We may not yet be ‘International Rescue’ but Leicester City can currently boast a full team of senior internationals, without including the likes of Liam Moore, who has appeared for the Three Lions’ U-21s, and Simonas Stankevicius, who is included once again in the Lithuania Under-21s.
Foxes Captain Wes Morgan may not be in action this weekend but he was an integral part of the Jamaican Reggae Boyz squad that got to the final of the 2015 Gold Cup, before losing 3-1 to Mexico to come a creditable second.
But let’s look forward to this weekend’s final Euro 2016 qualifiers and the Foxes players involved.
Leicester currently boast the Premier League’s top scorer in Jamie Vardy, who has once again been chosen by Roy Hodgson to be in the England squad for the matches against Estonia & Lithuania. Although going for a 100% qualification, injuries may force Hodgson to give Vardy two starts. If played in the correct position and formation who would bet against him opening his England scoring chart against what is, to be honest, weaker teams in our qualification group?
Summer signing Gokhan Inler featured for Switzerland in their recent group game vs England with some saying he has yet to produce his international form for Leicester. Playing against San Marino and Estonia; a win and a draw would see Inler’s Swiss join Vardy’s England in the finals.
Andy King, who has played well for The Foxes when called upon this season, along with Tom Lawrence, who is out on loan at Blackburn, could help Wales get the one point they need to make their first finals since the 1958 World Cup. With their games being against Bosnia and Herzegovina and lowly Andorra – we could potentially see up to four Leicester players at the 2016 finals.
Andrej Kramaric has failed to hold down a place in Leicester’s first-team since his record breaking move in January 2016, a fact, that he has stated in the press recently, baffles him having turned down Chelsea to join Leicester. But with a play-off place all but confirmed he could send a strong message out to manager Claudio Ranieri with a couple of good performances and goals against Bulgaria & Malta.
Stopper Kasper Schmeichel could follow in his dad’s footsteps and appear at an international final but it could prove a tough test for his Denmark side. Sitting in second, they are six points off leaders Portugal, who they lost 1-0 to on Thursday, meaning if Albania beat Armenia they will have to get to France via the play offs.
Starting his first league game for City last Saturday against Norwich City was Austrian Captain Christian Fuchs. He did himself no harm with a good performance following an equally impressive display in the capital One Cup against West Ham. Having won seven and drawn one, Austria have already qualified for next summer’s finals, but they will want to do so without losing a game with matches against Montenegro and Liechtenstein coming up.
Looking further afield to the Far East and Jamie Vardy’s Leicester strike partner Shinji Okazaki. With one goal and a string of creditable performances in the Premier League to his name, Okazki is actually in World Cup 2018 qualifying action for his native Japan, where he scored in the 3-0 win over Syria to take his side top of their group.
Leicester’s star player so far this season, Riyad Mahrez, is likely to turn out for Algeria in friendlies against Guinea and Senegal, while fellow winger Jeff Schlupp visits USA, where Ghana take on Canada in another international friendly.
There may be a few soccer widows this weekend as we Leicester fans channel hop trying to follow the fortunes of our international stars. We wish them all well and I am sure every Foxes fan has their fingers crossed that they all return to the King Power uninjured.