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Seven Selected For World Cup Qualifiers

26 August 2016

New signing Christian Benteke is included in a group of seven Eagles who have been called up for their countries for next week’s international break, as qualifying for the 2018 World Cups gets underway across Europe. 

The striker has been named as part of Roberto Martinez’s first Belgium’s squad as they host Spain in a friendly on Thursday, which acts as a warm-up for their first World Cup qualifier against Cyprus in Nicosia on Tuesday 6th September.

After their exploits this summer at Euro 2016, Wales begin their challenge to get to tournament in Russia when they take on Moldova on Monday 5th September in Cardiff, with Joe Ledley and Wayne Hennessey once again included, but the injured Jonny Williams is ruled out.

Scotland will be hoping to emulate the rest of the home nations and qualify for their first major tournament since the 1998 World Cup when their qualification group starts again next month, and James McArthur has been included in the travelling party that will take on Malta the day before.

After reaching Euro 2016 automatically as the host nation, where they finished runners-up, France play their first qualifier for over two years as they head to Borislov to face Belarus on 6th September. Before then, they will also take on Italy in a friendly game on Thursday in Bari, with Steve Mandanda vying for a spot between the sticks with first-choice keeper Hugo Lloris out injured. Yohan Cabaye has also been included in the Les Bleus squad.

In Asia the final group stage gets underway during this next international break and Chung-yong Lee has been selected in South Korea’s squad for their two matches against China and Syria.

Palace players in international action (all times BST)

Thursday 1st September
South Korea (Lee) v China
World Cup qualifier – Seoul – 12pm

Belgium (Benteke) v Spain
Friendly – Brussels – 7.45pm

Italy v France (Cabaye, Mandanda)
Friendly – Bari – 8pm

Sunday 4th September
Malta v Scotland (McArthur)
World Cup qualifier – Ta’Quali – 7.45pm

Monday 5th September
Wales (Ledley, Hennessey) v Moldova
World Cup qualifier – Cardiff – 7.45pm

Tuesday 6th September
Syria v South Korea (Lee)
World Cup qualifier – Damascus – 2pm

Belarus v France (Cabaye, Mandanda)
World Cup qualifier – Borislov – 7.45pm

Cyprus v Belgium (Benteke)
World Cup qualifier – Nicosia – 7.45pm

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