Brighton and Hove Albion
A busy fortnight of football kicks off tonight, with a host of our players in action for their country.
Alexis Mac Allister and Argentina kick off the international fixtures when they take on Italy in the 2022 Finalissima at Wembley on Wednesday, kick off at 7.45am.
It’s the third edition of the Finalissima – the match played between the last winners of the European Championship and the Copa America – and Mac Allister will be hoping to win his first international trophy.
After the Final, Argentina will play a friendly match against Estonia in Pamplona on Sunday.
While Alexis will be hoping to win his maiden title, Robert Sanchez will be hoping to make his first start for Spain when they kick off their Nations League campaign on Thursday against Portugal in Seville.
Sanchez has had a superb season with us, and the 24-year-old was due to make his full debut for Luis Enrique’s side during the last international break but was forced out of the squad.
After visiting Portugal, Spain will face the Czech Republic home and away on Sunday June 5 and Sunday June 12, with a trip to Geneva to take on Switzerland in between.
Spain were runners-up in the 2021 Nations League final in Italy, with Leandro Trossard’s Belgium finishing fourth, and both sides hope to reach the final stages again next summer.
Trossard and the Red Devils start this year’s campaign against the Netherlands, themselves beaten in the final in 2019, on Friday in Brussels, before hosting Poland five days later.
Roberto Martinez’s team will then travel to Cardiff on Saturday June 11 to face Wales and will end their fortnight of football with a trip to Warsaw to face Poland.
Nations League fixtures follow one another for Albion players, with Shane Duffy selected for Ireland’s next games, starting with Armenia in Yerevan on Saturday 4 June. Stephen Kenny’s side will also face Ukraine twice, first in Dublin and then in Lodz, Poland, either side of their home to Scotland at the Aviva Stadium on Saturday June 11.
Just as the Nations League kicks off, qualifying for the Africa Cup of Nations begins over the next two weeks, with Yves Bissouma and Enock Mwepu selected by Mali and Zambia.
Mali’s Bissouma team will face Congo on Saturday June 4 before taking on South Sudan on Thursday June 9, while Mwepu’s Zambia will face Ivory Coast and Comoros on Friday June 3 and Tuesday June 7.
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.
Albion’s young 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 face Nigeria in New York on Friday, Mexico in Chicago on Monday 6 June and Cape Verde on Sunday June 12 in Florida.
Kaoru Mitoma, who signed for us last summer and spent the campaign on loan at Union St-Gilloise, will be in a friendly for Japan against Paraguay in Sapporo on Thursday, before the Blue Samurai host Brazil in Tokyo on Monday, June 6.
At youth level, Carl Rushworth was called up to England’s Under-21 squad for their European Championship qualifiers against the Czech Republic, Albania, Kosovo and Slovenia, while Zak Sturge and James Beadle will represent England Under-18s in a four-nation tournament with Austria, Wales and Croatia in Zagreb.
Marc Leonard, Evan Ferguson and Ed Turns will also be in EURO Under-21 qualifying action, with Leonard called up in Scotland’s squad for qualifying against Belgium and Denmark, Ferguson included in the Ireland squad for their matches against Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro and Turns named in the Wales squad for matches against the Netherlands and Gibraltar.
Turns will face Kjell Scherpen in qualifying with the Dutch goalkeeper included in Oranje’s squad for their trips to Wales and Moldova and their home game against Gibraltar, while in Asian Under-18 Cup qualifying 23-year-old Cameron Peupion is part of the Australian party.