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🗺️ Pușcaș and McIntyre on duty for European action

Royals pair on the continent for qualifying fixtures

31 August 2020

Reading FC duo George Pușcaș and Tom McIntyre have received international call-ups for their countries, and will be involved in qualifying action over the next few days.

Both players have spent time in Portugal with new manager Veljko Paunović, and will reconvene with the Royals back in Berkshire after their national-team duty is done.

Romanian forward Pușcaș had been set to be involved in Euro 2020 qualifying play-offs against Iceland, before the global pandemic brought the game to a standstill.

That encounter in Reykjavik is on hold until October - first comes the opening two fixture of the UEFA Nations League, taking place either side of the coming weekend.

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The opening encounter comes at the Arena Nationala in Bucharest against Northern Ireland on Friday 4th September. Then it's an 800-mile trip to Klagenfurt to meet Austria at the Worthersee Stadion on Monday 7th September.

Norway are the other member of an impossible-to-call Group B1; the four nations will meet home and away in a round robin format.

As well as registering 14 goals for the Royals in 2019-20, Pușcaș was twice on scoresheet for his nation - grabbing the winner against Malta and opening the scoring in a 3-0 triumph in the Faroe Isles.
McIntyre meanwhile could see gametime for Scotland U21 for the first time in nearly two years when the Tartan Army visit Lithuania.

A regular member of the Scottish squad since U17 level, the Reading-born centre-half's only appearance at U21 level was off the bench in a 2-1 win in Netherlands in September 2018.

After becoming a Championship regular for the Royals last season, he'll hope to be involved in the U21 Euro 2021 qualifier at the LFF Stadium in Vilnius, which takes place on Tuesday 8th September.

With five games played and five left to play, it's something of a must-win for Scotland as they look to make ground on Czech Republic and Greece in Group D, with Croatia lurking behind with a game in hand. They're vying to be among the 16 countries involved in the finals tournament next year in Hungary.

These call-ups mean that they will be unavailable for selection for our Carabao Cup First Round fixture against Colchester United, which kicks off our new campaign on Saturday 5th September.


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