International preview: City players back in action after a few weeks to shake off promotion parties

Norwich City stars Mario Vrancic, left, and Teemu Pukki will be on opposing sides when Finland face Bosnia & Herzegovina on Saturday 
Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images

Norwich City stars Mario Vrancic, left, and Teemu Pukki will be on opposing sides when Finland face Bosnia & Herzegovina on Saturday Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images

Paul Chesterton

Norwich City's international contingent return to action this week, with European Championship qualification on the agenda.

The action gets under way this afternoon when two of the club's young prospects, Simon Power and Adam Idah, face China's under-21s in the Republic of Ireland U21s' opening game of the Toulon Tournament.

The duo will then turn their attention to a second group game, against Mexico U21s, on Thursday, before City's senior stars get into action on Saturday - with an all-Norwich encounter in prospect.

Championship golden boot winner Teemu Pukki will be hoping to continue his superb form during a home Euro 2020 qualifier against Bosnia & Herzegovina, when he could be facing Mario Vrancic.

The Canaries' title-winning success has earned the cultured midfielder his first international call-up since 2017 and the 30-year-old will be looking to win his seventh cap during the Group J game.

Bosnia are third with four point from two games, behind Italy and Greece, while the Finns are fourth with three points but have the cushion of knowing a play-off place is guaranteed having won their Uefa Nations League group.

Further games follow next Tuesday evening, when Bosnia travel to Italy and Finland are away in Liechtenstein. Pukki has 15 goals in 71 games for his country after a remarkable 33 goals in 54 games for club and country during 2018-19.

The finals of that competition also begin this week but City centre-back Timm Klose has not been included in the Switzerland squad for the games in Portugal, following his limited game time during the second half of the season.

Also set for action on Saturday are Jamal Lewis and Michael McGovern, with the Canaries duo with Northern Ireland and looking to maintain their 100 percent start to Group C.

Having already beaten Estonia and Belarus the Irish face Estonia again, away from home this time, with Germany and Holland also in the group.

MORE: Canaries star gearing up for two important qualifiers with Northern Ireland

Lewis has become a regular starter for Michael O'Neill's team although McGovern has mostly provided back-up in the past year, with another qualifier to follow in Belarus next Tuesday.

Also set for action in midfielder Kenny McLean who joins up with Scotland for the first game under new manager Steve Clarke, having lost to Kazakhstan and beaten minnows San Marino so far in Group I.

The Scots host Cyprus on Saturday evening before a tough game against World Cup semi-finalists and group leaders Belgium next Tuesday, with McLean hoping to add to his seven caps.

FIXTURES (UK times)

- Monday, June 4

Rep Ireland U21s v China U21s (2.30pm)

- Thursday, June 6

Rep Ireland U21s v Mexico U21s (6.30pm)

- Saturday, June 8

Finland v Bosnia & Herzegovina (5pm)

Estonia v Northern Ireland (5pm)

Scotland v Cyprus (7.45pm)

- Sunday, June 9

Rep Ireland U21s v Bahrain U21s (2pm)

- Tuesday, June 11 (all 7.45pm)

Belarus v Northern Ireland

Belgium v Scotland

Italy v Bosnia & Herzegovina

Liechtenstein v Finland

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