Internationals: When are our players in action?
Although it's an odd-numbered summer, with no senior World Cup or European Championship to look forward to, there is still plenty of football to be played on the international stage during June 2019.
While the rest of Manchester United's squad will have more time to rest and recharge their batteries for next season, eight of our first-team players are currently away with their countries. This group includes Scott McTominay and Romelu Lukaku, who could face each other in a Euro 2020 qualifying fixture, and Diogo Dalot, who has already played in the Under-20 World Cup with Portugal.
Here, we round up which Reds have been called up and when they could be in action…
Already his country’s all-time leading scorer with 45 goals from 79 caps, Lukaku will look to increase his tally when Roberto Martinez’s side welcome Kazakhstan and Scotland to Brussels on 8 and 11 June respectively; both games are in Group I where Belgium have made a 100 per cent start to the qualifying campaign. Their 28-man pool also includes former United winger Adnan Januzaj, who currently plays for Spanish side Real Sociedad.
As we reported earlier this week, Alexis Sanchez is part of Chile’s final 23-man squad for the Copa America, which gets under way in Brazil on 14 June. Our no.7, who has more caps and international goals than any other player in his country’s history, is targeting a hat-trick after winning the tournament in both 2015 and 2016. The Chileans will warm up for the competition by playing a friendly against Haiti on home soil on 7 June.
Jesse Lingard and Marcus Rashford will hope to be involved as the Three Lions chase success in the Nations League in Portugal. First up is a semi-final clash in Guimarães on 6 June against the Netherlands, who have ex-United players Daley Blind and Memphis Depay in their squad and are managed by former Southampton and Everton boss Ronald Koeman. Gareth Southgate’s side will then face either Portugal or Switzerland in the third place play-off or final on 9 June.
Paul Pogba is in Didier Deschamps’s squad for the world champions’ friendly against Bolivia, and subsequent Euro 2020 qualifiers against Turkey on 8 June and Andorra three days later. Les Bleus will be aiming to build on their storming start in Group H, after beating Moldova 4-1 and Iceland 4-0 in their first two qualifiers back in March.
Diogo Dalot is currently in action in the Under-20 World Cup in Poland. The fledgling defender has played in both of Portugal’s group-stage games so far – a 1-0 win over South Korea and 2-0 defeat by Argentina. Diogo will hope to feature again in their final Group F fixture against South Africa tonight (Friday), with Helio Sousa’s team needing a positive result to stand a chance of qualifying for the knockout stage.
McTominay, who has seven caps to date, has been included in new Scotland manager Steve Clarke’s first squad, for the Euro 2020 qualifiers against Cyprus on 8 June and Belgium three days later. The 22-year-old midfielder had a positive end to the 2018/19 season for the Reds on a personal level, scoring against Wolves and Huddersfield as well as being voted April’s Player of the Month by fans.
David De Gea is likely to be in action as Luis Enrique’s team look to build on their two wins from two games so far in Euro 2020 qualifying Group F, with a trip to the Faroe Islands and a home game against Sweden in Madrid on 7 and 11 June respectively. Incidentally, fellow goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga, of Chelsea, is the only other English-based player in the 23-man squad.
INTERNATIONAL REDS - THE FIXTURES
Friday 31 May
South Africa U20s v PORTUGAL U20s (kick-off 19:30 BST) – Dalot
Sunday 2 June
FRANCE v Bolivia (kick-off 20:00 BST) – Pogba
Thursday 6 June
Netherlands v ENGLAND (kick-off 19:45 BST) – Lingard, Rashford
Friday 7 June
CHILE v Haiti (kick-off midnight BST, 19:00 local time) – Alexis
Faroe Islands v SPAIN (kick-off 19:45 BST) – De Gea
Saturday 8 June
BELGIUM v Kazakhstan (kick-off 19:45 BST) – Lukaku
SCOTLAND v Cyprus (kick-off 19:45 BST) – McTominay
Turkey v FRANCE (kick-off 19:45 BST) – Pogba
Sunday 9 June
ENGLAND TBC (Nations League third place play-off at 14:00 BST or final at 19:45 BST) – Lingard, Rashford
Monday 10 June
SPAIN v Sweden (kick-off 19:45 BST) – De Gea
Tuesday 11 June
Andorra v FRANCE (kick-off 19:45 BST) – Pogba
BELGIUM v SCOTLAND (kick-off 19:45 BST) – Lukaku; McTominay
Monday 17 June
Japan v CHILE (kick-off midnight BST, 17:00 local time) – Alexis
Friday 21 June
Ecuador v CHILE (kick-off midnight BST, 17:00 local time) – Alexis
Monday 24 June
CHILE v Uruguay (kick-off midnight BST, 17:00 local time) – Alexis
We will confirm subsequent fixtures if Portugal Under-20s and Chile progress in the Under-20 World Cup and Copa America respectively.
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