A busy fortnight of football kicks off tonight, with a host of our players in action for their countries.
Alexis Mac Allister and Argentina get the international fixtures up and running when they take on Italy in the 2022 Finalissima at Wembley on Wednesday, kick-off 7.45.
This is the third edition of the Finalissima – the match played between the most recent winners of the European Championship and the Copa America – and Mac Allister will be hoping to win his first international trophy.
Following the Finalissma, Argentina will play a friendly against Estonia in Pamplona on Sunday.
While Alexis is hoping to lift his first title, Robert Sanchez will be hoping to make his first start for Spain when they begin their Nations League campaign on Thursday against Portugal in Seville.
Sanchez enjoyed a superb season with us, and the 24-year-old was expected to make his full debut for Luis Enrique’s side during the last international break but was forced to withdraw from the squad.
After the visit of Portugal, Spain will play Czech Republic home and away on Sunday 5 June and Sunday 12 June, with a trip to Geneva to face Switzerland sandwiched between.
Spain were runners up in the 2021 Nations League Finals in Italy, with Leandro Trossard’s Belgium coming fourth, and both teams will be hoping to reach the closing stages again next summer.
Trossard and the Red Devils begin this year’s campaign against Netherlands, who were beaten finalists themselves in 2019, on Friday in Brussels, before hosting Poland five days later.
Roberto Martinez’s side will then travel to Cardiff on Saturday 11 June to play Wales and end their fortnight of football with a trip to Warsaw to face Poland.
The Nations League fixtures keep on coming for Albion’s players, with Shane Duffy selected for Ireland’s upcoming matches, starting with Armenia in Yerevan on Saturday 4 June. Stephen Kenny’s team will also face Ukraine twice, first in Dublin and then in Lodz, Poland, either side of hosting Scotland at the Aviva Stadium on Saturday 11 June.
Much like the Nations League getting underway, qualifying for the Africa Cup of Nations starts over the next two weeks, with Yves Bissouma and Enock Mwepu selected by Mali and Zambia.
Bissouma's Mali side will face Congo on Saturday 4 June before playing South Sudan away on Thursday 9 June, while Mwepu's Zambia play Ivory Coast and Comoros Islands on Friday 3 June and Tuesday 7 June.
A number of international friendlies will also take place over the next two weeks as preparations for this winter’s World Cup continue to gather pace, with Moises Caicedo and Jeremy Sarmiento set to represent Ecuador again.
The young Albion duo helped La Tri reach this year’s tournament in Qatar during the last international break, and they will be hoping for more minutes when they play Nigeria in New York on Friday, Mexico in Chicago on Monday 6 June and Cape Verde on Sunday 12 June in Florida.
Kaoru Mitoma, who signed for us last summer and spent the campaign on loan at Union St-Gilloise, will be in friendly action for Japan against Paraguay in Sapporo on Thursday, before the Blue Samurai host Brazil in Tokyo on Monday 6 June.
At youth level, Carl Rushworth has been called up to England’s under-21 squad for their European Championship qualifiers against Czech Republic, Albania, Kosovo and Slovenia, while Zak Sturge and James Beadle will represent England’s under-18s in a four-nation tournament featuring Austria, Wales and Croatia in Zagreb.
Marc Leonard, Evan Ferguson and Ed Turns will also be in under-21 EURO qualifying action, with Leonard called up to Scotland’s squad for qualifiers against Belgium and Denmark, Ferguson included in Ireland’s squad for their matches against Bosnia & Herzegovina and Montenegro and Turns named in Wales’ squad for ties against Netherlands and Gibraltar.
Turns will face Kjell Scherpen in qualifying with the Dutch goalkeeper included in the Oranje squad for their trips to Wales and Moldova and their home game against Gibraltar, while in under-23 Asian Cup qualifying Cameron Peupion is part of Australia's party.