The final mid-season international break before the end of the season and this summer’s World Cup is now over, and many of Newcastle’s players will be hoping to use the final weeks of the season to bolster their claim for a place in their respective nation’s 23-man squad that will make the trip to Russia.
Betters have already made their offers for anyone who wants to try their luck on guessing the winner. But, that won’t be easy at all. There are some Newcastle players who will add their European experience to their national teams, so the battle will be hard. That experience can change the odds completely, so be sure to consider some of the best offers online and keep in mind that some of the Newcastle players may pull off some exciting performances.
The likes of DeAndre Yedlin, whose USMNT side suffered heart-break in their bid to secure a place at this summer’s competition, and Christian Atsu, part of the underperforming Ghana side that missed out in the African qualification section, will be among the Newcastle players sat at home watching on, but a number of the Toon Army could be present.
Jamaal Lascelles and Jonjo Shelvey have both earned plaudits this season for their performances in a struggling Newcastle side, will some pundits and fans making the case for the pair to be included in Gareth Southgate’s first major tournament squad.
England have a dearth of talent in central defence, forcing Southgate to experiment with international novices Harry Maguire, Joe Gomez and James Tarkowski, but Lascelles has led the Newcastle defence like any true captain should and has arguably been on par with all three of the listed defenders, all called up to the England squad.
As for Shelvey, he’s been in the England mix before in his Swansea days, picking up six caps to date.
Arguably one of the nations most gifted passers, Shelvey does offer that quality on the ball from deep, with the ability to spray 40-50 yards passes to either flank in a rather nonchalant fashion. However, the defensive side of his game is often called into question and England will need players who can contribute in all facets this summer.
Away from England, Mohamed Diame will not be involved in the Senegal squad for this summer’s World Cup after retiring from international duty last year, but that’s not to say he won’t revoke his decision if persuaded to.
However, countryman Henri Saivet, currently on loan at Sivasspor in Turkey, is definitely in the reckoning for a World Cup spot – and he’s not the only Newcastle star out on loan who could be involved in Russia.
Aleksandar Mitrovic remains one of Serbia’s leading marksmen despite not being given a proper look by Rafa Benitez. Currently with Fulham, Mitrovic’s goals are helping the Cottagers secure a play-off place at least in the Championship.
Left-back Achraf Lazaar, spending the 2017/18 season with Serie A strugglers Benevento, looks set to be part of the Morocco squad by the time the World Cup rolls around, and Belgian goalkeeper Matz Sels, back in his countryland with Anderlecht, is likely to be one of his nation’s reserve stoppers.
With squads set to be named for the competition in roughly two months’ time, many of Newcastle’s players have their work cut out for them if they’re going to get the call saying they’re on the plane.