**UPDATED: Tuesday afternoon, 14th October**
Too often you have to go hunting far and wide to catch a whiff of news from International matches during these frustrating breaks. I’m going to try and wrap up all the Fantasy relevant news from major tournament Qualifiers and Friendly International matches from the weekend. We’ll go team by team so strap in because there is big news ahead…
Chile coach Jorge Sampaoli played Sanchez even though he admitted he knew he wasn’t fully fit. Sanchez starred in Chile’s first win against Brazil in 15 years (2-0, first game in World Cup qualifying) by scoring a late goal.
Cazorla played 90 minutes as Spain beat Luxembourg 4-0, scoring twice.
Walcott played 83 minutes and scored v Estonia, while the Ox played 17 minutes.
Ozil was uninspiring in a full 90 minute performance in Germany’s shock 1-0 loss to Ireland.
Giroud played 9 minutes off the bench in France’s friendly 4-0 win v Armenia but backed it up with a 6 minute double in a friendly v Denmark.
Ospina will keep the pressure on Cech as the former played 90 minutes + a clean sheet and was Man of the Match for Columbia, while Cech was an unused substitute. This rest will be vital for Cech’s longevity however.
Bellerin enjoyed a week off as he was an unused substitute for Spain U21 v Georgia.
Point of difference defender Jordan Amavi played 90 minutes as France U21 beat Scotland U21.
Not that you’d have Brad Guzan, but he stood out after surprisingly playing 90 minutes in a 4-3 loss to Mexico.
Federici knocked up 90 minutes in a bizarre defensive display for the Socceroos with a 2-0 loss to Jordan. Boruc will be keeping the #1 jersey here but was an unused sub for Poland.
Ritchie banged in a brilliant goal for Scotland but it counted for nothing as Poland drew 2-2 and ended their Euro campaign.
Hazard scored for Belgium and missed a late penalty against Andorra, continuing his season of mediocrity. He has since admitted he is “in the worst form of his life”. Straight from the horses mouth much!
Begovic was brilliant for Bosnia, making some ridiculous saves to deny Euro bound Wales in a 2-0 win.
Ivanovic however, went off early in the first half with a hamstring injury playing for Serbia and will surely force Jose’s hand to finally play new signing Baba Rahman.
Meanwhile, Matic played 180 minutes and looked fit and focussed… until his red card v Portugal in the 90th minute. Too bad his Serbian teammates weren’t on the same page. With 6 EPL regulars, what a disastrous campaign for the Serbs. (http://www.skysports.com/football/news/19692/10025591/watch-matic-kolarov-see-red)
Fabregas started Spain’s 4-0 win v Luxembourg, creating their 2nd goal before catching the Hazard Penalty Miss cold somehow, failing to put one away against an inspired Ukraine. Thankfully, Spain were already up 1-0 and held on.
Pedro was electric in his 77 minutes and played a big part in the opening game, before being rested up to return to club fresh and firing… to sit on the bench.
Azpilicueta was an unused sub in the first before playing the full 90 on Monday night.
Cahill captained England and was unbreached v Estonia.
Don’t go dumping Bakary Sako just yet. He made 2 goals and scored the other 2 in Mali’s 4-1 win.
Hennessey played 90 minutes as Wales lost to Bosnia 2-0 but qualified for Euro 2016.
Cabaye lived up to my tip in my other article by scoring a stunning goal as France destroyed Armenia. Get him in.
Bolasie provided as assist for Congo in their 2-0 win v Nigeria, while McArthur was a sub for Scotland.
Lukaku was an unused sub for Belgium, while Mirallas wasn’t even named in the squad.
Howard was rested with a niggling injury in the USA’s loss to Mexico, while Barkley provided an assist for Walcott’s opener v Estonia… AND THEN SCORED v LITHUANIA :D. Let’s hope this is a sign of things to come for his club form.
McCarthy played the full 90 in Ireland’s 1-0 win v Germany, while Coleman saw no game time.
Vardy played only a few minutes off the bench but still provided the assist for England’s 2nd goal.
Shinji Okazaki scored for Japan against Syria, who I must admit I had no idea played football.
Inler was one of 7 goal scorers as the Swiss beat San Marino, while sneaky defensive pick Fuchs captained Austria to a 3-2 comeback win v Montenegro.
Ranieri’s favourite player, Riyad Mahrez played the full 90 for Algeria in a friendly against Guinea (2-1 loss) and provided an assist in the 2nd minute.
Allen played 85 minutes for Wales.
Belgium: Mignolet played the full 90 in a 4-1 win and made some ridiculous saves by all reports. Benteke wasn’t in the squad as he continues to suffer with a new setback in his recovery from a hamstring injury.
Clyne played 90 minutes for England, as did James Milner and Adam Lallana. Both formed a central core of England’s midfield, snuffing out every Estonian attack.
Joe Gomez will push a claim for a recall by playing for England’s U-21 match on Tuesday.
Skrtel picked up a yellow card in a typical scrappy performance in Slovakia’s 1-0 loss to Belarus. He’s a red card or a conceded penalty waiting to happen.
Disappointingly, there was no Sturridge for England. Hopefully, this is a good thing for his Liverpool form and he comes back fully rested and ready to go.
De Bruyne was on target for Belgium as they made the Euros for the first time since 2000.
MASSIVE injury news though from Spain and Argentina…
- Aguero has a grade two hamstring tear and will miss up to EIGHT weeks (Sky Sports website). Good news is that grade two tears take between two to eight weeks to recover, but his injury history will work against him. “I think I’ll be a month without playing” – Aguero on Argentinian TV after the injury
- David Silva will definitely miss the derby this weekend after he hobbled off after 11 minutes. He has a bad sprain of the internal lateral ligament of the right ankle. Expect a 2-3 week miss at best.
Still no Kompany for Belgium. I’m tempted to trade him now but will watch closely. Sagna played 90 minutes for France. Fernandinho didn’t feature for Brazil.
Kolarov has perhaps turned the corner, with a goal for Serbia in the 91st minute to break a 0-0 deadlock in Albania and scorching runs, crosses, free kicks and an assist v Portugal…
**The award for strangest red card ever goes to Kolarov: The Serbian was SUBBED OUT when he picked up 2 yellow cards in 2 minutes for ‘disagreeing’ with the referee. (http://www.skysports.com/football/news/19692/10025591/watch-matic-kolarov-see-red)**
No Yaya Toure for Cote d’Ivoire in their 1-0 Friendly win over Morocco.
Silva’s bad luck could be Sterling’s fortune, as the former Red banged in a goal for England and starred at Wembley, as did Joe Hart.
Darmian scored his first international goal for Italy in a 3-1 win v Azerbaijan.
Martial came on in the 66th minute for France and provided an assist for Benzema’s 2nd goal in as many minutes for France, backing up with 88 minutes an an assist for Giroud v Denmark (friendly).
Rooney missed for England and you shouldn’t be carrying him anyway. Smalling played and was confident and assured as always.
Mata has never been in the forefront of the Spanish national team with his lack of defensive prowess. He was lucky to come on in the 11th minute for Silva but didn’t provide an assist or goal.
De Gea was dropped for Saint Iker for Spain and could come back scratchy. Luckily, his rival Valdes is also Spanish and is like 15th choice in their glut of keeper options. But Romero was equally as terrible, conceding 2 goals at home to Ecuador – although he could blame Otamendi for total lack of marking from late corners.
Blind and Memphis helped the Dutch beat Kazakhstan, while Valencia played 90 minutes in a 2-0 win against Argentina.
Krul owners, prepare to panic. The Dutch keeper wasn’t expected to play until Cillessen went down in the warm up. Timmy was coasting until the 81st minute when he twisted his knee and was subbed out. Watch this space.
In better news, Wijnaldum netted the opener from outside the box v Kazakhstan, while Janmaat did not feature.
Sissoko was a 77th minute substitute for France, while Mitrovic played full games for Serbia and was lively without producing.
Russell Martin was stoic without being superior in conceding a late goal to Robert Lewandowski which knocked Scotland out of Euro contention.
Get around Wes Hoolahan as a cheap option. At 33 years of age, his prime is long gone yet still played 90 minutes in a win v the World Champion Germans. Man of the Match and a Norwich fan favourite. With his age, it is very likely he could be rested v Newcastle.
I’m all over Alex Tettey as a future star of both EPL and FPL, and he proved me somewhat right with a crucial goal for Norway v Malta in Oslo.
Nathan Redmond will be in action for England’s Under 21s Euro 2017 qualifier on Tuesday v Kazakhstan in Coventry.
Van Dijk debuted for the Dutch after moving from Celtic early in the year. Pelle wasn’t in anything of meaning, but provided a good decoy in 90 minutes for Italy.
Cedric Soares played a full 90 minutes for Portugal in a tough 1-0 win v Denmark. Jose Fonte was saved for the Sunday match v Serbia.
Bertrand was crucial for England and played 90 minutes. Monitor closely and if the Saints can start to restrict other teams, he will quickly become a must have.
Wanyama is Kenyan. Who knew. Anyway, he played in the 2nd leg of Kenya’s World Cup qualifier v Mauritius.
Mane started for Senegal in their loss to South Africa, while Tadic only played 54 minutes for Serbia before backing up with a start v Portugal where he should have had 2 or 3 were it not for teammate Fonte.
Dele Alli came on a late sub for England to make his debut at Wembley. Kane started up front and did nothing. Even without Rooney there.
Lloris: 90 minutes and clean sheet v Armenia. Lamela unused for Argentina.
Vertonghen and Alderweireld had 90 minutes alongside each other for Belgium. Wonder is there’s any other club with the same CB pairing as a national team?
Chadli had 20 odd minutes for Belgium and set through Hazard for his missed penalty.
Eriksen survived 82 minutes for Denmark against an oddly defensively resolute Portugal.
At 4.5, Ben Davies is an interesting option. The Welshman played 90 minutes and was reportedly unlucky not to score a couple of assists in the loss to Bosnia.
Butland earned a spot on the bench behind Hart for England.
Shaqiri not required for a 7-0 rout of San Marino.
Afellay was a late replacement for goalscorer Sneijder for the Dutch.
Arnautovic got on the scoresheet for Austria in both matches (ex-Sydney, now Basel, striker Marc Janko scored 3 times over 2 matches). Did you know Austria are ranked #11? He could be a sneaky pick should Stoke get things together in the attacking third.
Big Sam Allardyce is now in charge of Sunderland.
Former FPL stud, Seb Larsson played 20 minutes for Sweden and went oh so close with a trademark free kick.
O’Shea 90 minutes for Ireland… and a handy red card to keep him out of the next match – internationally.
Steven Fletcher scored 3 and set up 2 more as Scotland took out their frustrations on Gibraltar (6-0).
Sigurdsson scored a worldie for Iceland and I for one think he is worth the investment.
Ash Williams captained Wales alongside Neil Taylor.
Fabianski played 90 minutes for Poland.
Jefferson Montero’s form for Swansea replicated into a 77 minute appearance for Ecuador in a massive 2-0 away win in Buenos Aires.
Captain Ki was best on for South Korea in a tough 1-0 win v Kuwait.
Ayew withdrew from Ghana squad as a ‘precautionary measure’ to ensure fitness for upcoming EPL games. A player putting club before country is Fantasy gold!
No call up for Gomis.
90 minutes for defender Prödl for Austria.
Defender Craig Cathcart scored for Northern Ireland away to Finland.
Nyon had an injection and did not play for Cameroon. Doubtful for Gunners game.
Ighalo called up for Nigeria for Friendlies v Congo and Cameroon in Liege & Dendermonde, Belgium. Watch closely.
Jonny Evans sidelined with injury as Brunt and McAuley played the full 90 as Northern Ireland booked their ticket to France.
Skipper Fletcher played 74 minutes for Scotland.
Rondon played the full 90 for Venezuela and could be doubtful with the return journey. Monitor.
Gamboa: 90 minutes for Costa Rica.
No love for Saido Berahino and nothing for Sessegnon… remember him?
***The Hammers took the unusual step of playing a friendly v Reading***
- Carroll was back and scored in the 4-3 loss.
- Enner Valencia returned, played well and got an assist.
- Full strength side including Jelavic, Lanzini, Tomkins, Zarate – who scored 2 ‘outstanding goals’ according to the Hammers website.
- Noble, Payet and Moses played the 2nd half
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