifiers, which got under way in March, continue while the Nations League finals are being held in the Netherlands.

African and South American national sides are in action and, in total, we make it 19 Reds who will be involved in some way, starting with a potential debutant…


Thursday 15 June could be a momentous day for Alejandro Garnacho, with the 18-year-old named in the world champions’ squad to face Australia. “We let him come and let him join the group,” boss Lionel Scaloni said last week. “We'll analyse if he'll play from the start or he'll have minutes.” Should our teenage forward not be awarded an international debut against the Socceroos in Beijing, there’s also an exhibition fixture penned in next Monday, as the Albiceleste face Indonesia.

Garnacho set for full Argentina debut


Our exciting teenager has been promised his senior international bow next week.


On-loan midfielder Marcel Sabitzer was forced to sit out of the final month of United’s season through injury, but the 29-year-old has been named by Ralf Rangnick in his latest Austria squad. Das Team travel to Belgium and host Sweden as they aim to build on a 100 per cent record so far and qualify for a third straight European Championship finals.


The South American qualifiers for the 2026 World Cup don’t get underway until September, but Brazil are in friendly action as they take on Guinea and Senegal in Barcelona and Lisbon, respectively. Casemiro captained the Selecao in their last set of friendlies and remains a vitally important member of the squad, while Alex Telles has also been picked following his recent success in the Europa League final with Sevilla.


The Scandinavians are bidding to get back on track in Group H, after a shock 3-2 loss to Kazakhstan in March left them trailing Slovenia by three points. Christian Eriksen and co can reel the group leaders in by beating them in Ljubljana next Monday, although a home clash with Northern Ireland is first on the menu.


Harry Maguire, Marcus Rashford and Luke Shaw are all in Gareth Southgate’s squad for the upcoming qualifiers against Malta and North Macedonia, who will take part in the first England fixture at Old Trafford since 2007. The Three Lions look well-placed to take control of Group C, after beating Ukraine and Italy during the last international break.


Zidane Iqbal is one of 27 names included in Iraq’s squad for a training camp in Spain, with Colombia the opposition in a friendly game at Valencia’s Mestalla Stadium on Friday 16 June. The Lions of Mesopotamia are finetuning their preparations for the AFC Asian Cup, which will take place in Qatar next January.


The Elephants host the 2024 Africa Cup of Nations and have therefore already qualified, although they are still taking part in the process. A win in Zambia will confirm top spot in Group H for Eric Bailly and co, with a game to spare.

Bolt mimics Rashford celebration at Soccer Aid


Five former Reds were involved in the annual charity event at Old Trafford on Sunday.


Tyrell Malacia and Wout Weghorst are on Nations League duty, with the Netherlands taking on Croatia in the first of this week’s semi-finals. The winner of that clash will go up against either Spain or Italy in the final on Sunday evening, while the two beaten semi-finalists participate in a third-placed play-off earlier in the day.


Roberto Martinez’s side put 10 goals past Liechstenstein and Luxembourg without reply in March, but Bosnia and Herzegovina and Iceland should prove trickier opposition for a squad containing Diogo Dalot and Bruno Fernandes. Former Red Cristiano Ronaldo will become the first male international to win 200 caps should he play in both fixtures.


Scott McTominay was in the goalscoring form of his life back in March, netting four times across games with Cyprus and Spain to get Steve Clarke’s men off to a flying start in Group A. A trip to Norway and the visit of Georgia to Hampden Park are next on the agenda and, with Spain otherwise occupied by the Nations League, there’s a real chance for Scotland to build a lead at the top of the pool.

'He was a born winner'


These quotes from five Reds are a timely insight into what the now-retired Zlatan Ibrahimovic was like as a team-mate.


While last week’s retirement announcement from Zlatan Ibrahimovic brings a chapter of Swedish football history to an end, the next generation under Janne Andersson – including captain Victor Lindelof and forward Anthony Elanga – are hoping to escape a difficult-looking group containing Austria and Belgium. A 3-0 reverse to the latter in March didn’t help their hopes, placing extra pressure on next Tuesday’s trip to Austria. First up is a friendly against New Zealand in Stockholm.


Hannibal – who has been playing in the Championship on loan at Birmingham City this season – is in the Tunisia squad for the Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Equatorial Guinea. The Eagles of Carthage have already booked their place at next January’s tournament, so the friendly with neighbours Algeria next Tuesday could be the one to watch.


Marcelo Bielsa was appointed as Uruguay’s new manager last month and the former Athletic Bilbao and Leeds boss has selected an experimental 31-man squad for friendlies with Nicaragua and Cuba. Facundo Pellistri has made the cut, although highly experienced names like Edinson Cavani, Diego Godin and Luis Suarez are not included.

Marcelo Bielsa is the new man in charge for Uruguay.



Netherlands v Croatia (19:45)


Uruguay v Nicaragua (00:30)
Australia v Argentina (13:30)


Sweden v New Zealand (18:00)
Denmark v Northern Ireland (19:45)
Malta v England (19:45)
Colombia v Iraq (20:00)


Zambia v Ivory Coast (14:00)
Equatorial Guinea v Tunisia (16:00)
Norway v Scotland (17:00)
Belgium v Austria (19:45)
Portugal v Bosnia and Herzegovina (19:45)
Brazil v Guinea (20:30)


Indonesia v Argentina (13:30)
Slovenia v Denmark (19:45)
England v North Macedonia (19:45)


Austria v Sweden (19:45)
Iceland v Portugal (19:45)
Scotland v Georgia (19:45)
Algeria v Tunisia (20:00)
Brazil v Senegal (20:00)


Uruguay v Cuba (00:30)

All kick-off times are in BST.