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Royals on international duty

9 November 2016

We round up what's in store for Royals on duty for their countries over the coming week...

After a successful few weeks in the Championship, the Royals signed off for the international break with a comprehensive 3-0 win away in Wigan. Several of that Reading side will be hoping to take the good form into this coming week when they go to represent their countries across the globe.

Six Royals could be in senior international action this coming week as World Cup qualification gets back under way in Europe, and with Ali-Al Habsi’s Oman in friendly action in Asia.

Stephen Quinn, Paul McShane, Chris Gunter, Sandro Wieser and Anssi Jaakkola could all be making appearances for their countries in the coming days, as they bid for a place in Russia for the 2018 World Cup…

Austria vs Rep of Ireland, World Cup Qualification, Saturday 12th November, 17:00 Kick-Off

Paul McShane and Stephen Quinn have both received the call from the Republic of Ireland national team as World Cup qualification continues in Group D with a tough away trip to Austria on Saturday afternoon. Injury has cast doubt over the latters' involvement in the squad as Martin Oneill's side look to take a step closer to Russia. 

Ireland have got off to a decent start in World Cup qualification with seven points on the board after three matches in group D. A draw in the opening game away in Serbia was followed up by to wins at home to Georgia and – most recently – away in Moldova to put the Boys in Green second in the group, level on points with leaders Serbia and ahead of the likes of Wales and Austria.

An early goal from Shane Long in Zimbru Stadium got the Irish off to a great start in their most recent outing, and despite being pegged back at half time by Bugaev, the Irish were too strong in the second half. A brace from Sunderland’s James McClean sealed it for the Irish in Chisinau putting them in a strong position even in this early stage of the group.

Wales vs Serbia, World Cup Qualification, Saturday 12th November, 19:45 Kick-Off

Chris Gunter’s Wales, also in Group D of qualification, face an important game in Cardiff as they look to get their World Cup qualification back on track after a slight hiccup last time out.

The Dragons face top of the group Serbia at the Cardiff City Stadium on Saturday night as Chris Coleman’s men look to take three points on the board to move up the group.

October was a difficult month for Wales in Qualifying, it started off promisingly enough with a respectable 2-2 draw away in Austria, with the Welsh twice taking the lead in Vienna, being pegged back by two Marko Arnautovic strikes.

This was followed up by a frustrating draw with Georgia in Cardiff after taking what many thought would be a decisive lead through Gareth Bale. Tornike Okriashvlli found an equaliser for the visitor’s midway through the second half to frustrate the Welsh, who will be looking for a positive response against Serbia with the return of Arsenal’s Aaron Ramsey to the squad following his come back from injury.

Liechtenstein vs Italy, World Cup Qualification, Saturday 12th November, 19:45 Kick-Off

Reading midfielder Sandro Wieser and his Liechtenstein side will have a difficult tasks on their hands come the weekend when they face European giants Italy at the Rhinepark Stadium in Vaduz. Group G is very competitive with both the Italians and Spain vying for top spot and automatic Qualification to Russia 2018.

Liechtenstein, who currently sit bottom of Group G, will have to work hard to take anything form a very tough fixture. Italy who sit second in the group, level on points with leaders Spain, have won two of their opening three fixtures, drawing the other 1-1 with the Spanish.

Sandro and the rest of his international colleagues are yet to pick up a point form their opening three games of the group, narrowly losing away in Israel in their last match, 2-1 in Jerusalem.

Japan vs Oman, Friendly, Friday 11th November, 10:20 Kick-Off
Myanmar vs Oman, Friendly, Monday 14th November, 10:30 Kick-Off

Royals Stopper Ali Al-Habsi has two fixtures for his native Oman over the international week. His first stop will be a trip to Japan for a friendly fixture at the Kashima Soccer Stadium in Kashima.

The Royals stopper has been in superb form for his club so far this season and has now clocked up three straight clean Sheets for the Royals in the Sky Bet Championship.

Oman will be hoping their captain can take his good form into the national team when they come up against an in form Japan side on Friday. Japan’s last international fixture was an impressive 1-1 draw in Australia in an Asian World Cup qualification match. The Japanese were pegged back by a second half strike from Mile Jedinak after Genki Haraguchi had given the visitors a first half lead.

Oman’s last two fixtures on the international stage have both ended in draws in October. Following a 1-1 draw with Jordan on the 7th of October, Oman hosted Bahrain four days later and were held to a thrilling 2-2 draw in Muscat.

Ali did not feature in either of those games and will be returning to international duty on Friday for in a difficult match for his country. The captain of Oman may find himself busy against a talented Japanese outfit in Kashima, before Oman face a trip to Myanmar next week.

Ukraine vs Finland, World Cup Qualification, Saturday 12th November, 19:45 Kick-Off

Elsewhere Anssi Jaakkola may travel with Finland to Ukraine on Saturday night for a Group I meeting in Odessa. Jaakkola has been provisionally called up but has been on the sidelines in recent weeks due to injury. Finland will be looking to add to their point from the first three games. The opening game of the group saw the Fins draw at home with Kosovo after being held to 1-1 after a second half equaliser from Valon Berisha.

Since then two narrow defeats, at the hands of rivals Iceland and Croatia have set Finland back in quite an open group. The match away in Ukraine well be a real test for Finland as they look to register their first win in the group as they bid to qualify for 2018..

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