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Which Royals are answering their country's call...

International action for Reading representatives involved with a host of different nations this week...

13 November 2019

A selection of the senior side as well as some of our young Academy prospects are away on duty with their countries this week...find our who is where and why!

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Pele | Guinea Bissau

The first to take to the field with their nation is midfielder Pele who goes into an African Cup of Nations qualifier against Eswatini (formerly known as Swaziland) on Wednesday afternoon.

The Monaco loanee goes into the game, which begins their 2021 qualification campaign for the next African Cup of Nations, on the back of two World Cup qualifying wins (home and away) over São Tomé and Príncipe back in September.

Alongside fellow countryman and former Royal Joseph Mendes, Pele will then travel to Brazzaville for a clash against the Republic of Congo at Stade Alphonse Massamba-Débat on Sunday.

Guinea Bissau v Eswatini, Wednesday 13th November, African Cup of Nations qualifying, 4pm kick-off (BST)
Republic of Congo v Guinea Bissau, Sunday 17th November, African Cup of Nations qualifying, 4pm kick-off (BST)

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Andy Yiadom | Ghana

Also in African Cup of Nations action will be Royals right-back Andy Yiadom whose Ghana side take on South Africa on home turf before travelling to Sao Tome next week.

Since bowing our of the African Cup of Nations via a cruel penalty shootout against Tunisia in the summer, Ghana have lost and then drawn with Burkina Faso ahead of the start of this new qualifying campaign.

But Yiadom has been in sizzling form for Mark Bowen's men, playing a key part in helping the Royals achieve ten points from a possible twelve since the new manager took his position in the home dugout.

Ghana v South Africa, Thursday 14th November, African Cup of Nations qualifying, 7pm kick-off (BST)
São Tomé and Príncipe v Ghana, Monday 18th November, African Cup of Nations qualifying, 4pm kick-off (BST)

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Yakou Méïté | Ivory Coast

And Yakou Méïté isn't going to miss out on important ACON qualifying encounters, joining his Ivory Coast teammates this week for matches against Niger and Ethiopia.

The Ivorians edged past Niger at the Stade Félix Houphouët-Boigny in Abidjan last month and host them again in official qualifying terms on Saturday.

Then they travel to Ethiopia for a second qualifier in a group that also contains Madagascar.

Ivory Coast v Niger, African Cup of Nations qualifying, Saturday 16th November, 7pm kick-off (BST)
Ethiopia v Ivory Coast, African Cup of Nations qualifying, Tuesday 19th November, 1pm kick-off (BST)

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Chris Gunter | Wales

Record-breaking Welsh international Chris Gunter will link up with Ryan Giggs' squad ahead of must-win qualifiers in Group E - against Azerbaijan and Hungary.

Wales will be out of contention for qualification in the group if they lose in Baku at the weekend, but currently occupy a play-off place.

And they will have the roar of the Welsh crowd behind them when they take on Hungary in Cardiff on Tuesday 19th November.

Wales could still finish in the top two of their group with two wins during this break, but their fate is not in their own hands any longer and their displays in the inaugural Nations League may need to come to Wales' rescue should they fall short at the finale of Group E next week.

Azerbaijan v Wales, Saturday 16th November, Euro 2020 qualifiers, 5pm kick-off (BST)
Wales v Hungary, Tuesday 19th November, Euro 2020 qualifiers, 7.45pm kick-off (BST)

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George Pușcaș | Romania

Going into the crunch matches in qualification for Euro 2020, Romania still sit in a possible play-off position ahead of this summer's European Championships. 

However, if George Pușcaș and his countrymen lose to Sweden in the first of their final two Group F games, they will be out of contention.

The Royals frontman has played a big role in all his nation's qualification campaign so far, scoring five goals - including a finish in a 3-0 win in the Faroe Islands during the last international break in October.

And he will be hoping he can find the back of the net when the Swedes arrive in Arena Naţională for a vital clash in Bucharest on Friday; Romania remain a point behind Janne Andersson's men.

They then travel to Madrid for a meeting with group leaders Spain, who are already guaranteed a spot in this summer's tournament, at the start of next week.

Romania v Sweden, Friday 15th November, Euro 2020 qualifying, 7.45pm kick-off (BST)
Spain v Romania, Monday 18th November, Euro 2020 qualifying, 7.45pm kick-off (BST)

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Danny Loader | England U20

Head coach Keith Downing has named Danny Loader in his squad for England Under-20 games against Portugal on Thursday 14th November and Iceland's U20s on Tuesday 19th November.

Royals fans wanting to catch a glimpse of Loader in action have a glorious opportunity next week when the friendly encounter with Iceland is staged at Wycombe Wanderers’ Adams Park.

But before that, Loader will be hoping for more Elite League minutes at the Municipal Stadium de Agueda when the Young Lions meet the same Portuguese age group that reached the final of last year’s U19 European Championships.

Portugal U20 v England U20, Thursday 14th November, 3pm kick-off (BST)
England U20 v Iceland U20, Tuesday 19th November, 7pm kick-off (BST)

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Joao Virgínia | Portugal U21

Everton loanee Virgínia, meanwhile, has joined up with Portugal's Under-21 squad as they prepare to take on Slovenia in a home friendly and then Norway in another U21 European qualification game.

The Portuguese were knocked off top spot in Group 7 last month when the Netherlands leapfrogged them with a 4-2 home win.

But having won their opening two games against Belarus and Gibraltar, Virgínia's side will be hoping that victory over Norway in Drammen on Tuesday could take them back to the top of the table.

Portugal U21 v Slovenia U21, U21 International Friendly, Thursday 14th November, 5.30pm kick-off (BST)
Norway U21 v Portugal U21, U21 European Qualifiers, Tuesday 19th November, 5.30pm kick-off (BST)

 


There are more making international appearances within our Academy set-up, as Jökull Andrésson has been called up to represent Iceland U19 in a tournament in Belgium which sees them take on Greece and Albania.

Jordan Holsgrove will be in action for Scotland U21s when they take on Greece themselves on Friday 15th November - he goes into the game on the back of two goalless draws with Lithuania and the Czech Republic last month in U21 Euro qualifying encounters.

From our Under-18s, Jeriel Dorsett has earned a place within the England U18 squad as they head to Spain for three games at the Pinatar Arena. Head coach Ian Foster has named the young Royals defender in his squad for a trip which will take in games against Russia, Norway and Czech Republic.

Goalkeeper Coniah Boyce-Clarke meanwhile has also been called into England action to represent England's Under-17s on home turf. Kevin Betsy's men will make their first appearance on home soil this season when they take on Denmark and Czech Republic this month at Alfreton Town and Solihull Moors respectively. 

We wish the very best of luck to every Reading player who received a call-up for their country this November.


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