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Three matches to keep an eye on during the international break

Three matches to keep an eye on during the international break

19 Mar 2019, 10:55

Club football fans usually dread international breaks, especially at this crucial stage of the season, but we've picked out three key fixtures this week that should hold your attention until the domestic leagues return. 

With Euro 2020 qualifying beginning this week and key late-round qualifying games in the CAF Champions League, the world is covered. 

England vs the Czech Republic
Euro 2020 qualifier
Friday 22 March



England's side will feature a host of new faces with Jadon Sancho, Chelsea's Callum Hudson-Odoi and Declan Rice all expected to feature. Gareth Southgate's team will arrive at the qualifiers full of confidence after a semifinal appearance at the World Cup and progress to the semifinals of the UEFA Nations League. Usually, England tends to breeze through qualifiers, and we expect them to start strongly here.

Burundi vs Gabon
AFCON Qualifier
Saturday 23 March

Mauritania and Madagascar already shocked the continent by qualifying for AFCON 2019, and Burundi can add one more shock to the list if they draw at home to Gabon and reach the finals for the first time in their history.

If Gabon fails to qualify, that would mean a summer off International duty for Arsenal marksman Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, but that's probably the furthest thing from his mind. Gilchrist Nguema, one of Gabon's central defenders, had to withdraw from their latest squad because the local FA belatedly realised that he doesn't currently have a club. In other words, the Gabon setup isn't as professional as what Aubameyang is used to. 

Burundi beat South Sudan 5-2 and they have Stoke City striker Saido Berahino to call upon here. A massive shock is on the cards here and it would be one of Burundi's finest moments. 

 
The Netherlands vs Germany
Euro 2020 qualifier
Sunday 24 March

The Netherlands is very much a team on the up with Virgil van Dijk emerging as a giant at both ends for Liverpool, and Ajax trio Donny van de Beek, Frenkie de Jong and teenage captain Matthijs de Ligt all instrumental in the Dutch club's recent demolition of Real Madrid at the Bernabeu in the Champions League.

The last two meetings between these sides ended in a 3-0 win for The Netherlands and, most recently, a 2-2 draw. They now meet again in European Championship Qualification Group C with the Netherlands possessing the mental edge over their more esteemed rivals, who face a period of transition with stalwart players Mats Hummels, Thomas Muller & Jerome Boateng. It's hard to know what to expect from this one, but the rivalry should be as strong as ever.

Follow England vs the Czech Republic live on Futaa!

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