• Dillon Meehan

Everything you need to know: Manchester City Internationals – March 2022

After two months of non-interrupted action, the international break has returned. While in months past this break would be looked at as a deterrent, this might be the rare occasion where a change of scenery might be good for the Manchester City squad. Here’s a recap of the Blues’ international status this go around.

 

Algeria: Riyad Mahrez


Riyad Mahrez has arguably been City’s best player this season, with 22 goals in 36 appearances across all competitions. The 31-year-old returns to the Algerian national team for a two-legged World Cup qualification playoff tie against Cameroon.

Fixture Details:


March 25 | Cameroon vs Algeria | 17:00 GMT


March 29 | Algeria vs Cameroon | 20:30 BST

Photo courtesy of CHARLY TRIBALLEAU/AFP via Getty Images
 

Argentina: Julian Alvarez


The Premier League champions’ latest acquisition has scored five goals in seven appearances for River Plate this year and has been called up to Lionel Scaloni's Argentina side for World Cup qualifying action.


March 25 | Argentina vs Venezuela | 23:30 GMT


March 30 | Ecuador vs Argentina | 00:30 BST

Photo courtesy of Rodrigo Valle/Getty Images
 

Brazil: Ederson


Ederson has been called up to the Brazil squad for their World Cup qualifiers against Chile and Bolivia, with the 28-year-old's last appearance coming in a 4-0 win against Paraguay during the mini international break at the start of the year. Tite’s side will be looking to secure first position in the group ahead of Argentina, who are currently four points adrift.

Fixture Details:


March 24 | Brazil vs Chile | 23:30 GMT


March 30 | Bolivia vs Brazil | 00:30 BST

 

England: Phil Foden, Jack Grealish, John Stones, & Raheem Sterling


Phil Foden Jack Grealish, John Stones and Raheem Sterling were all selected to join Gareth Southgate as they take on Switzerland and Ivory Coast in friendlies. While all four have started or been heavily featured for Southgate throughout the last few rounds of qualifying, there’s a chance Southgate may try and experiment with the squad without the fear of not qualifying.

Fixture Details:


March 26 | England vs Switzerland | 17:30 GMT


March 29 | England vs Ivory Coast | 19:45 BST

Photo courtesy of Michael Regan/Getty Images
 

Germany: Ilkay Gundogan

Ilkay Gundogan was able to replicate his scoring form for Germany last year, and he was rewarded with significant minutes. However, with the Germans already qualified, there’s no guarantee of game time for the 31-year-old.

Fixture Details:


March 26 | Germany vs Israel | 19:45 GMT


March 29 | Netherlands vs Germany | 19:45 BST

Photo courtesy of Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images
 

Netherlands: Nathan Ake


Nathan Ake has often found himself not guaranteed minutes for Louis Van Gaal’s Dutch side, who have already qualified for this year's World Cup.


Fixture Details:

March 26 | Netherlands vs Denmark | 19:45 GMT


March 29 | Netherlands vs Germany | 19:45 BST

 

Portugal: Joao Cancelo & Bernardo Silva


Joao Cancelo and Bernardo Silva are expected to start for Portugal as they take on Turkey in the semifinals of the World Cup qualifying playoff. Neither has been able to consistently replicate their club form at international level, but the chance of missing out on a World Cup will hopefully bring the most out of them.

Fixture Details:


March 24 | Portugal vs Turkey | 19:45 GMT

Photo courtesy of PATRICIA DE MELO MOREIRA/AFP via Getty Images
 

Spain: Aymeric Laporte & Rodri


Aymeric Laporte and Rodri have been frequent contributors for Luis Enrique’s side over the past year, but with Spain already qualified and coupled with subpar opposition, there’s no telling how the squad selection will play out.


Fixture Details:


March 26 | Spain vs Albania | 18:45 GMT


March 29 | Spain vs Iceland | 19:45 BST

Photo courtesy of Mike Hewitt/Getty Images
 

USA: Zack Steffen


After returning from a long injury layoff, and a polarizing performance against Southampton in the FA Cup quarterfinal, Zack Steffen is expected to start in a trio of tough games as the USMNT are still looking to qualify for the World Cup.


Fixture Details:


March 25 | Mexico vs USA | 02:00 GMT


March 28 | USA vs Panama | 00:00 BST


March 31 | Costa Rica vs USA | 02:05 BST

 

NOT TRAVELLING

Ruben Dias was not selected for Portugal due to the hamstring injury he sustained against Peterborough – the 24-year-old is only a few weeks from returning.

Despite being a mainstay as either a right-back or right-sided centre back, Southgate has not called up Kyle Walker for England’s upcoming friendlies. Instead, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Reece James have been given the nod. However, this doesn’t signal the beginning of the end for the 31-year-old’s international career, with Southgate revealing that Walker will return in the summer – and that this was an opportunity to offer others a chance.

Oleksandr Zinchenko will be able to focus on more important matters with Ukraine’s World Cup qualifier against Scotland postponed following Russia’s invasion.


Gabriel Jesus has not been able to reclaim his international form since playing a leading role in the 2019 Copa America triumph. Despite finding success at right wing for Pep Guardiola this fall, his minutes have dwindled – which is likely the reason for Tite leaving him out of the Brazil squad this break.


Fernandinho has not appeared for Brazil since June 2019.


For once Kevin De Bruyne has not been selected for the Belgium squad. With two international friendlies coming up, Roberto Martinez decided to only choose players with less than 50 caps for the games.

Photo courtesy of Catherine Ivill/Getty Images
 

Written by: @IVIeehan


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