The six Brentford players away on international duty could all be in action today, and many of them are facing crucial qualification matches. Six players from the First Team and B Team are away with their nations. Andreas Bjelland is with Denmark while Kamohelo Mokotjo is part of the South African squad. Theo Archibald is part of the Scotland Under-21 group with Chris Mepham representing Wales at the same level. Further down the age ranges Mads Bech Sørensen is with Denmark Under-19 and Ellery Balcombe is representing England at the same level.
The biggest game facing a Brentford player today is probably in Dublin. Denmark face Republic of Ireland in a World Cup Qualification Play-Off Second Leg. The first tie ended 0-0 in Copenhagen on Saturday and the winner of this evening’s contest will go to the World Cup in Russia next summer. Andreas’ fellow Denmark internationals Lasse Vibe and Henrik Dalsgaard as well as Ireland pair John Egan and Alan Judge will also have a vested interest in the outcome.
Kamo and South Africa cannot make it to Russia. Defeat to Senegal on Friday night meant South Africa’s chances of qualification were ended. The result was particularly galling for South Africa as the match had be replayed after they had won 2-1 last November. The referee in that first contest received a ban and the game was replayed on Friday and Senegal won. The two teams meet again in Senegal this evening and South Africa will be looking for a win to ensure they do not finish bottom of their qualification group.
Chris and Theo are involved in qualification matches for the 2019 UEFA European Under-21 Championships. Chris and Wales face Romania at home and will be looking to bounce back from defeat to Bosnia and Herzegovina on Friday. Wales have won two and lost two so far in Qualification Group Eight. They are fourth in the standings but have a game in hand on Romania and Bosnia, the top two in the standings.
Theo is with the Scotland squad for a match at home to Ukraine. Scotland drew with Latvia on Friday in a Group Four contest and have seven points from their first four games. England lead the group with 13 points but Netherlands are only a point ahead of Scotland and have played a game more. The group winners qualify for the finals, which will be held in Italy, while the best four runners-up play-off for further spots.
Qualification is also underway for the 2018 UEFA European Under-19 Championships and Mads and Ellery are involved. Mads and Denmark face Croatia today in their final of three qualifiers in Group One. Denmark have won two out of two so far and have definitely qualified for the next stage, which will take place in March.
Ellery is with the England squad that have also won two out of two in Group Eight. They face group hosts Bulgaria today in a contest that will decide who wins the group. The top two in each group go through to the Elite Round of qualification. Seven groups of four will be drawn and the winner of each group will go to the finals in Finland in July.