Interlull round-up: Saka, Rice, Zinky, Havertz, Kiwior, Jesus


As expected, Bukayo Saka and Declan Rice both started England’s game against North Macedonia last night. The former played 84 minutes of the 1-1 draw, the latter the whole 90. I didn’t see any of it, but did notice people talking about the referee. The good thing from an Arsenal perspective is that our lads have the rest of the week to recover from the playing time and the travel, and as England had already won the group, not much else about it merits comment this morning.

The other game in the group saw Arsenal involvement as Oleksandr Zinchenko played 86 minutes for Ukraine, with Jorginho getting 71 minutes for Italy in a 0-0 draw. A result which sees Italy qualify via a better head to head record. However, Ukraine can feel hard done by as what looks like a very obvious injury-time penalty on Mykhaylo Mudryk was not given. They still have a chance to qualify via the play-offs in March, but you have to imagine they’ll be frustrated at the officiating.

In terms of today’s games and who might be involved: France play Greece and given they have already qualified, William Saliba might get a start there. For some reason, he’s not as highly-rated by his national side as he is here, thus his international minutes aren’t as high as they ought to be. Which is good for us but he could well start this one.

Austria take on Germany in a friendly, and we all wait with bated breath to see where Kai Havertz will start. Will be at left-back again? Maybe this time he fancies a go at centre-half, channeling his inner-Beckenbauer as a marauding sweeper? Could Julian Naglesmann envisage him as an inverted-trequartista, or a semi-visible regista? Or just stick the lanky lad in nets. We’ll have to just wait and see.

There’s also a friendly between Poland and Latvia in which Jakub Kiwior could feature. I’ve seen some spurious chat about how clubs in Italy might try and take him on loan in January, but there’s surely no chance that can happen. With Jurrien…

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Publish date : 2023-11-21 07:57:39

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