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Stars Prepare For Final Auditions

Jack Butland

A NUMBER of Stoke City stars are due to be in action for their respective nations over the next few days as they continue preparations for the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

Goalkeeper Jack Butland is one of three shot-stoppers who have been called up to the England squad for the tournament and will have his eyes firmly fixed on a starting birth for the Three Lions’ friendly with Nigeria on Saturday.

Gareth Southgate’s Three Lions play host to Nigeria at Wembley Stadium at tea-time tomorrow and the England boss will choose from Butland, Jordan Pickford and Nick Pope to start in between the sticks against the Super Eagles.

Following the game at home to the African nation, England will face Costa Rica at Leeds United’s Elland Road stadium on Thursday evening before heading out to Russia.

Swiss superstar Xherdan Shaqiri is almost certain to feature for his country when they take on former World Cup and European Championship winners Spain this weekend.

Switzerland face Sergio Ramos and Co in Villarreal on Sunday evening before playing host to Japan the following Friday night.

Senegalese duo Mame Diouf and Badou Ndiaye are part of the Lions of Teranga squad which will play Croatia next Friday.

As well as taking on the Central European nations, Senegal will face South Korea three days later before flying to Russia. 

Ramadan meanwhile is expected to feature for Egypt when the Pharaohs take on Columbia this evening and then Belgium on Wednesday night.

Although not involved in this summer’s tournament, Moritz Bauer and his Austrian teammates will be helping Germany and Brazil in their preparations by hosting both nations in friendlies over the coming days. 

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