Four Saints in Friday’s international action

By SFC Media time Fri 07 Jun International
Photo by Matt Watson | Southampton FC

Friday evening marks a first competitive appearance for a handful of Saints players since the final day of the Premier League season at St Mary’s back in the middle of May.

The continuation of EURO 2020 qualifying lies in wait for Pierre-Emile Højbjerg, Mohamed Elyounoussi and Jan Bednarek who are all line to feature prominently for their respective nations in the first of two fixtures over the weekend.

Beginning with the Saints skipper, Højbjerg’s Denmark host the Republic of Ireland in Copenhagen looking to follow up their wild opening 3-3 draw with Switzerland with a first win of the campaign.

The Irish currently lead Group D, which also features Georgia and Gibraltar, but tonight’s game will be their first against one of their direct qualifying rivals. Shane Long had been drafted into Mick McCarthy’s squad only to later withdraw with a hamstring injury.

Soccer Football - Euro 2020 Qualifier - Group D - Switzerland v Denmark - St. Jakob-Park, Basel, Switzerland - March 26, 2019  Denmark's Henrik Dalsgaard celebrates scoring their third goal with Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg  REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann
Saints' Pierre-Emile Højbjerg  celebrates Denmark's remarkable comeback against Switzerland; the Danes scored three times in the final seven minutes to earn a 3-3 draw.

Elsewhere, Elyounoussi’s Norway take on Romania in Oslo following a six-goal draw with Sweden and narrow defeat to Spain earlier in the year to leave them second bottom in Group F.

The route to the finals is already looking much clearer for defender Bednarek and Poland; they head into their clash with North Macedonia with a perfect record in tact after two matches.

VOLGOGRAD, RUSSIA - JUNE 28:  Jan Bednarek of Poland celebrates after scoring his team's first goal during the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia group H match between Japan and Poland at Volgograd Arena on June 28, 2018 in Volgograd, Russia.  (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
A scorer at the FIFA World Cup in 2018, Bednarek has established himself as a crucial figure in the defences of both Saints and Poland in the last 12 months.

In France, Josh Sims meanwhile will have sights set on gaining further international experience with England U20s.

The youngster featured for 69 minutes of their 3-2 defeat to Portugal in the Toulon tournament earlier this week and the Young Lions will want to end their disappointing campaign on a high with victory over Chile.

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