Nations League Games Offer Last Chance to Prepare for FIFA World Cup | Football news

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A frenetic schedule of club football ahead of the World Cup is interrupted this week as national teams get one last chance to fine-tune their preparations before traveling to Qatar for the tournament’s start on November 20. Holding the World Cup in the middle of the European season has major consequences for clubs but also for coaches of national teams.

While domestic leagues have been hit hardest by the upheaval on the calendar, as they have to stop a week before the opening game in Qatar, it also means there will be almost no time for squads to team up before embarking on their World Cup campaigns. to start.

Extra importance will therefore be placed on events in the coming week as European teams complete the UEFA Nations League group stage while other contenders play friendlies, including back-to-back matches for Brazil on French soil against Ghana and Tunisia.

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– French concerns –

Reigning world champions France are preparing to defend the crown they won in Russia in 2018, while at the same time trying to avoid being relegated from the top of the Nations League.

Les Bleus, who won the Nations League last year, will host Austria on Thursday and visit Denmark on Sunday to win both matches to ensure they stay in League A.

But French coach Didier Deschamps has a host of issues, not least injuries to key players including Paul Pogba – he is recovering from knee surgery that will put him in a race against time to be fit for Qatar.

“He will do everything he can to be fit as soon as possible, despite the lack of time,” Deschamps told broadcaster TF1 on Sunday.

It’s also too early to say whether a dispute between Kylian Mbappe and the French Football Association over image rights could affect squad morale, as the Paris Saint-Germain star refuses to participate in a photo shoot on Monday.

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France’s latest squad has several new faces hoping to seize their chance to impress before the final lists are due to be submitted to FIFA by November 13.

– Toney gets England chance –

England manager Gareth Southgate has given Brentford forward Ivan Toney a shot as second-place finisher at Euro 2020 plays Italy and Germany in Nations League A3.

Like France, England suffered a string of poor results in June and so realistically must win both matches to avoid relegation to League B.

But Southgate will rule a vast 28-man roster with Qatar in mind.

“Part of the rationale is that we are very close to a World Cup and we feel that while our results over the summer have been disappointing, we have chosen based on form and ability over a long period of time,” Southgate said last week. .

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Spain and Cristiano Ronaldo’s Portugal will warm up for the World Cup by meeting in Braga on September 27 in a match that could decide which of the Iberian neighbors advances to the Nations League final in June next year.

Meanwhile, Wales manager Robert Page has just signed a new four-year deal with Los Angeles FC’s Gareth Bale in his squad for games against Belgium and Poland.

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Wales also look set to be relegated from their Nations League group, but that shouldn’t worry them too much before returning to the World Cup podium for the first time since 1958.

(This story was not edited by The Switzerland Times staff and was generated automatically Platforms.)

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