International Reds: Who has been called up?
The Premier League season is on pause for the next fortnight, as international football returns for what will be the final time in 2019.
In terms of senior fixtures, the Euro 2020 qualifying group stages draw to a close, with 18 tournament places still up for grabs, while various youth-team qualifiers are also taking place.
Here’s a guide to which of our players could be involved for their national sides and all the qualifying permutations...
England, who are represented by three Reds in the shape of Harry Maguire and Marcus Rashford plus our on-loan goalkeeper Dean Henderson, were denied qualification in October after a shock loss in the Czech Republic. They can seal the deal this time around, though, with only a draw required from meetings with Montenegro at Wembley on Thursday and the trip to Kosovo on Sunday. That’s because the teams in second and third, Kosovo and the Czechs, go head-to-head later this week. Even if Montenegro were to win in what is England’s 1,000th fixture, the Three Lions would still book their place in next summer’s tournament as long as the game between the two chasing teams in Plzen doesn’t finish level.
United also have at least one representative in each of the England Under-21, Under-20 and Under-19 squads. Mason Greenwood is involved in the Under-21s' set-up ahead of their European qualifier in Albania. Aidy Boothroyd’s side have a 100 per cent record in Group 3, having won each of their three opening games. Brandon Williams and Angel Gomes have been called up by the Three Lions’ Under-20s' side for fixtures against Portugal and Iceland, while Ethan Laird and James Garner are among 21 names selected for a trio of Euro qualifiers against Luxembourg, North Macedonia and Bosnia & Herzegovina.
REPUBLIC OF IRELAND
Our on-loan goalkeeper Kieran O’Hara, who is at Burton Albion, has been selected by Mick McCarthy to take part in Ireland’s crunch qualifier against Denmark at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin on Monday. The Republic currently sit top of Group D and will qualify for next summer’s pan-European competition with a win over the Danes, providing third-placed Switzerland do not draw one of their remaining two fixtures, against Georgia and Gibraltar. If Switzerland do take four points from those games, and Denmark beat Gibraltar, there will be a three-way tie on 15 points and the teams will go into a head-to-head mini-league to determine the two qualifiers. Before any of that, though, Ireland will take on New Zealand in a home friendly on Thursday.
David De Gea is part of the Spain squad, as Robert Moreno’s already-qualified side aim to secure top spot in Group F and, therefore, a place in Pot 1 of the draw for the finals. La Roja, who have a superior head-to-head record to second-placed Sweden, require just a point from their final two matches against Malta in Cadiz and Romania in Madrid to finish in first place for the fourth successive European qualifying tournament.
Elsewhere in Group F, Victor Lindelof will be aiming to help Sweden reach the European finals for the sixth consecutive time. After the Blagult conceded a heartbreaking last-minute equaliser to Spain in their last qualifier in October, they sit just a point above Romania in the final qualifying berth. Janne Andersson’s side now travel to Bucharest, knowing a win will complete the job and a draw is likely to be enough, given they host already-eliminated Faroe Islands in their final game. Should Romania emerge victorious in their final two fixtures, Sweden are assured of a play-off spot.
Daniel James is in the Wales squad for their upcoming qualifiers, while United Under-23s midfielder Dylan Levitt has also been called up and could make his full international debut. The Dragons travel to Baku to face Azerbaijan on Saturday before hosting Hungary at the Cardiff City Stadium the following Tuesday. Ryan Giggs’s men – currently in fourth, four points behind the Hungarians in second – must win both matches if they are to automatically qualify from Group E. They also require third-placed Slovakia to lose one of their final two clashes, away in Croatia and at home to Azerbaijan. Should Wales experience disappointment over the next week, they may still have a chance of competing next summer, via the play-offs.
Marcos Rojo was called up to represent Argentina in their upcoming friendly matches against Brazil and Uruguay, in Saudi Arabia and Israel respectively. The defender has, however, been withdrawn so he can work on recovering from a minor injury he has been carrying in recent weeks. Scott McTominay has also been forced to miss international duty, with Scotland, after hurting his ankle at the end of United's win over Brighton.
Here’s a full list of international fixtures involving Manchester United players...
THURSDAY 14 NOVEMBER
England v Montenegro (Henderson, Maguire, Rashford)
Republic of Ireland v New Zealand (O’Hara)
FRIDAY 15 NOVEMBER
Albania U21s v England U21s (Greenwood)
Romania v Sweden (Lindelof)
Spain v Malta (De Gea)
SATURDAY 16 NOVEMBER
Azerbaijan v Wales (James, Levitt)
SUNDAY 17 NOVEMBER
Kosovo v England (Henderson, Maguire, Rashford)
MONDAY 18 NOVEMBER
Republic of Ireland v Denmark (O’Hara)
Spain v Romania (De Gea)
Sweden v Faroe Islands (Lindelof)
TUESDAY 19 NOVEMBER
Wales v Hungary (James, Levitt)
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