Arsenal have as many as 12 players set for action between now and Friday as the international break gets underway.
We did start the week with 15 players departing from the squad to meet up with their respective international camps, but Karl Hein has since been ordered into isolation and will miss his side’s three fixtures.
Bukayo Saka has been ruled out of the clash with San Marino tomorrow night, while Thomas Partey is unable to join up with squad in South Africa due to travel restrictions, and will instead meet up with them in Ghana for Sunday’s clash.
Bernd Leno and team-mate Alex Runarsson could both take to the field against each other tomorrow when Germany play host to Iceland as they both begin their qualifying campaigns.
Eddie Nketiah and Emile Smith Rowe are also set to share the field, but this time for the same side. The duo are expected to play a key role for the England Under-21 side against Switzerland.
Cedric Soares will return to Portugal’s squad for the first time since 2019 to take on Azerbaijan today, while Daniel Ballard’s Northern Ireland face the daunting prospect of taking on Italy the following day.
Kieran Tierney is expected to play a key role for Scotland, although it remains to be seen on which role as he contends with Andrew Robertson at left-back role, and could play more centrally.
Granit Xhaka will captain his country against Bulgaria on Thursday also, while newly nominated Norway captain Martin Odegaard will take the armband for the first time against Gibraltar today.
Mohamed Elneny’s Egypt will take on Kenya in qualifiers for the African Cup of Nations tomorrow, while Nicolas Pepe’s Ivory Coast will travel to Niger for their qualifier for the same competition. Aubameyang is also in action on Thursday as his Gabon side take on DR Congo, before he returns to Arsenal thanks to more travel restrictions which will not see him travel to Angola.
Let’s hope we make it through the opening round of fixtures without any injury worries…