Six of Palace’s first-team squad could be in action for their respective countries during the current break, with Wilfried Zaha hoping to following the lead of Christian Benteke, Chung-yong Lee and Luka Milivojevic by reaching the 2018 World Cup finals.
Zaha’s Ivory Coast side face a crunch qualifier against Morocco at home in Abdijan on Saturday, knowing a win will clinch their spot in Russia next summer. In what is effectively a winner-take-all play-off, the Elephants trail Morocco by a point in their qualifying group, meaning they must beat the Atlas Lions if Zaha is to achieve his dream of featuring in the game’s global showpiece.
Assured of his place is Milivojevic, who helped Serbia clinch qualification last month with the Palace man scoring his first international goal against Austria. Their preparations can begin this week with two friendlies planned in the Far East as they take on China and South Korea – who are without the injured Chung-yong Lee.
In reaching their first finals since 2010, the Serbs pipped Wales to qualification, meaning Wayne Hennessey will only be in friendly action when the Red Dragons return to France for the first time since their exploits at Euro 2016 on Saturday. They then host Panama in Cardiff four days later, however, Jonny Williams has been forced to withdraw from the squad.
England also reached the World Cup with no issues, and Gareth Southgate’s Three Lions are warming up for the competition by hosting both Germany and Brazil at Wembley over the next eight days, with Ruben Loftus-Cheek receiving a maiden full call-up, hoping to become the 14th Palace player to represent England.
Meanwhile, Dutch duo Timothy Fosu-Mensah and Jairo Riedewald are on under-21 duty for Holland as they take on Andorra in a 2019 UEFA European Under-21 Championship qualifier. A win would be huge for the Eagles pair, with Holland sitting behind England and Scotland in the group after claiming five points from their opening four games.
Palace’s internationals in action (all times GMT)
Friday 10th November
China v Serbia (Milivojevic)
Friendly, Guangzhou – 12.35pm
Saturday 11th November
Netherlands U21 (Riedewald, Fosu-Mensah) v Andorra U21
U21 Euro Qualifier, Doetinchem – 6.30pm
Ivory Coast (Zaha) v Morocco
WC Qualifier, Abdijan – 6.30pm
France v Wales (Hennessey)
Friendly, Paris – 7pm
England (Loftus-Cheek) v Germany
Friendly, London – 8pm
Tuesday 14th November
South Korea v Serbia (Milivojevic)
Friendly, Ulsan – 12pm
Wales (Hennessey) v Panama
Friendly, Cardiff – 7.45pm
England (Loftus-Cheek) v Brazil
Friendly, London – 8pm