We continue our round-up of the Premier League players involved in international action with a look at some of Friday’s fixtures.
The second part of Friday’s Scout Notes will follow this afternoon.
Subscribers can view data on some of the matches listed below in our Members’ Area, with details available here.
San Marino 0-4 Belgium
- Toby Alderweireld (£5.5m) – 90 minutes
- Jan Vertonghen (£5.3m) – 90 minutes
- Michy Batshuayi (£6.7m) – 90 minutes
- Youri Tielemans (£6.4m) – 90 minutes
- Kevin De Bruyne (£9.8m) – 76 minutes
- Divock Origi (£5.5m) – 55 minutes
- Dennis Praet (£5.4m) – 14 minutes
- Christian Benteke (£5.9m) – 0 minutes
Roberto Martinez took few chances with his team selection on Friday despite being up against the world’s lowest-ranked country.
Kevin De Bruyne (£9.8m) at least had his minutes managed in the form of a 76th-minute substitution and his owners will be hoping for similar game-time management when Belgium face Scotland on Monday night.
De Bruyne, playing in a central midfield two alongside Youri Tielemans (£6.4m) in Martinez’s now-familiar 3-4-3, didn’t register any attacking returns but created over twice as many opportunities (eight) as any other player on show – including a ‘big chance’ for Michy Batshuayi (£6.7m) early on.
Interviewed this weekend, De Bruyne said of his current form:
It is hard to tell that this is the best period out of my career so far. I have been playing over 500 games for 11 years now.
Was I ever better? Hmm. I started with City very well: four wins in the Premier League and in the Community Shield. It also goes well personally. I’m ready for the rhythm of the coming months, with all those midweek fights.
Batshuayi was the focal point of the three-man Belgium attack, having more penalty box touches, big chances and shots in the box than anyone on show.
The Chelsea striker converted a 43rd-minute penalty after Jan Vertonghen‘s (£5.3m) shot had been handballed and then added to his tally with a late header from a Yannick Carrasco cross.
Divock Origi (£5.5m) lasted just over 55 minutes playing on the left of the front three but Christian Benteke (£5.9m) failed to make it off the bench.
Leicester’s Dennis Praet (£5.4m) replaced De Bruyne in the closing stages but there was no involvement for Leander Dendoncker (£4.5m), who sat this game out with a minor injury.
Martinez said of the Wolves midfielder:
Leander Dendoncker got a kick and won’t be fit for the game against San Marino. I think we can recover Leander against Scotland next Monday.
The budget FPL asset has since trained with his international teammates so looks set to be involved against Scotland this evening.
Leandro Trossard (£6.0m) won’t be taking part in that match, however, having returned to Brighton with a groin injury.
The Athletic’s Andy Naylor reports that Trossard could miss up to three league and cup games but this has yet to be verified by the Seagulls.
Chile 0-0 Argentina
- Claudio Bravo (£4.9m) – 90 minutes
- Nicolas Otamendi (£5.4m) – 90 minutes
- Giovani Lo Celso (£7.4m) – 53 minutes
- Manuel Lanzini (£6.5m) – 0 minutes
- Roberto Pereyra (£5.8m) – 0 minutes
- Marcos Rojo (£4.9m) – 0 minutes
Of the five Premier League players representing Argentina this week, only Nicolas Otamendi (£5.4m) and Giovani Lo Celso (£7.4m) saw any pitch-time in Los Angeles last Friday – but both players won’t be involved against Mexico in the early hours of Wednesday morning.
While Lo Celso’s withdrawal is forced because of a groin injury, there is reportedly better news regarding Otamendi’s non-involvement – Argentina boss Lionel Scaloni having outlined the reasons for the Manchester City stopper only playing against Chile over the international break.
While we await further news on Otamendi’s return to Manchester, the fact that he doesn’t face a long-haul flight back from North America just days before City take on Norwich would seemingly boost his chances of featuring in Gameweek 5.
Otamendi’s experience of playing as a left-sided centre-half, of course, could see him get plenty of game-time over the coming months with Aymeric Laporte (£6.5m) out.
In a bruising encounter in which ten yellow cards were dished out, Lo Celso had already taken a blow to the ankle before a groin injury forced him from the field of play on 53 minutes.
Yet to start a game for Spurs, Lo Celso said after full-time:
My problem was only a blow, it is not something to worry about.
Claudio Bravo (£4.9m) played the whole 90 minutes for Chile, while Roberto Pereyra (£5.8m), Manuel Lanzini (£6.5m) and Marcos Rojo (£4.9m) were all unused substitutes for Argentina.
Turkey under-21s 2-3 England under-21s
- Aaron Ramsdale (£4.5m) – 90 minutes
- Max Aarons (£4.5m) – 90 minutes
- Tom Davies (£5.4m) – 90 minutes
- Phil Foden (£5.3m) – 90 minutes
- Morgan Gibbs-White (£4.9m) – 81 minutes
- Reiss Nelson (£5.4m) – 79 minutes
- Mason Greenwood (£4.5m) – 31 minutes
- Rhian Brewster (£4.5m) – 11 minutes
- Ben Godfrey (£4.5m) – 9 minutes
- Oliver Skipp (£4.5m) – 0 minutes
- Todd Cantwell (£4.8m) – 0 minutes
- James Justin (£4.9m) – 0 minutes
Injury-hit Norwich City breathed a sigh of relief as three of their key players all emerged from England under-21s’ win in Turkey unscathed.
Ben Godfrey (£4.5m), the Canaries’ one remaining fit centre-half, made a late substitute’s appearance for his debut at this level, while budget FPL midfielder Todd Cantwell (£4.8m) didn’t make it off the bench.
Full-back Max Aarons (£4.5m) played the whole 90 minutes, meanwhile.
Bournemouth’s Aaron Ramsdale (£4.5m) played the whole game in goal but, aside from the names already mentioned, it was mostly Premier League fringe players who featured in Izmit: Tom Davies (£5.4m), Phil Foden (£5.3m), Morgan Gibbs-White (£4.9m), Reiss Nelson (£5.4m), Mason Greenwood (£4.5m) and Rhian Brewster (£4.5m) have three league starts between them this season.
Foden assisted both of Eddie Nketiah’s two goals, while Nelson scored the game’s winner in the 75th minute.
Both Joe Willock (£5.0m) and Dwight McNeil (£6.0m) had earlier pulled out of the squad with minor injuries.
Aidy Boothroyd’s team are in action again on Monday evening.
Benin 1-2 Ivory Coast
- Serge Aurier (£4.9m) – 90 minutes
Nicolas Pepe (£9.5m) withdrew from the Ivory Coast squad last week, with some confusion as to the reason for his departure.
A minor injury was initially reported but the word since then was that an agreement was struck between club and country that Pepe would return to north London and work on his match-fitness ahead of Gameweek 5.
Willy Boly (£5.0m), suspended for Wolves’ match against Chelsea this Saturday, didn’t join up with the Ivory Coast despite his first international call-up, opting to spend time with his family instead.
Wilfried Zaha (£6.9m) reportedly withdrew from the national squad for unspecified reasons.
Serge Aurier (£4.9m) was the only Premier League representative and played the whole 90 minutes as Ivory Coast fell to a 2-1 defeat.
Slovenia 2-0 Poland
- Lukasz Fabianski (£5.0m) – 90 minutes
- Jan Bednarek (£4.5m) – 90 minutes
Jan Bednarek (£4.5m) and Lukasz Fabianski (£5.0m), ever-presents in the league for their respective clubs this season, both lasted the full game as Poland slumped to a 2-0 defeat in Slovenia.
Fabianski was left with little chance for the hosts’ first goal but was beaten through his legs at the near post for Slovenia’s second strike.
The pair will be in action again on Monday evening as their country plays host to Austria in another Euro 2020 qualifier.
Slovakia 0-4 Croatia
- Martin Dubravka (£5.0m) – 90 minutes
- Dejan Lovren (£5.3m) – 90 minutes
- Lovre Kalinic (£4.4m) – 0 minutes
Croatia produced a dominant performance to boost their UEFA Euro 2020 qualification hopes and dent Slovakia’s own chances of progress.
Dejan Lovren (£5.3m), yet to play a minute for Liverpool this season, lasted the full game and supplemented his clean sheet with an 89th-minute header to round off the scoring.
Newcastle United goalkeeper Martin Dubravka (£5.0m) was beaten on four occasions in the home goal, while Aston Villa’s Lovre Kalinic (£4.4m) was an unused substitute for the visitors.
Adrian Mariappa (£4.4m), who has yet to play a minute of Premier League football this season, lasted the full game as Jamaica beat Antigua and Barbuda 6-0 in a CONCACAF Nations League match.
Sofiane Boufal (£5.5m) was an unused substitute as Morocco drew 1-1 with Burkina Faso, while Romain Saiss (£4.4m) has reportedly withdrawn from the Morocco squad with a minor injury.
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