Five Palace players have been handed full international call-ups for their countries ahead of a crunch week of qualification matches in the race to reach the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
Following in the footsteps of Chung-yong Lee’s South Korea, another Eagle aiming to clinch a spot in the finals is Luka Milivojevic, whose Serbia side can secure qualification with a win on Friday night in Austria. The Serbs are currently four points clear of Wales at the head of Group D, meaning their destiny is in their own hands before they round off their campaign at home to Georgia three days later.
Chris Coleman’s Red Dragons will be hoping to pounce on any slip-ups though, and Wayne Hennessey has been selected in their squad that will face off against the Georgians in a tricky away tie on Friday night. Wales are just a point ahead of the Republic of Ireland, who face each other in a potential play-off ahead of the play-offs in Cardiff next Monday. On-loan Jonny Williams is also in the squad.
There is also a chance that James McArthur could help Scotland qualify for their first major tournament since 1998, with Gordon Strachan’s men scrapping it out with Slovakia and Slovenia for the play-off spot. The Scots have to face both this week, with second-place Slovakia heading to Hampden Park on Thursday night in the biggest game the Tartan Army have played in years.
Having missed out on Euro 2016, Holland will be desperate not to watch next summer’s World Cup from afar, but they face an uphill task to oust Sweden from the play-off spot. Timothy Fosu-Mensah has been selected for the Oranje’s games against Belarus and the Swedes, knowing they’ll have to win both and overturn a six-goal deficit to reach Russia.
Having secured their place last month, Lee’s South Korea are in friendly action against the Russians in Moscow on Saturday before then facing off against Morocco in Switzerland the following Tuesday.
As well as these players, Jairo Riedewald has been named in Holland’s under-21 squad for their 2019 UEFA U21 Championship qualifiers against Latvia and Ukraine, while Kian Flanagan has been selected for the Republic of Ireland under-19s ahead of their 2018 UEFA U19 Championship qualifying matches against Azerbaijan, Greece and Serbia.
Meanwhile, Ruben Loftus-Cheek has been forced to pull out of the England under-21 squad due to injury, but in action for the Three Lions will be Nya Kirby who has been named in their squad for the FIFA U17 World Cup which takes place in India this month.
Palace’s internationals in action:
Wednesday 4th October
Rep of Ireland U19s (Flanagan) v Azerbaijan
U19 Qualifier, Waterford – 3pm
Thursday 5th October
Scotland (McArthur) v Slovakia
WC Qualifier, Glasgow – 7.45pm
Friday 6th October
Holland U21s (Riedewald) v Latvia U21s
U21 Qualifier, Doetinchem – 5pm
Georgia v Wales (Hennessey)
WC Qualifier, Tblisi – 5pm
Austria v Serbia (Milivojevic)
WC Qualifier, Vienna – 7.45pm
Saturday 7th October
Russia v South Korea (Lee)
Friendly, Moscow – 3pm
Rep of Ireland U19s (Flanagan) v Greece
U19 Qualifier, Waterford – 7pm
Belarus v Holland (Fosu-Mensah)
WC Qualifier, Borisov – 7.45pm
Sunday 8th October
Chile U17s v England U17s (Kirby)
U17 World Cup, Calcutta – 12.30pm
Slovenia v Scotland (McArthur)
WC Qualifier, Ljubliana – 5pm
Monday 9th October
Wales (Hennessey) v Republic of Ireland
WC Qualifier, Cardiff – 7.45pm
Serbia (Milivojevic) v Georgia
WC Qualifier, Belgrade – 7.45pm
Tuesday 10th October
Rep of Ireland U19s (Flanagan) v Serbia
U19 Qualifier, Waterford – 1pm
South Korea (Lee) v Morocco
Friendly, Switzerland – TBA
Ukraine U21s v Holland U21s (Riedewald)
U21 Qualifier, Kiev – 5pm
Holland (Fosu-Mensah) v Sweden
WC Qualifier, Amsterdam – 7.45pm
Wednesday 11th October
England U17s (Kirby) v Mexico U17s
U17 World Cup, Calcutta – 12.30pm
Saturday 14th October
England U17s (Kirby) v Iraq U17s
U17 World Cup, Calcutta – 3.30pm