The week of international football concluded in the early hours of this morning, with a cluster of matches played in The Americas.
A handful of fixtures were also played hours earlier in Europe and Asia, with all of the players involved now heading back to their respective clubs ahead of the Gameweek 5 matches this weekend.
Our penultimate Scout Notes special from the international break looks at some of the headline stories from yesterday’s action, with further analysis on the remaining matches to follow in our concluding instalment later.
England 1-0 Switzerland
- Kyle Walker (£6.5m) – 90 minutes
- John Stones (£5.5m) – 29 minutes
- Danny Rose (£5.9m) – 79 minutes
- Ben Chilwell (£5.0m) – 11 minutes
- Kieran Trippier (£6.0m) – 12 minutes
- Harry Maguire (£5.5m) – 90 minutes
- Trent Alexander-Arnold (£5.0m) – 78 minutes
- James Tarkowski (£5.0m) – 61 minutes
- Jordan Henderson (£5.3m) – 22 minutes
- Eric Dier (£4.9m) – 90 minutes
- Jesse Lingard (£6.8m) – 29 minutes
- Fabian Delph (£5.3m) – 68 minutes
- Ruben Loftus-Cheek (£5.3m) – 61 minutes
- Danny Welbeck (£6.5m) – 61 minutes
- Harry Kane (£12.5m) – 29 minutes
- Marcus Rashford (£6.8m) – 90 minutes
- Stephan Lichtsteiner (£4.8m) – 90 minutes
- Fabian Schar (£4.8m) – 90 minutes
- Xherdan Shaqiri (£7.1m) – 80 minutes
- Granit Xhaka (£5.3m) – 90 minutes
Gareth Southgate gave his reassuring prognoses on Luke Shaw and Dele Alli‘s injuries ahead of the 1-0 win over Switzerland, though reports in the press continue to suggest that the Manchester United left-back will miss Manchester United’s Saturday evening encounter with Watford.
All being well, he [Shaw] has a mandatory six- or seven-day period [of not playing following the concussion].
But he should be back in [training] as soon as that is done.
[Alli] has had a minor strain, but I think he should be fine for his club this weekend
The rest of England’s squad appeared to come out of the friendly against the Swiss relatively unscathed, while FPL owners of Harry Kane, John Stones (who received a small cut to the head before carrying on playing), Ben Chilwell, Kieran Trippier and Jesse Lingard would have been further heartened to see their assets reduced to cameos off the bench – leaving them fresh for this weekend’s upcoming matches.
Danny Rose delivered a man-of-the-match performance at left wing-back, though will now return to Spurs later than his positional rival, Ben Davies (£5.8m).
No player created more chances (three) or fired over more crosses (eight) than Rose, who also had two attempts on goal from inside the opposition area. No England player registered more penalty box touches, either.
Of course, Rose was deployed as an advanced wing-back/left midfielder at Leicester last night – and Mauricio Pochettino may be loath to experiment with a three-man defence again after his side’s 2-1 defeat to Watford in Gameweek 4.
Trippier’s reintegration with the rest of the Spurs squad will also be delayed, though his challenger at right-back, Serge Aurier (£5.9m), will have had a long-haul flight back from Africa after Ivory Coast’s match against Rwanda on Sunday.
Whether these factors will have any bearing on Pochettino’s choices at full-back remains to be seen, however, and there is a danger of overanalysing international break minutes at this early stage of the season.
Fabian Delph, the likely alternative to Benjamin Mendy at left-back in the Manchester City side, played 68 minutes in central midfield, while team-mate Kyle Walker (whose cross provided the assist for the winning goal) was stationed at centre-half.
Trent Alexander-Arnold lasted most of the match at right wing-back, meanwhile, just three-and-a-half days before Liverpool take on Spurs in the Gameweek 5 curtain-raiser. Club colleague Joe Gomez (£5.0m), whose first-team prospects were enhanced by media reports surrounding Dejan Lovren’s ongoing unavailability, sat out this match on the bench.
Marcus Rashford, playing up front in Southgate’s now customary 3-5-2, scored England’s winner – though will, of course, be suspended for Manchester United’s next two league fixtures after his dismissal at Turf Moor in Gameweek 4.
Xherdan Shaqiri was a prominent figure for the visitors and his performance in a central role just off striker Mario Gavranovic would have caught the eye of Jurgen Klopp – albeit not in a position that is workable in Liverpool’s usual 4-3-3 set-up.
Shaqiri had more penalty box touches and attempts on goal from inside the area than any player on show at the King Power Stadium, striking the woodwork with one of his shots.
Stephan Lichtsteiner, whose absence from the match-day squad in the 6-0 win over Iceland prompted whispers of an injury to the Arsenal right-back, played all 90 minutes of the match in Leicester alongside Newcastle United’s Fabian Schar. Schar, who registered two assists at the weekend, further demonstrated his ability with the ball at this feet by creating a further two unconverted chances for his team-mates. Granit Xhaka also started the match for the Swiss.
Poland 1-1 Republic of Ireland
- Cyrus Christie (£4.4m) – 54 minutes
- Kevin Long (£4.3m) – 90 minutes
- Matt Doherty (£4.4m) – 36 minutes
- Jeff Hendrick (£5.5m) – 54 minutes
- Jan Bednarek (£3.9m) – 29 minutes
Seamus Coleman missed the Republic of Ireland’s 1-1 draw in Poland last night and national team boss Martin O’Neill had an update on the Everton defender’s condition:
Seamus went for a scan, he has a little stress fracture, which is a concern.
Seamus could easily have got a flight home, but he stayed with the team.
He is a great captain, a really great captain. He is inspirational and obviously we hope he is back in time for the games coming up.
Reports in the press suggest the right-back may be out for weeks or even possibly a month or two, though there has yet to be confirmation of the injury from the Toffees or the player himself.
Coleman’s issue is yet another blow to Marco Silva, whose Everton squad is ravaged by injury and suspension.
Jonjoe Kenny (£4.4m), owned by just 0.2% of FPL managers, could be the beneficiary in Coleman’s absence given the dearth of options available to Silva at right-back and across the whole of the defence. One of Leighton Baines (£5.4m) or Lucas Digne (£4.8m), of course, could be asked to do a job on their weaker side.
Burnley’s back-up centre-back Kevin Long was the only Premier League-based player to play the full 90 minutes, with Cyrus Christie, Matt Doherty and Jeff Hendrick having their game-time managed. Shane Duffy and Ciaran Clark (both £4.5m) sat out the match in Wroclaw on the bench.
Stephen Ward (£4.9m) picked up a knock in the defeat to Wales at the weekend and returned to Burnley before yesterday’s match. Ward was substituted in three consecutive matches before sitting out the defeat to Manchester United, though there has been no confirmation from the Clarets as to any underlying medical problem that the 33-year-old defender may have.
Lukasz Fabianski remained unused on the Polish bench, though Jan Bednarek came on as a second-half substitute for the hosts. Bednarek is said to be playing through the pain barrier at the moment with tendonitis, though hasn’t featured at all for Southampton in the league this season.
Northern Ireland 3-0 Israel
- Jonny Evans (£4.9m) – 90 minutes
- Craig Cathcart (£4.5m) – 90 minutes
- Steven Davis (£4.8m) – 90 minutes
Jonny Evans lined up alongside Craig Cathcart in the centre of the Northern Ireland defence as Michael O’Neill’s side ran out comfortable winners at Windsor Park.
Cathcart, who scored in Watford’s 2-1 win over Spurs in Gameweek 4, recorded more penalty box touches (three) than any defender in Belfast last night and registered an attempt on goal from inside the Israel area.
Steven Davis, yet to feature for Southampton in the league this season, scored from one of his three attempts on goal as he looks to work his way back into Mark Hughes’ plans.
Davis revealed that he had spoken to the Saints boss about his lack of opportunities:
It’s quite open and we’ve had a chat. I played in a cup game the other night and obviously it was good to get 90 minutes under the belt.
Ultimately it’s frustration, as it is for any player who isn’t playing. That’s the aim every week when you go to training and get yourself ready to play on a Saturday. But things in football can change very quickly as well.
Obviously, I am coming off the back of the second half of last season where I was injured but the main focus during the summer and pre-season was getting myself right and fit. The body is feeling good and I am ready to go. I know what qualities are needed.
Brighton’s Beram Kayal (£4.4m) was not in Israel’s match-day squad, meanwhile.
As well as the news about Coleman, Marco Silva was hit with a further injury scare yesterday: Dominic Calvert-Lewin (£5.4m) came off only nine minutes after being introduced as a second-half substitute in England under-21’s victory over Latvia on Tuesday afternoon.
The full extent of Calvert-Lewin’s problem is yet to be confirmed, but Ademola Lookman (£5.2m) – who played in this match along with Jonjoe Kenny – could be the beneficiary on the flank if his team-mate is ruled out.
Aaron Wan-Bissaka (£4.1m), meanwhile, was not involved in the match-day squad – leading to a frenzy of social media speculation about the reasons for his absence. No word has come from Crystal Palace or the Football Association, however.
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