Six Crystal Palace players could feature in international action this week as a host of 2018 World Cup qualifiers take place around the world.
Two Eagles could go head-to-head in midfield on Sunday evening in Belgrade as Luka Milivojevic’s Serbia hosts Joe Ledley’s Wales in a crucial game for both teams. Serbia top Group D, with Wales just four points behind them in third place, so a win could be imperative for Chris Coleman’s team if they’re to keep their hopes of qualifying automatically intact. As well as Ledley, Wayne Hennessey is also included in the Red Dragons’ traveling party.
Palace could also be represented in the Battle of Britain clash at Hampden Park on Saturday, with James McArthur named in Scotland’s squad to face England. The Scots sit in fourth place in Group F, and with their neighbours already six points clear, so they will be eyeing a famous win to keep up their hopes of winning a play-off place.
Christian Benteke has also been named in Belgium’s squad for their qualifier against Estonia, with Roberto Martinez’s team currently top their group. The Palace striker could also add to his cap tally in their friendly against the Czech Republic which gets the Eagles international action underway on Monday night.
Over in AFC qualification, Chung-yong Lee’s South Korea will hope to continue their march towards the finals by beating Qatar on Tuesday 13th June. The Koreans currently occupy an automatic qualification spot, and will fancy their chances against the side propping up the group. Lee’s team will warm up for that game with a friendly in Iraq the previous week.
Meanwhile, Wilfried Zaha was forced to pull out of the Ivory Coast’s squad for their friendly against Holland due to a slight injury, meaning he will also miss their 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Guinea on Saturday.
Palace players in international action (all times BST):
Monday 5th June – Belgium (Benteke) v Czech Republic
Friendly, Brussels, Belgium – 8.45pm
Wednesday 7th June – South Korea (Lee) v Iraq
Friendly, Ras Al-Khaimah, Iraq - 6pm
Friday 9th June – Estonia v Belgium (Benteke)
World Cup qualifier, Tallinn, Estonia – 7.45pm
Saturday 10th June – Scotland (McArthur) v England
World Cup qualifier, Glasgow, Scotland – 5pm
Sunday 11th June – Serbia (Milivojevic) v Wales (Hennessey, Ledley)
World Cup qualifier, Belgrade, Serbia – 7.45pm
Tuesday 13th June – Qatar v South Korea (Lee)
World Cup qualifier, Doha, Qatar – 8pm