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Preview | Royals on international duty this September

1 September 2017

Several members of the Reading squad have been called up for international duty while the Championship takes a break, with important World Cup qualifiers set to take place in the coming weeks.

Chris Gunter and new signing Dave Edwards will be away with Wales as they prepare for two quick-fire qualifiers. The Euro 2016 semi-finalists are unbeaten, but they sit four points off the top of Group D having drawn five of their six matches so far.

Full-back Gunter is in line to win his 80th cap for his national side, while Edwards is aiming for his 40th appearance for his country.

Wales vs Austria, Saturday 2nd September, Cardiff City Stadium
Moldova vs Wales, Tuesday 5th September, Stadionul Zimbru, Chisinau

The importance of three points against Austria cannot be underestimated for Gunter and his Welsh side, with both nations level on points and aiming to close the gap to Serbia and the Republic of Ireland above them. With just four matches left to ensure qualification for the World Cup next year, six points for Chris Coleman's men would be a big step towards doing just that.

Adrian Popa has been called up to the Romania squad for their latest qualifiers in the World Cup campaign against Armenia and Montenegro.

Romania still have an outside chance of qualifying for the play-offs in Group E, with Poland six points clear of every other team it would appear that their passage into the World Cup is all but secured. Romania sit four points behind Montenegro and Denmark in the standings, so six points from these two matches will be crucial for their hopes of qualification.

Romania vs Armenia, Friday 1st September, Arena Naţională, Bucharest
Montenegro vs Romania, Monday 4th September, Stadion Pod Goricom, Podgorica

Goalkeeper Anssi Jaakkola is among the names in the Finland squad as they prepare to play Iceland and Kosovo. While qualification is now unfortunately mathematically impossible for both Finland and Kosovo, they will still be playing for points in Group I as Iceland gun for World Cup qualification for the very first time in their history.

Finland vs Iceland, Saturday 2nd September, Ratinan Stadion, Tampere
Kosovo vs Finland, Tuesday 5th September, Stadiumi Loro Boriçi, Shkodër

On the note of Iceland, striker Jón Daði Böðvarsson has been called up once more to help his country with their goal of reaching their first ever World Cup. They are in a good place to do so at the moment, sitting second on goal difference behind Croatia.

However, with four teams separated by just two points going into the business end of qualifying, Group I is all set to have the most dramatic finish in European qualifying structure.

Finland vs Iceland, Saturday 2nd September, Ratinan Stadion, Tampere
Iceland vs Ukraine, Tuesday 5th September, Laugardalsvöllur, Reykjavík

Elsewhere, Under-23 players Axel Andresson and Jordan Holsgrove have been called up to represent their nations at youth levels. Andresson will be representing Iceland's Under-21s as they take on their Albanian counterparts in September.

Holsgrove, meanwhile, has been selected for Scotland's Under-19 squad that will be partaking in an international tournament at the start of September. The young Scots will be taking on Serbia and Ukraine as they hope to advance further into the tournament.

Young striker Danny Loader, fresh from making his senior Royals' debut aged just 16, has been called up to England's Under-18 squad for their upcoming matches against Brazil and South Africa.

We would like to wish all of our international Royal representatives the best of luck as they play for their countries.

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