Friday 22 March 2013
More than 200 players from the Barclays Premier League are set to represent their countries at senior and under-21 level over the next five days.
A busy schedule of senior international fixtures includes qualifiers for the 2014 FIFA World Cup, the 2015 AFC Asian Cup, as well as international friendlies.
England, with the most Premier League representatives at senior level, travel to San Marino, who have yet to register a point in Group H of the European qualifying section for the 2014 World Cup, before an away fixture against table-topping Montenegro on Tuesday.
Twenty-three Barclays Premier League players will be pushing for selection as Scotland host Wales at Hampden Park. Wales, boasting Tottenham Hotspur's Gareth Bale and Arsenal midfielder Aaron Ramsey in their side, can move up to third in Group A, while Gordon Strachan's Scotland, including Sunderland's Steven Fletcher and Stoke City's Charlie Adam, will be looking to overtake their British rivals with a victory in the manager's first competitive match in charge.
Outside the home nations, France have the most Premier League players to choose from, with 10 in their squad. They host Georgia before taking on Spain at the top of Group I. Manchester City team-mates Gael Clichy (France) and David Silva (Spain) could face each other in a tie that will have a significant bearing on who qualifies from the group.
|Man City||14||Rep Ireland||12|
In the African qualifying section, six Barclays Premier League players are in Ivory Coast's squad as they entertain Gambia. Newcastle United midfielder Cheick Tiote, Arsenal's Gervinho and Wigan Athletic striker Arouna Kone join three Manchester City players as they look to stretch their lead at the top of their qualification group for the World Cup.
Chelsea are the Barclays Premier League team with the most players away on senior international during the international break. Three of their 14 internationals were in action for Brazil on Thursday night against Italy. Oscar, Ramires and David Luiz featured in the 2-2 draw in Geneva, while Queens Park Rangers goalkeeper Julio Cesar also played the whole match. The Chelsea trio will return to familiar ground when they take on Russia on Tuesday. The friendly will be played at Stamford Brdige and tickets can be bought here.
West Ham United's Winston Reid has already been in action too, helping New Zealand beat New Caledonia 2-1 to win the Oceania group and qualify for the intercontinental playoff against the fourth-placed team from the Central and North American and Caribbean Confederation (CONCACAF).
Overall, 210 Premier League players will be away on international duty, with 182 representing their countries at senior level and 28 hoping to feature for Under-21 sides.
FIFA World Cup Qualifying - UEFA Region
Croatia v Serbia; Macedonia v Belgium; Scotland v Wales
Bulgaria v Malta; Czech Rep. v Denmark
Kazakhstan v Germany; Austria v Faroe Islands; Sweden v Rep of Ireland
Andorra v Turkey; Hungary v Romania; Netherlands v Estonia
Slovenia v Iceland; Norway v Albania
Israel v Portugal; Luxembourg v Azerbaijan; Northern Ireland v Russia
Liechtenstein v Latvia; Slovakia v Lithuania; Bosnia-H v Greece
Moldova v Montenegro; Poland v Ukraine; San Marino v England
Spain v Finland; France v Georgia;
FIFA World Cup qualifying - CONMEBOL Region
Colombia v Bolivia; Uruguay v Paraguay; Argentina v Venezuela; Peru v Chile
FIFA World Cup qualifying - CONCACAF Region
Honduras v Mexico; United States v Costa Rica; Jamaica v Panama
FIFA World Cup qualifying - Oceania region
New Zealand 2-1 New Caledonia; Tahiti v Solomon Islands. Friendlies: Japan vs. Canada.
Asian Cup qualifying
China v Iraq; UAE v Uzbekistan; Turkmenistan v Cambodia; Lebanon v Thailand; Bahrain v Qatar; Philippines v Brunei; Hong Kong v Vietnam; Malaysia v Yemen.
Japan v Canada; South Korea v Syria, Dominican Republic v Haiti, Egypt v Swaziland
FIFA World Cup qualifying - UEFA Region
Cyprus v Switzerland
FIFA - World Cup qualifying - CAF Region
Congo v Gabon; Cameroon v Togo; Nigeria v Kenya; Ivory Coast v Gambia; Namibia v Malawi; Senegal v Angola; Burkina Faso v Niger; Tunisia v Sierra Leone; South Africa v Central African Republic; Tanzania v Morocco; Lesotho v Zambia; Mozambique v Guinea ; Rwanda v Mali ; Congo DR v Libya; Ethiopia v Botswana; Ghana v Sudan; Liberia v Uganda; Equatorial Guinea v Cape Verde Islands; Algeria v Benin