The first international break of the season has now concluded ahead of Gameweek 5.
The final matches were played on Tuesday evening and the early hours of Wednesday morning.
We’ve got all the FPL talking points in this latest Scout Notes article.
UEFA Euro 2020 qualifiers
England 5-3 Kosovo
- Jordan Pickford – 90 minutes
- Ben Chilwell – 90 minutes
- Harry Maguire – 90 minutes
- Michael Keane – 90 minutes
- Trent Alexander-Arnold – 90 minutes
- Declan Rice – 90 minutes
- Jordan Henderson – 90 minutes
- Raheem Sterling – 90 minutes
- Harry Kane – 90 minutes
- Ross Barkley – 63 minutes
- Mason Mount – 27 minutes
- Marcus Rashford – 5 minutes
Raheem Sterling (£12.3m) was the star of the show for England as they beat Kosovo 5-3 on Tuesday night.
Ahead of a Gameweek 5 meeting with Norwich, the Manchester City attacker scored and provided three assists for the Three Lions.
His goal was a close-range header from an unmarked position. Sterling rose highest to meet a Michael Keane (£5.5m) knock-down following a Ross Barkley (£5.8m) corner.
Then, he provided the assist for Harry Kane (£11.0m) with an excellent turn under pressure in midfield, a drive through the heart of Kosovo’s defence before laying off to the centre-forward who rifled it under the goalkeeper.
Just a few short minutes later, Sterling was the architect again. This time he drove down the left-hand side, cutting into the box at the last and squaring to Jadon Sancho through a collection of bodies. The Borussia Dortmund man made no mistake from short range.
Finally, Sterling left right-back Mergim Vojvoda for dead with a nice piece of skill in first-half stoppage time, opening up all the space in the world to cut into the box from the left and square for Sancho to score again.
England then earned a late penalty after an excellent run from Barkley. Holding off three defenders he powered his way into the box to pick up the foul.
However, Kane’s effort was saved by Manchester City goalkeeper Arijanet Muric, currently on loan at Nottingham Forest.
This miss might be of some concern to Kane’s owners ahead of a Gameweek 5 meeting with Crystal Palace but his penalty record remains very strong.
This was his first penalty miss since February 2018, when Liverpool’s Loris Karius stopped him at Anfield. However, since then, the Spurs man has netted 14 spot-kicks for club and country, the first of those occurring just three minutes after that Karius miss. Therefore, it is unlikely Kane’s confidence will have been damaged by this event in any way.
However, while several attacking assets impressed against Kosovo, England’s defensive players did not cover themselves in glory.
Everton centre-back Keane was guilty of allowing the first of the visitors’ three goals. Just 40 seconds into the qualifier he passed the ball straight to Kosovo’s Vedat Muriqi on the edge of his box who squared for Valon Berisha to score.
It was Berisha who found the net the second time, this time taking advantage of Harry Maguire (£5.5m) and Trent Alexander-Arnold (£7.1m) being out of position.
It was too easy for the player to collect himself in front of the covering Jordan Henderson (£5.5m), cut onto his right foot and curl one into the top corner.
Maguire was then at fault once again as Kosovo scored a 55th-minute penalty. As Muriqi was moving away from goal, already on the floor, he swung his foot at the back of the attacker’s legs, bringing him down.
Vojvoda stood up to take the spot-kick, Jordan Pickford (£5.6m) getting a hand to it but not enough to keep it out.
James Maddison (£7.1m), Callum Wilson (£7.8m), Tyrone Mings (£4.5m), Nick Pope (£4.6m), Danny Rose (£5.5m), Tom Heaton (£4.5m), Harry Winks (£5.5m), Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (£6.4m) and Joe Gomez (£5.4m) were all unused substitutes.
Lithuania 1-5 Portugal
- Rui Patrício – 90 minutes
- João Cancelo – 90 minutes
- Rúben Neves – 90 minutes
- Bernardo Silva – 89 minutes
Cristiano Ronaldo understandably took all the headlines from this game, scoring four goals in a 5-1 win for Portugal, but there was also involvement from some FPL assets.
Two of the Juventus forward’s strikes were set-up by Manchester City’s Bernardo Silva (£7.8m), who was deployed on the flanks of an attacking front-three, just as he has been in the Premier League.
With Kyle Walker (£6.0m) not selected for England during this international break, fellow right-back João Cancelo (£5.4m) played 90 minutes for Portugal on Tuesday, having registered 25 minutes last week.
Meanwhile, Wolves team-mates Diogo Jota (£6.3m) and João Moutinho (£5.5m) were both unused substitutes.
Luxembourg 1-3 Serbia
- Luka Milivojević – 90 minutes
- Nemanja Matić – 11 minutes
Luka Milivojevic (£6.8m) played 90 minutes for Serbia as they beat Luxembourg 3-1.
Manchester United midfielder Nemanja Matic (£4.8m) featured only as a 79th-minute substitute.
Neither FPL asset was directly involved in the goals as Aleksandar Mitrovic netted twice.
France 3-0 Andorra
- Hugo Lloris – 90 minutes
- Lucas Digne – 90 minutes
- Moussa Sissoko – 90 minutes
- Olivier Giroud – 72 minutes
Lucas Digne (£6.1m) continues to at least keep his name in the conversation for the first-choice left-back position for France.
He played the full 90 minutes against Andorra after coming on Lucas Hernandez in the previous qualifying meeting with Albania.
Along with Spurs duo Hugo Lloris (£5.5m) and central midfielder Moussa Sissoko (£5.0m), the Everton man helped secure a clean sheet against lowly opposition.
Olivier Giroud (£6.8m) started for a second qualifying match in a row but was replaced by eventual goal-scorer Wissam Ben-Yedder in the 72th-minute.
Kurt Zouma (£4.9m) and Matteo Guendouzi (£4.5m) were both unused substitutes.
Armenia 4-2 Iceland
- Gylfi Sigurdsson – 90 minutes
It may have been a disappointing night for Iceland as they lost 4-2 to Albania but there were some positives for Gylfi Sigurdsson (£7.8m).
The Everton man has largely had a disappointing start to the season but got his first goal of the campaign on Tuesday.
He has played 90 minutes in both of Iceland’s matches of this first international break.
Moldova 0-4 Turkey
- Cenk Tosun – 90 minutes
Everton striker Cenk Tosun (£5.8m) got his first attacking returns of the season in Turkey’s win over Moldova.
Yet to start a league match for the Toffees in 2019/20, he registered 180 minutes for his country over the international break.
Against Moldova, Tosun found the net twice while Leicester defender Çaglar Söyüncü (£4.5m) was an unused substitute.
International Friendlies (Tuesday)
Ukraine 2-2 Nigeria
- Oleksandr Zinchenko – 90 minutes
- Andriy Yarmolenko – 58 minutes
- Alex Iwobi – 70 minutes
Manchester defender Oleksandr Zinchenko (£5.6m) made it two goals from two as he rounded off the international break in style.
After scoring in a 3-0 win over Lithuania on Saturday, he also found the net in a 2-2 draw with Nigeria.
That will be of encouraging news to his 13.6% ownership, although there are mitigating circumstances for his goal threat in the last two Ukraine matches.
In both outings, Zinchenko was deployed on the left-hand side of a central midfield trio. That is further advanced than his usual left-back station.
Therefore, it is hard to guarantee he will return to the Premier League full of goal threat, even if it is Norwich City up next.
Meanwhile, Alex Iwobi (£5.9m) registered an assist, Andriy Yarmolenko (£5.9m) played 58 minutes, Kelechi Iheanacho (£5.8m) was an unused substitute and Leon Balogun (£4.4m) was absent from the matchday squad.
Republic of Ireland 3-1 Bulgaria
- Kevin Long – 90 minutes
- John Egan – 90 minutes
- Mark Travers – 76 minutes
- Conor Hourihane – 69 minutes
- Enda Stevens – 14 minutes
- Jeff Hendrick – 6 minutes
Burnley defender Kevin Long (£4.4m) scored in Republic of Ireland’s win over Bulgaria on Tuesday night.
Sheffield United defender Enda Stevens (£5.0m) also assisted off the bench.
As this was a friendly against lesser opposition, first-teamers such as Seamus Coleman (£5.5m) and Shane Duffy (£5.0m) were both unused substitutes.
Jordan 2-4 Paraguay
- Miguel Almirón – 22 minutes
Miguel Almirón (£5.9m) got his first attacking return of the season in Paraguay’s friendly win over Jordan.
Featuring as a 68th-minute substitute, he netted his country’s second goal of the night.
Meanwhile, West Ham defender Fabian Balbuena (£4.4m) was an unused substitute.
Tunisia 1-2 Ivory Coast
- Serge Aurier – 90 minutes
Serge Aurier (£4.9m) was the only FPL asset in action for Ivory Coast on Tuesday night.
He got the assist for the first goal of the game as his nation were 2-1 winners over Tunisia.
Meanwhile, Nicolas Pépé (£9.4m) remains absent from the international scene as he works on his fitness at Arsenal.
Furthermore, Wilfried Zaha (£6.9m) was not involved either amid media reports that he has been dealing with urgent personal issues over the international break.
International Friendlies (Wednesday)
The following assets were all involved in the early hours of Wednesday morning in either North or South America.
These are the FPL options most likely to come back to their respective clubs late ahead of Gameweek 5.
Brazil 0-1 Peru
- Ederson – 90 minutes
- Richarlison – 74 minutes
- Roberto Firmino – 63 minutes
- Fabinho – 26 minutes
Ahead of the Gameweek 5 meeting with Newcastle, Roberto Firmino (£9.5m) was in action for Brazil in the early hours of Wednesday morning.
The Liverpool man played 63 minutes up-front in Los Angeles as his country lost 1-0 to Peru.
Also involved in this match were Ederson (£6.1m), Richarlison (£7.9m) and Fabinho (£5.5m).
With these players, it is probably worth monitoring their respective managers’ press conferences to see whether they returned in time and in the right condition to be involved this weekend.
Argentina 4-0 Mexico
- Marcos Rojo – 90 minutes
- Roberto Pereyra – 25 minutes
- Manuel Lanzini – 13 minutes
- Raúl Jiménez – 90 minutes
Raúl Jiménez (£7.4m) endured a torrid time as Argentina thrashed Mexico in the early hours of Wednesday morning.
The Wolves forward was part of a strong line-up, facing an Argentina team short a large number of their stars, and had a poor game.
Mexico did not muster a shot on goal until the 91st minute while their opponents put four goals past them.
Marcos Rojo (£4.9m) was part of a back-four that kept Jiménez quiet and earned a clean sheet.
Roberto Pereyra (£5.8m) and Manuel Lanzini (£6.5m) featured as second-half substitutes after the game had been put beyond Mexico.
USA 1-1 Uruguay
Lucas Torreira (£4.9m) was an unused substitute as Uruguay drew 1-1 with the USA.
Chelsea’s Christian Pulisic (£7.5m) was released from the squad for this friendly.
Colombia 0-0 Venezuela
- Jefferson Lerma – 90 minutes
- Davinson Sánchez – 56 minutes
Jefferson Lerma (£4.9m) and Davinson Sánchez (£5.5m) were the only FPL assets to get minutes in this one.
Yerry Mina (£5.6m) was an unused substitute.
Honduras 2-1 Chile
- Claudio Bravo – 90 minutes
Claudio Bravo (£4.9m) played 90 minutes for Chile against Honduras but could not prevent two goals going in.
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