NORWICH CITY will be well represented around the globe over the coming week as the international football programme gets underway… with seven first-team players on duty for their countries.
A trio of Canaries – Robert Snodgrass, Russell Martin and Steven Whittaker – are in Gordon Strachan’s Scotland squad for their crucial 2014 World Cup qualifiers against Wales and Serbia.
They welcome their home nations rivals to Hampden Park this evening (8pm), before travelling to Belgrade for the second part of their double-header on Tuesday night.
Snodgrass came on for 45 minutes in Scotland’s last game – a 1-0 friendly win over Estonia last month, while Martin was an unused substitute. Whittaker’s last appearance for his country came in their 2-1 victory over Luxembourg back in November.
Wes Hoolahan is in the Republic of Ireland squad for their matches against Sweden tonight (7.45pm) and Austria on Tuesday, and despite not being originally selected in the starting eleven for this evening’s Group C clash in Stockholm he could come into contention because of an ankle injury picked up by Glenn Whelan.
The 30-year-old notched his first goal for his country in their last outing – a 2-0 friendly win against Poland at the beginning of February.
Sebastien Bassong is in line to start for Cameroon in their qualifier against Togo on Saturday, with his presence much-needed as they try and cope with a defensive crisis that has seen a recall for Tottenham Hotspur full-back Benoit Assou-Ekotto.
Just less than 3,500 miles north of Yaounde, Kei Kamara will be trying to help Sierra Leone to three points in their match of similar importance against Tunisia in Tunis.
The 28-year-old will be looking to add to his 14 caps for the ‘Leone Stars’; he has so far scored twice, with both goals coming in an African Cup of Nations qualifier against Sao Tome e Principe last June.
Fellow striker Simeon Jackson is in the frame for Canada for today’s friendly match in Doha against Japan (4.05pm), and is also likely to feature against Belarus on Monday at the same venue.
Meanwhile, Declan Rudd has joined Ryan Bennett in withdrawing from England’s Under-21 squad after he failed to feature in last night’s 3-0 win over Romania at Adams Park.
Rudd will now miss Monday’s meeting with Austria at Brighton’s American Express Stadium so he can feature for Preston North End, the club where he’s currently on loan at until the end of the season, in their League One clash with Leyton Orient on Saturday.
Josh Murphy came off the bench for England Under-19s against Turkey in Telford last night, replacing Max Clayton and playing 35 minutes in their 1-0 win.