Seven City stars in international action ahead of trip to Preston

Scotland goalkeeper Craig Gordon (centre) collects a ball after a fumble during the 2022 FIFA World

Scotland keeper Craig Gordon apologises to Grant Hanley after fumbling the ball during victory over the Faroe Islands, with the defender's Norwich colleague Kenny McLean also pictured - Credit: PA

Five of Norwich City’s front-line players started for their countries this evening, less than 48 hours before the leaders’ return to Championship action at Preston on Friday. 

Max Aarons and Oliver Skipp started and Todd Cantwell also came on for the final 20 minutes of a dramatic evening for the England Under-21s, as they were denied a European U21 Championship quarter-final place by an injury-time goal. 

Grant Hanley and Kenny McLean were in the starting XI for Scotland as World Cup qualification action continued against minnows the Faroe Islands in Glasgow, and left-back Dimitris Giannoulis started as Greece hosted Georgia. 

There was some welcome news as City’s 22-goal top scorer Teemu Pukki was given some rest by Finland, starting a friendly in Switzerland on the bench. 

Przemek Placheta was the eighth player involved, starting as a substitute as Poland took on England in a qualifier – after keeper Tim Krul had made his third appearance of the international window on Tuesday evening as Holland romped to a 7-0 qualification win in Gibraltar. 

It was the England U21s getting things going from a Canaries perspective on Wednesday, kicking off at 5pm UK time in Slovenia, with a 2-1 win over Croatia not enough to progress. 

Aarons and Skipp were making their 45th appearance of the season for club and country, with Aarons sparking the second goal with a pass down the right wing, which the Young Lions thought had sealed a memorable win for them. 

Cantwell was making his first appearance since being called into the squad as an injury replacement, winning his fourth cap, so of the three would appear the most likely to be fine to start for City at Deepdale on Friday. 

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The senior action followed at 7.45pm, with Hanley earning his 32nd cap and McLean his 20th, with the midfielder involved in the build-up to an early opener from Aston Villa’s John McGinn. 

It was a straight forward evening for the Scots, easing to a 4-0 win over the Faroes with the City duo playing the full match. 

Scotland's Grant Hanley and Faroe Islands' Gunnar Vatnhamar (right) battle for the ball during the 2

Norwich City skipper Grant Hanley in aerial action during Scotland's World Cup qualification win over the Faroe Islands - Credit: PA

Pukki came on in the 77th minute as the Finns conceded a late goal to lose their friendly 3-2 in Switzerland but Placheta remained on the bench as Poland lost their qualifier 2-1 to England at Wembley. 

On-loan left-back Giannoulis played the full match as the Greeks were held to a frustrating 1-1 draw by Georgia, earning his 13th international cap in Salonika, the home city of his parent club PAOK. 

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