October’s international break has finally started to come to a close, and a number of Liverpool’s most influential players had a change of their international fates. Thankfully the Reds have mostly come out without a scratch, and most will return to Merseyside next week to prepare for their match up with United at the coming weekend.
In the most exciting, Mohamed Salah scored twice for Egypt, including a 95th minute penalty spot kick, to ensure their place in the 2018 World Cup. This is Egypt’s first trip to the World Cup since 1990, two years before our Mo was even born.
As for the other Sunday matches, England put a pin their World Cup status, punctuating that with a 1-0 win over Lithuania. Jordan Henderson played the full 90 and Daniel Sturridge came on in the 72nd minute as Harry Kane cemented their place with a 1-0 penalty. While they had made their qualification absolute earlier in the week, this was still their last match to play. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain was an unused substitute.
Emre Can netted his first international goal with Germany as the German national team absolutely crushed Azerbaijan 5-1. Can capped off the match with a 25 yard rocket at 81 minutes. Germany had also previously finalized their spot in the World Cup as well, so the win against Azerbaijan was a formality, if anything.
In slightly more disappointing news, Andy Robertson completed the match with Scotland, but they failed to move forward as they drew 2-2 with Slovenia. They finish third in their group, but with a lesser goal difference to Slovenia, the Scots are going to miss the trip next year. At least the defender got some much needed minutes and will be able to be a possibility for the weekend match.
The last of the matches have yet to be played, as Brazil meet Chile on Tuesday and Wales meet Republic of Ireland on Monday. Ben Woodburn is likely to feature for Wales in a must-win match up for both sides. Philippe Coutinho and Roberto Firmino are both in the squad for Brazil and their ability to be fresh for Manchester United on Saturday is already in question. Coutinho himself only played 66 minutes in their match up against Bolivia earlier in the break, while Firmino was an unused substitute.
Fingers crossed it ends up like Stoke last year if the Brazilian duo find themselves on the bench Saturday.