March international calls

By SFC Media Tue 20 Mar International
Photo by Gabriel Bouys/AFP | Mario Lemina

A total of 13 Saints players have been called up by their respective national teams at senior and junior level for fixtures over the next ten days.

Eight of the club’s international delegation will be featuring in friendly meetings around the globe from Thailand to Morocco while the remaining five have received junior call-ups for U19, U20 and U21 fixtures.

Cédric Soares (Portugal): Two testing international friendlies await Cédric, with the EURO 2016 champions set to host Egypt on Friday 23rd March before heading to Amsterdam to face the Netherlands on Monday 26th March.

Steven Davis (Northern Ireland): After a spell on the sidelines through injury, the Saints skipper may make a return to action at Windsor Park on Saturday 24th March. Michael O’Neill’s men will take on South Korea in a 2pm GMT kick-off.

Dušan Tadić (Serbia): Tadić will make up one half of a Saints-wing derby as Serbia meet Sofiane Boufal’s Morocco on Friday night. Completing an African double header, the Eagles are set to face Nigeria the following Monday.

Sofiane Boufal (Morocco): The Saints playmaker makes his second consecutive Morocco squad for a pair of international friendlies. The first will see Boufal meet Tadić in Serbia before the Atlas Lions entertain Uzbekistan on Tuesday 27th March.

Shane Long (Republic of Ireland): Destination Turkey for Long and Ireland in their only fixture of the March window, as both sides lick their wounds after unsuccessful World Cup qualifying campaigns. The pair meet in Antalya at 5.30pm GMT on Friday 23rd March.

Mario Lemina (Gabon): Lemina may be returning to Staplewood with a piece of silverware. The midfielder’s Gabon side will contest the King’s Cup in Thailand alongside the hosts, Slovakia and the United Arab Emirates.The winner of the two semi-finals on Thursday 22nd March will meet in the final on Monday 25th March, while the two losers will compete in a third-place play-off.

Jan Bednarek (Poland U21): Jan Bednarek’s Poland will look to extend their unbeaten start to EURO 2019 qualifying when they entertain Lithuania on Tuesday 27th March. The Saints defender’s team trail leaders Denmark in Group 3, which also features Faroe Islands, Georgia, and Finland.

Josh Sims (England U20): Sims and the Three Lions will travel to Bielsku-Bialej to face their Polish counterparts on Thursday 22nd March before returning to home soil for a clash with Portugal in Manchester. Now 20, the Saints Academy graduate is back in an England setup for the first time this season.

Jonathan Afolabi, Thomas O’Connor, Michael Obafemi (Ireland U19): The Saints trio join up with the 20-man squad for the upcoming UEFA European Elite Round Qualifiers in Portugal. The team travels to the north-west for an intensive qualifying triple header in Group 5 against Slovakia, Kosovo and the hosts, Portugal.

Callum Watts (Wales U19): Watts will link up with his Welsh compatriots this week as they play a brace of friendlies against Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina, in Vrbovec and Mladina – both of which are located in the capital of Zagreb.

Jake Vokins (England U18): Vokins has joined up with his England Under-18s teammates this week, and is set to take part in a treble of friendly fixtures. The Young Lions will take on Qatar and Belarus at England training base St George's Park, before a showdown with Argentina at Manchester City's Academy Stadium.

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