REPUBLIC OF IRELAND boss Martin O’Neil could hand Potters star Marc Wilson his first taste of international action in central defence against Serbia this evening.
The former Sunderland and Aston Villa manager is rumoured to be contemplating trying out a new defensive partnership with Wilson expected to line up alongside former Stoke youngster Richard Keogh, who is currently at Derby County.
With Richard Dunne’s playing career drawing towards its climax, O’Neill is looking for a new partnership to be forged ahead of their European Championship qualifying campaign which kicks off later this year.
Wilson’s fellow City teammates Glenn Whelan and Jonathan Walters are also both expected to start for the Emerald Isle in the international friendly that takes place at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin on Wednesday evening.
Meanwhile, the Club’s trio of American players, Geoff Cameron, Juan Agudelo and Brek Shea, will all be hoping to press claims for a spot in Jurgen Klinsmann’s World Cup squad in their warm up game against Cyprus.
Cameron is almost certain to be on the plane to Brazil this summer having impressed at both domestic and international level over the past twelve months, but Agudelo and Shea’s hopes of joining him rest on their performances over the remainder of the season.
Agudelo, who is hoping to secure a work permit in order to link up with Mark Hughes and his squad next season, is currently enjoying a successful loan spell with FC Utrecht in the Dutch Eredivisie.
The former New England Revolution ace, has featured prominently for Utrecht since his arrival in January, and will be hoping to showcase his talents on the international stage after earning himself a deserved recall.
Shea, who is currently out on loan with Barnsley in the Championship, hasn’t featured for the United States since netting the winning goal in the CONCACAF Gold Cup Final against Panama last July.
Elsewhere, Marko Arnautovic should start for Austria in their fixture against England’s World Cup group opponents Uruguay in Klagenfurt this evening, whilst Asmir Begovic is also in Austria with his Bosnian teammates as they prepare for their maiden World Cup showing with a clash against Egypt in Insbruck.
Charlie Adam is a likely starter for Scotland following his impressive domestic performances, as the Tartan Army travel to Poland.
At Under 21 level, both Jack Butland (England) and on loan Manchester City forward John Guidetti (Sweden) are expected to add further caps to their tallies, as their countries take on Wales and Malta respectively in European Championship Qualifiers.