The international break is usually either one of two things for Spurs fans, a much-needed break from the pain and frustration at their club over the past few months, or it can be a dull drag of a few weeks where fans of Tottenham patiently await the return of their club side.
It’s fair to say the latter is the case for this international break, especially as Conte’s team have just broken their painful habit of winning then losing.
However, this article should offer Spurs fans opportunities to watch players from their club in action, despite the lack of action at Hotspur Way, and there is certain to be plenty of drama with crucial international play-off matches to play and places at World tournaments at stake.
Thursday is the first round of crucial qualifiers for various spurs players. The UEFA, CONMEBOL and AFC qualifying rounds for the world cup kick-off.
The UEFA method of qualifying certainly sets itself up for the most drama with there being four rounds of semi-finals, with the winners of each one being put into a final play-off where the winner takes a spot in the 2022 Qatar World Cup.
CONMEBOL and AFC’s qualifiers are more basic with CONMEBOL consisting of one group of 10 international teams where four teams automatically qualify for the World Cup, with the fifth-placed team going through to the next stage of Qualifying.
AFC’s (Asian Footballing teams) qualifying consists of various groups of six teams where the top two will go straight through to the World Cup draw, with the third-placed team entering the next stage of qualification.
With the qualification methods explained it leaves me to rank the top five international teams that you should be tuning into as they battle in their international friendlies or for a place in the world’s biggest competition of football.
The Wales team start their World Cup bid on Thursday the 24th of March as they face Austria at the Cardiff City Stadium for a 19:45 pm kick-off. But why should you be watching the Dragons?
Well, two-time former Spur and club legend Gareth Bale will be trying to captain his national side to their first world cup since 1958; Bale has admitted that this is likely to be his last shot at his dream of having his country in a World Cup with the winger now at the age of 32.
There is obviously also current Spurs players Joe Rodon and Ben Davies who will also be playing as their team fight for World Cup qualification, with three Tottenham linked players highly likely to start this is the ultimate international game to watch for Tottenham fans to watch.
If Wales defeat Austria on Thursday they will face the winner of Scotland / Ukraine on the 29th of March, however that game is plunged in doubt due to the obviously devastating events happening in Ukraine delaying their game against Scotland.
Dejan Kulusevski is another Spurs player taking part in the UEFA World Cup Qualifiers as him and Sweden try to get past the Czech Republic and earn themselves a place in the final qualifier against Poland.
Sweden will also kick off at 19:45 pm and will be playing at home against the Czech Republic, making it twice in the space of a few days that Kulusevski will play against West Ham player Tomas Soucek as the Blagult try to earn a spot for the tournament in Qatar.
Davinson Sanchez will be looking to get some minutes under his belt with his national team side Colombia after slowly falling out of favour with manager Antonio Conte, resorting to being a late substitution most games and starting very sporadically.
Sanchez however will be starting for Colombia as they try to make up ground between them and the qualification spots as they currently sit 7th and four points away from any type of qualification. Colombia are in need of a win to have any sort of chance of getting to those qualification spots as they face Bolivia, who sit in 8th, on Thursday at an 11:30 pm kick-off.
It could all come down to their final game against Venezuela on the 30th of March should results go their way, it could all come down to an intriguing finish amongst the South American teams in their battle for qualification.
Rodrigo Bentancur has been extremely impressive at Tottenham since his late January transfer, as he adds composure and creativity into Tottenham’s midfield; his absence highlighted his impact on Tottenham as Spurs struggled in midfield when Winks took his space due to the Uruguayan’s short injury.
Therefore, many Spurs fans will take any excuse to watch the 24-year-old in action, and that’s why Uruguay can be a great team to watch for Spurs fans.
The South American team are currently taking up the last space in the top four of the COMNEBOL table and therefore the last space of automatic qualification as they head into the final two games.
Bentancur will be looking to create a bit more of the magic he made against Venezuela as he hit a sweet strike from far out in the opening minutes.
The gap between Uruguay and fifth-placed Peru is only one point meaning it’s all to play for and Bentancur will have to be on the top of his game against Peru on Thursday as well as against Chile on Wednesday the 30th of March.
Argentina is a nation that Tottenham seem to have a love-hate relationship with as they seem to churn out Spurs players such as Lamela, Lo Celso, Ossie Ardiles, Ricky Villa and most recently Cristian Romero; added to that list is of course former Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino.
However, there is always a sense of dread when a Spurs player is now named amongst the Argentina squad with Lo Celso often becoming injured on international duty with the side, and now also Cristian Romero.
Romero has been called to international duty with Argentina despite his current two-match international ban for bizarrely entering a country for match against Brazil despite not following the COVID-19 protocols in place (Daily Mail).
Obviously, technically, current Spurs player Giovanni Lo Celso is playing for Argentina, and it will be worth observing how Romero’s situation unfolds and crossing every body part in hope that the defender, who is so vital to Tottenham’s top-four charge, stays injury-free and prepared for the rest of the season.
Argentina sit four points behind CONMEBOL table leaders Brazil and have two games left to play: Venezuela on Thursday at 11:30 pm and Ecuador on Wednesday at 00:30 am.
Harry Kane is in top form once again for Tottenham; scoring, assisting and being a focal point in Spurs’ side over the past weeks meaning that it would be a joy to watch the England captain in action against Switzerland on Saturday at 17:30 pm and Ivory Coast on the 29th of March at 19:45 pm at Wembley.
It should also be a good moment for former Tottenham full-back Kyle Walker-Peters who was recently called up to the squad due to withdrawals.
It’s also always good to check in on Kane to make sure he is staying fit and healthy for Spurs’ closing stages of the season.
At the time of writing Tottenham winger Heung Min Son has just scored a long-range strike for his national side, South Korea, in a 2-0 win that helped them leapfrog their opponents, Iran, in the table; putting Son’s team up to the top of the AFC World Cup qualifying group.
South Korea and Son close off their qualifying campaign against the UAE on Tuesday the 29th of March against UAE.
Have something to tell us about this article?