Itâ€™s the international break again, and Newcastle United have 12 players away on international duty this week.
Letâ€™s hope they all return fit and ready for the Liverpool game late next week.
That game kicks off at 12:45 on Saturday, 24th November, so both teams will have very little time to prepare for the game.
Steven Taylor and James Milner – on duty for England U-21 side against Bulgaria on Friday evening
It looks like Shay Given will still meet up with the Ireland squad on Wednesday night ahead their final European 2008 Qualifier with Wales on Saturday. This game means nothing, since Ireland cannot now qualify for the finals, so weâ€™re a little disappointed Shay has made the trip. But yes, we know he wants to play for his country at every single opportunity.
Michael Owen, Alan Smith and all England fans will be watching the game in Tel Aviv on Saturday evening when Israel take on Russia. An Israel draw or win will greatly help England’s rather slim chances of qualification.
Habib Beye and Oba Martins both have friendlies in Europe for Senegal and Nigeria respectively. Newcastle captain Geremi will link up with the Cameroon squad for a training camp in Germany. Of course this will be some preparation for the African Cup of Nations, which is about two months away.
Here’s where all the Newcastle players will be during the break, with some comments on the games. You may be able to pick up one or two of the games on TV.
James Milner and Steven Taylor
Fri 16 Nov: England U21 v Bulgaria U21 ECQ (MK Dons)
Tue 20 Nov: Portugal U21 v England U21 ECQ (Agueda)
England are at the very top of their group and 2 more wins will be expected although the Portugal game should be a good one to watch. Our two 21 year-olds are racking up the appearances for the England Under-21 side, and are both key players for the side
Michael Owen and Alan Smith
Fri 16 Nov: Austria v England FR (Vienna)
Wed 21 Nov: England v Croatia ECQ (Wembley)
England will need to win the Croatia game, but will need to be at their best – don’t know which team will turn up. We expect Michael to play both games and Smith may make the bench
Fri 16 Nov: France U21 v Armenia U21 FR
Wed 21 Nov: Wales U21 v France U21 ECQ
Another two good games for our little French whiz kid – good for him.
Sat 17 Nov: Senegal v Mali FR (Paris)
Wed 21 Nov: Senegal v Morocco FR (Paris)
Will give Habib a couple of games under his belt – we expect him in the team for Liverpool game with Taylor moving to central defense.
Sat 17Nov: Czech Republic v Slovakia ECQ
Wed 21 Nov: Cyprus v Czech Republic ECQ
Two games for David, who plays well for his country, they should easily qualify for European finals.
Sat 17 Nov: Australia v Nigeria FR (Fulham)
Tue 20 Nov: Switzerland v Nigeria FR (Zurich)
Two friendly games for Oba – and more classic goals?
Sat 17 Nov: Australia U23 v Iraq OQT (Gosford)
Wed 21 Nov: North Korea v Australia U23 OQT
Lots of traveling for the young Australian – wonder when he’ll be given a run out for the first team?
Sat 17 Nov: Norway v Turkey ECQ
Wed 21 Nov: Turkey v Bosnia-Herz ECQ
Two crucial games for Turkey and they’ll probably need 2 wins to qualify. Emre is vital player for his country in both games.
Sat 17 Nov: Wales v Republic of Ireland ECQ
Meaningless qualifier, but it could give Shay some match practice, but he needs to be very careful with his groin.
Cameroon training camp in Germany
Enjoy it skipper!
Comments always welcome.