Pukki, Idah and McGovern join City call-ups ahead of busy international break

Norwich striker Teemu Pukki in Nations League action against Ireland earlier this season Picture: Ni

Norwich striker Teemu Pukki in Nations League action against Ireland earlier this season Picture: Niall Carson/PA Wire - Credit: PA

Norwich City striker Teemu Pukki has retained his place in the Finland squad for two Uefa Nations League games during the approaching international break.

The Finns start with a friendly against world champions France in Paris on Wednesday, November 11 (8.10pm) before focusing on the Nations League, in which they are just a point behind leaders Wales in Group B4 after four games.

They travel to Bulgaria on Sunday, November 15 (5pm UK time) and Wales on Wednesday, November 18 (7.45pm) - less than 72 hours before the Canaries are away to Middlesbrough in the Championship.

Pukki has scored four goals in 14 games for club and country so far this season. He has 25 goals and 84 caps to his name at international level and played a pivotal role in his nation’s qualification for next year’s European Championship, their first ever major tournament.

Fellow striker Adam Idah has retained his place in the Republic of Ireland squad despite missing City’s last three games through suspension due to a recent red card. The 19-year-old could return against Swansea on Saturday - and could face England during the break.

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Ireland missed out on the Euro 2020 play-off finals after a penalty shoot-out defeat in Slovakia last month, a game Idah missed as he awaited a Covid-19 test result. After that came back negative he returned to win his third senior cap during a 1-0 defeat to Finland, coming on in the 76th minute.

Stephen Kenny’s squad take on England in a friendly at Wembley on Thursday, November 12 (8pm) and then have Nations League Group B4 games in Wales on Sunday, November 15 (5pm) and at home to Bulgaria on Wednesday, November 18 (7.45pm) - with one of Idah’s striker rivals, Sheffield United’s former Ipswich forward David McGoldrick, today announcing his international retirement at 32 years old.

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City goalkeeper Michael McGovern has also retained his place in the Northern Ireland squad, alongside former Canaries players Jamal Lewis and Kyle Lafferty.

Ian Baraclough’s squad host Slovakia in a Euro 2020 qualification play-off final on Thursday November 12, followed by Nations League Group B1 games in Austria on Sunday, November 15 and at home to Romania on Wednesday, November 18 (all 7.45pm kick-offs).

The 36-year-old keeper has only appeared in three of the Canaries’ last 74 games as he provides cover for Tim Krul but did win his 31st international cap as he played all of a 1-0 home defeat to Austria in the Nations League last month.

Otherwise, Norwich have already seen Kenny McLean, Grant Hanley (Scotland) and Przemek Placheta (Poland U21s) called up ahead of the international break which follows Saturday’s game against Swansea, with the England Under-21 squad due to be announced on Friday.

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Holland are due to confirm their squad tomorrow as well but Norwich number one Tim Krul is in their 34-man preliminary squad after winning his ninth cap last month, five years after suffering a serious knee injury during his previous international appearance - playing all of a 1-0 friendly defeat to Mexico, which was Frank de Boer’s first match in charge.

The Dutch have a home friendly against Spain on Wednesday, November 11 (7.45pm) ahead of Nations League Group A1 games at home to Bosnia on Sunday, November 15 (5pm) and in Poland on Wednesday, November 18 (7.45pm).

Loan striker Sebastian Soto, playing for Telstar in the Dutch second tier, has been named in the USA senior squad for the first time, for friendlies against Wales and Austria.

Danel Sinani, on loan in the Belgian top flight at Waasland-Beveren, also retains his place in the Luxembourg squad as he looks to add to his 26 caps and six goals, starting with a friendly at home to Austria on Wednesday, November 11 (7.30pm).

That’s followed by Nations League games in Cyprus on Saturday, November 14 (5pm) and at home to Azerbaijan on Tuesday, November 17 (7.45pm) - with his nation top of Group C1 after four games.

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