Canaries stars set for busy spell of international action

Ben Gibson of Norwich and Onel Hernandez of Norwich with the EFL Championship trophy at the end of t

Norwich City winger Onel Hernandez became a full international for Cuba earlier this year - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Onel Hernandez and Emi Buendia are preparing for World Cup qualification as a host of Norwich City players gear up for international action. 

Przemek Placheta is set to kick things off as Poland host Russia in a friendly this evening (7.45pm) ahead of both nations competing in the European Championship.

Final 26-man squads for the Euros have to be confirmed by 11pm tonight. Grant Hanley (Scotland) and Tim Krul (Holland) have already had their places confirmed, with Hanley given squad number five. Placheta and Teemu Pukki (Finland) are expected to make the final cut as well.

The latest on Pukki’s ankle injury is set to be revealed as the Finns hold a press conference this afternoon but the last update had suggested their talisman was targeting their Euros opener against Denmark on Saturday, June 12 – with a final warm-up game against Estonia lined up for Friday afternoon. 

Krul and Hanley look likely to face each other in a friendly on Wednesday evening, with Valencia keeper Jasper Cillessen self-isolating after a positive Covid-19 test and having to drop out of contention for the Euros.

Orjan Nyland has also been training with Norway ahead of two friendlies but is thought to just be with the squad as cover following his return to full fitness as cover for Krul at Norwich.

Young keepers Dan Barden (Wales), Archie Mair (Scotland) and Sam Blair (Ireland) are all hoping for under-21 opportunities to impress, while Andrew Omobamidele, Adam Idah (Ireland), Dimitris Giannoulis (Greece) and Danel Sinani (Luxembourg) could be in senior friendly action with no tournament to prepare for. 

The competitive action is left to Hernandez and Buendia, with World Cup qualifiers with Cuba and Argentina respectively. 

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Hernandez is believed to be with Cuba ahead of possible action on Wednesday, against the British Virgin Islands in Guatemala, after the winger won his first two international caps in March. Another qualifier away to St Vincent & the Grenadines awaits on Tuesday. 

MORE: Police interviews and faulty planes - the inside track on Onel's Cuba bow

Buendia is hoping to make his international bow after a brilliant season with Norwich, after being named alongside stars including Lionel Messi and Sergio Aguero ahead of World Cup qualification against Chile and Colombia.

The Championship Player of the Season was pictured on Instagram playing pool with Aston Villa goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez earlier this week, which sparked a fresh wave of excitement among Villa fans as the Villans are one of the club's linked with interest in trying to sign the £40million-rated creative maestro this summer.

The European Championship action begins on Friday, June 11. The Copa America is due to start in Brazil on Sunday, June 13 but the Argentina squad for that tournament hasn't been confirmed yet.

- NCFC internationals (friendly unless specified, UK times) 

Tues, June 2

7.45pm - Poland v Russia (Przemek Placheta)

Weds, June 2 

12pm - Ireland U21 v Australia Olympic squad (Sam Blair) 

3pm – Scotland U21 v N Ireland U21 (Archie Mair) 

6pm - Norway v Luxembourg (Danel Sinani) 

7.45pm - Holland v Scotland (Tim Krul and Grant Hanley) 

10.30pm - Cuba v British Virgin Islands (Onel Hernandez) - World Cup qualification 

Thurs, April 3 

6pm – Andorra v Ireland (Andrew Omobamidele and Adam Idah) 

7.45pm - Belgium v Greece (Dimitris Giannoulis) 

Friday, April 4 

1am – Argentina v Chile (Emi Buendia) - WCQ 

7.30pm - Wales U21 v Moldova (Dan Barden) 

Sat, June 5 

2pm – Scotland U21 v N Ireland U21 (Mair) 

5pm – Ireland U21 v Denmark U21 (Blair) 

Sun, June 6 

5pm – Luxembourg v Scotland (Sinani and Hanley) 

5pm – Holland v Georgia (Krul) 

6pm – Norway v Greece (Giannoulis)

Tues, June 8 

5pm – Poland v Iceland (Placheta) 

7pm – Hungary v Ireland (Omobamidele and Idah) 

9pm – St Vincent & the Grenadines v Cuba (Hernandez) - WCQ 

Weds, June 9

12am – Colombia v Argentina (Buendia) - WCQ