FCA players Marwin Hitz and Konstantinos Stafylidis face a battle to reach this summer’s World Cup in Russia with their respective national teams as they head into the play-offs for football’s most coveted tournament. Five other FCA men have likewise been called to international duty, including Marco Richter.
After losing their final group game against Portugal despite having won all nine of their previous qualifiers, Switzerland must now look to secure their place at the World Cup via the playoffs. They face Northern Ireland on Thursday, 9th November and Sunday, 12th November in a two-legged tie. Marwin Hitz is once again called up to the Switzerland squad.
Greece also head into their decider with Konstantinos Stafylidis. Reaching the playoffs was a success in itself for the Greeks and they could top that by securing their place at Russia 2018. But a tough Croatia side stand in their way. The two teams will likewise meet on Thursday, 9th November and Sunday, 12th November.
Marco Richter could make his Germany DFB after the youngster was nominated for the Germany U20 national team. It is the first time that Richter has received an international call-up and follows his Bundesliga debut this season. He will join the DFB for a training camp, during which the team will play two friendlies, taking on Italy on Thursday, 9th November and England on Tuesday, 14th November.
Ja-Cheol Koo will also be in action with South Korea over the break. After successfully securing qualification for the tournament, the South Koreans can now start their preparations for the World Cup. They come up against Columbia on Friday, 10th November, before testing themselves against Serbia on Tuesday, 14th November.
Iceland made history by winning their group and booking their place at their first ever World Cup following a highly successful campaign at the 2016 Euro in France. They and FCA striker Alfred Finnbogason come together again in a match against the Czech Republic on Wednesday, 8th November before travelling to Qatar for their final friendly of the break.
Austria had a disappointing campaign and failed to make the top two in their group. With their appointment of coach Franco Foda, the ÖFB are working to try and change their fortunes. Foda will take his team up against Uruguay on Tuesday, 14th November, involving FCA’s Kevin Danso and Michael Gregoritsch.
Ghana also failed to qualify, meaning that FCA defender Daniel Opare will miss out. Ghana take on Egypt on Sunday, 12th November.