Celts take on international duty
By: Laura Brannan on 19 Mar, 2013 09:24
CELTIC take a break from domestic proceedings this week, with 23 players away on international duty.
Joe Ledley will take the short trip to Hampden this weekend for Wales´ FIFA World Cup qualifier against Scotland. He´ll be looking to replicate his side´s 2-1 victory in October but Kris Commons and Charlie Mulgrew will be aiming for their first competitive win under Gordon Strachan.
Scotland sit bottom of Group A on two points from four games with Wales a point ahead. Scotland then visit Serbia the following Tuesday while Chris Coleman´s side take on Croatia in Swansea.
Three more Celts could go head-to-head when Paddy McCourt´s Northern Ireland take on Israel next Tuesday. Rami Gershon and Beram Kayal have both been included in the Israel squad. Before that meeting Israel take on Portugal on Friday while McCourt´s side face Russia.
In other World Cup qualifiers, Fraser Forster has been included in England´s squad to face San Marino and Montenegro while Mikael Lustig´s Sweden takes on the Republic of Ireland and Slovakia. Saturday´s injury-time goal hero, Georgios Samaras, is in Greece´s squad for the game against Bosnia on Friday.
Further away from home, Miku and Emilio Izaguirre have been included in the Venezuela and Honduras squads respectively. Miku could line up against Argentina and Columbia while Izaguirre faces the prospect of taking on Mexico and Panama.
Tom Rogic returns to Australia for their qualifier against Oman while Victor Wanyama´s Kenya take on the 2013 winners of the African Cup of Nations, Nigeria. However, he will not be facing Efe Ambrose due to the defender´s suspension.
At Under-21 level Thomas Rogne´s Norway warm up for the summer´s European Championships with friendlies against Spain and Holland.
Dylan McGeouch joins up with the Scotland squad for their closed-doors game against Norway and the 2015 UEFA European Championship qualifier against Luxembourg on Monday. On-loan Celts Lewis Toshney and Robbie Thomson have also been included.
Meanwhile at Under-19 level, seven young Hoops will take on Sweden in Scotland´s International Challenge match tomorrow, March 19. They also have a closed-doors game later in the week against Sweden. Joe Chalmers, Stuart Findlay, John Herron, Lewis Kidd, Jamie Lindsay, Denny Johnstone and Mikey Miller have all been named in the squad.
Paul George will also join up with Ireland´s squad for a week-long training camp in Spain, with a friendly against Gibraltar on Friday.