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Match Previews

International weekend preview

30 May 2014

Royals in action this weekend

Jordan Obita's England played their final U20s Toulon Tournament group game on Friday afternoon, with a win or a draw required to secure their place in the third-fourth play-off match against France or Portugal.

Our Academy graduate started and played the full 90 minutes, helping the Three Lions to a 1-1 draw which secured qualification to the third/fourth play-off - where they will play Portugal on Sunday.

Defenders Alex Pearce and Stephen Kelly will hope to be involved for the Republic of Ireland against Italy in a friendly this Saturday, 7.45pm at Craven Cottage.

The Emerald Isle take on the Italians, Costa Rica and Portugal over the next couple of weeks. The duo watched from the bench as the Emerald Isle lost 2-1 to Turkey in a friendly at the Aviva Stadium on Sunday.

Young Irish duo Sean Long and Liam Kelly are in action on Friday evening, as their U19s take on Turkey in their second UEFA U19s Championships Elite Qualifying Round Group Four game.

Icelandic youngster Sammi Fridjonsson, whose nation is in the same group, was on the losing side again on Friday afternoon as they lost to Serbia.

Defender Long captained the Republic of Ireland to a 2-1 victory over Sammi's Iceland on Wednesday night, in their first group game. Fridjonsson played the full 90 for the losing side, while playmaker Kelly was an unused substitute for the Emerald Isle.

Young Academy striker Bogdan Vastsuk has also received a call up to Estonia's under-21s squad for their UEFA 2013-15 qualification match with Russia on Saturday night.

Elsewhere in our Academy, trio Harry Cardwell, Dominic Hyam and George McLennan all started in Scotland U19s final Euro Elite Group game with Montenegro, a 1-0 defeat.

Previously, our goalkeeper Jonathan Henly has been away with Scotland U21s at a training camp, and was an unused sub for their UEFA qualifier with the Netherlands on Wednesday night, which they lost 6-1.

Royals defender Chris Gunter has been added to Chris Coleman's Wales squad for their June friendly against Holland in Amsterdam.

The right-back, who came second in our supporters' Player of the Season vote last season, had not been included in the Welsh squad due to injury, but the 24-year-old is now fit to link up with the squad, which also includes Hal Robson-Kanu, ahead of the friendly on 4th June.

Young defenders Pierce Sweeney and Shane Griffin both played a part in Ireland U21s' 1-1 draw with Qatar in Germany last Saturday, Sweeney playing the first half of the friendly while Griffin managed the full ninety minutes.

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