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Preview: Royals jet off around the globe

11 November 2014

Trio called up to Wales squad

Jake Taylor, Chris Gunter and Hal Robson-Kanu have all linked up with the Wales squad for November’s international break.

The trio will be hoping to feature for Chris Coleman’s men when they take on Belgium in Brussels on Sunday, in what is likely to be their toughest EURO 2016 qualifying match so far.

The Welsh currently top Group B, having picked up seven points from their opening three games, and Robson-Kanu netted the winner in their last game, against Cyprus in October.

Hope Akpan could earn his second and third Nigeria caps over the next fortnight as the Super Eagles face African Cup of Nations qualifiers against Congo and South Africa.

The midfielder received his first international call up last month and made his debut in an important 3-1 victory over Sudan.

Oliver Norwood is in Northern Ireland’s squad as they prepare to visit Romania for a European qualifier on Friday. Norwood played 90 minutes in both of Northern Ireland’s competitive games in October, both of which they won.

Simon Cox, Stephen Kelly and Alex Pearce are all on standby for the Republic of Ireland squad. Kelly has made a recent return from injury while Pearce made his 200th Royals start on Saturday and, if drafted into the squad, they could play in the competitive clash with Scotland and the friendly against the USA.

Rob Dickie has been promoted to the England U19 squad, having initially been on standby, while Aaron Kuhl remains in reserve for Noel Blake’s men. The Three Lions take on Italy at Rotherham’s New York Stadium on Friday.

Pierce Sweeney, Sean Long, Liam Kelly and Shane Griffin are in the Republic of Ireland’s U21 squad for their friendlies against the USA and Russia. Both encounters will be contested in Marbella. 

Jonathan Henly and Dominic Hyam have both been called up to Scotland U21s and they face a tough-looking game away in Switzerland in an International Challenge match.

First-choice goalkeeper Adam Federici received a preliminary call-up to the Australia senior side, while Ryan Edwards is in their U23 squad. Edwards may feature in three games as the Socceroos compete alongside Brazil, Korea and China in a four-way tournament, which is being hosted by the latter.

Bogdan Vastsuk could come up against England C when they face one another at The Shay, the home of FC Halifax Town, in the International Trophy on Sunday. 

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