Even though we all hate international breaks, this past was really interesting, to be fair. And since this was the final round of the World Cup Qualifiers, wasn’t it supposed to be? From Bale’s Wales and Sanchez’s Chile falling short to Messi’s Argentina on the brink of failure as well, this break had it all.
Here are the major Talking Points from the International Break from Manchester United’s perspective-
Fellaini Injury Means Bad News
Marouane Fellaini, who has been a revelation for Manchester United this season, was brought off after just 29 minutes against Bosnia and Herzegovina with a knee injury. And the Belgium FA confirmed after the game that the Belgian will remain on the side-lines for at least 2 weeks, meaning that he’ll miss the trip to Liverpool on Saturday. With Paul Pogba already out long term, this’ll be a blow to Mourinho’s side, who will miss the in-form midfielder, who’s already equalled his season best record, at United, of 4 goals in all competitions. His absence means Herrera and maybe even Carrick could be called upon for the crunch game. Here’s hoping United won’t need Lord Fellaini to play the game with crutches!
Another World Cup with Messi!
Lionel Messi and Sergio Romero’s Argentina qualified for Russia 2018 with an emphatic 3-1 victory over Antonio Valencia’s Ecuador, courtesy of a hat-trick by Messi. The game was a must-win for Sampaoli’s side, and it could’ve been ‘messi’ had they failed to win here! After all, he wouldn’t let Ronaldo become the G.O.A.T so easily by not featuring in the World Cup, right?
Dutch Sent Home Packing
This was the latest news of the Dutch team’s fall from grace in football. The runners up of the 2010 World Cup didn’t qualify for the Euro 2016 and now, in just eight years after that final in South Africa, won’t be at a World Cup as well. Despite featuring many well-known players like Robben, Van Persie, Depay, Sneijder, Blind, Strootman, etc. In the qualifying rounds, they couldn’t manage to qualify for Russia 2018. Each team has its ups and lows, but this is the worst position they could’ve imagined themselves in. But the good news is that if they couldn’t be any worse, the only way they can now go is upward, right?
Another side featuring a Red Devil was Henrikh Mkhitaryan, whose Armenia finished second from bottom after an awful qualifying campaign.
Lukaku and De Gea ready for Liverpool clash
Mourinho would be extremely thankful to Spain’s boss Vicente del Bosque for resting De Gea ahead of the Liverpool game, and he’ll have another reason to be satisfied as Romelu Lukaku, who missed the first qualifier with an injury, shrugged off his injury concerns and even scored a goal as he returned from injury and played for about half an hour. He’s back and now will be raring to go up against Jurgen Klopp’s men this Saturday.
England and Serbia go through, But Italy, Sweden Ivory Coast still Unsure
Rashford, Lingard and Smalling’s England and Matic’s Serbia qualified for the World Cup, while Darmian’s Italy, who finished second in the group, and Lindelof’s Sweden, will be waiting on the draw for the World Cup Play-offs to be held in November. And Bailly’s Ivory Coast’s qualification hopes also depend on their final qualifying game against Morocco on November 11.
Teams Qualified for the 2018 World Cup:
• Costa Rica
• Saudi Arabia
• South Korea