Saturday, 26 May 2012

International Lilywhite Round-up

With the domestic season over, all eyes now turn to the European Championships. However before the action in Poland and Ukraine gets underway there are still many friendlies to be played. Spurs players were involved in yesterday's matches and are set to represent again today.

Last night Croatia, playing at home, produced an effective performance to comfortably beat Estonia 3-1. Vedran Corluka, made captain for the night, scored the opening goal before being replaced with ten minutes to go, with the score at 3-0. If he can replicate this solid, assured display in the European Championships, we can certainly expect to see his value rocket. Niko Kranjcar made a second half appearance but did not have a huge effect on the game whilst Luka Modric was rested.

Spurs target Jan Vertonghen was also in action for Belgium as they battled out a 2-2 draw against Montenegro. The Ajax captain played out the full 90 minutes looking fairly comfortable with no liability for either goal.

Tonight we have five players in international squads that may get the chance to pick up international caps. Sandro is expected to start for Brazil having played 2 of the last 3 internationals and impressing current boss, Mano Menezes. Having picked a young squad in preparation for the Olympics, on-loan youngster Bruno Uvini has also been called up to the squad but almost certainly won't start.

Rafael Van Der Vaart was named in the Dutch squad for tonight's friendly against Turkey also. Much rides on tonight's game for Rafael, with Dutch manager Bert Van Marjwik, still yet to cut down his provisional squad from his original 27 to the required 23. For this reason Van Marwijk will most likely play the players he is still not certain of for his squad, which may mean a starting berth awaits.

And finally of course England play Norway later on today with Scott Parker set to start alongside captain Steven Gerrard in the centre. A guaranteed starter under Capello and briefly Pearce, the appointment of Hodgson has left Parker's England future uncertain so he'll need to put in a good display to cement his place in the side. Jermain Defoe will also be available to Hodgson, but is likely to be on bench.

I'm sure I speak for all Tottenham fans when I wish the Spurs lads good luck ahead of tonight's games.

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