Following confirmation last week Mohamed Salah would be given the next two weeks off from international duty with Egypt by his national team manager, today we have confirmation of a second key Liverpool taking a break as Jordan Henderson has been handed time off to rehabilitate a thigh strain.
Had England been set to play any games that mattered, he, like Salah, would likely be playing, but as tempting as friendlies against Germany and Brazil look on paper, at the end of the day they’re only friendlies. Joe Gomez and Emre Can, though, will at least be in the lineups when the first two sides meet on Friday.
For the second match against Brazil, if Gomez plays it could be against Roberto Firmino and Philippe Coutinho, both of whom are with the national team this week for a pair of European friendlies—next Tuesday’s against England coming after a Friday date with Japan scheduled to be played in Lille.
Amongst the games that matter, Sadio Mané and Senegal need two points total from a home-and-away series against South Africa to book a place in the World Cup, while Dejan Lovren and Croatia are taking part in the UEFA playoffs against Greece and will need to beat their opponents over two legs.
The other noteworthy call-up for most will be Alberto Moreno’s, with the fullback given his first call by Spain since 2013. If he faces either Costa Rica on Friday or Russia next Tuesday—both games are friendlies, making a start for Moreno more likely—he will be earning just his fourth cap for his country.
Simon Mignolet with Belgium, Gini Wijnaldum with the Netherlands, Andy Robertson with Scotland, Marko Grujic with Serbia, and Ben Woodburn and Dany Ward with Wales have also been called up to take part, while Dominic Solanke and Trent Alexander-Arnold will be on duty with the England U21s.