Manchester United international preview

Clive Mason

14 Reds have been called into international duty.

The last international break of Manchester United's 2012/13 season is here and it's an important one for countless national teams around the world. 14 Reds have been called into duty and they'll be spread across three continents for World Cup qualifiers and friendlies. Here's a preview of their involvement:

* Antonio Valencia (Ecuador): The United right-winger, who currently has 58 caps, could be involved in two fixtures, both in his native Ecuador: a friendly against El Salvador on Thursday (March 21 -- 9:30pm GMT | 5:30pm EST) and a World Cup qualifier next Tuesday (March 26 -- 9:00pm GMT | 5:00pm EST) against Paraguay. Quito, Ecuador -- with an elevation nearing 10,000 feet -- is one of the great home-field advantages in world football.

* Wayne Rooney (England): Rooney, sitting on 79 caps, will join England for World Cup qualifiers away to San Marino on Friday (March 22 -- 8:00pm GMT | 4:00 EST) and away to Montenegro next Tuesday (March 21 -- 8:00pm GMT | 4:00pm EST). The 27-year-old is likely deployed as a striker in both matches.

* Danny Welbeck (England): The 22-year-old has already earned 15 caps for England and he's become an important player for Roy Hodgson. He'll be in contention to be Rooney's strike partner or for a role out wide in attack.

* Rio Ferdinand (England)

* Ashley Young (England): The 27-year-old winger, who is sitting on 27 caps, is another player that Hodgson seems to appreciate. He'll likely be in contention for a left-winger role but he could also be considered for the 'in the hole' role in support of Rooney if England uses a 4-2-3-1 system at any point.

* Tom Cleverley (England): The 23-year-old made his England debut this past August and he's been involved in every fixture since. He currently has 7 caps. He's in contention to be first-choice in central-midfield alongside captain Steven Gerrard.

* Michael Carrick (England): Incredibly, the 31-year-old midfield maestro only has 26 appearances for England. With Jack Wilshere injured though, he might be considered first-choice for these round of qualifiers if Hodgson persists with a three-man midfield. Currently, there isn't a midfielder in the Premier League in better form than Carrick.

* Chris Smalling (England): The 23-year-old may be the fourth-choice central-defender at United right now, but for these rounds of qualifiers, he may be first-choice for England due to dire situation at the position. The other central-defenders called into the squad include Joleon Lescott, Steven Caulker, and Steven Taylor. Carrick, though, may be a possibility in central-defense -- perhaps only for San Marino. Smalling currently has 4 caps.

* Robin van Persie (Holland): The 29-year-old striker -- who has 31 goals in 72 appearances for his country -- is the first-choice Dutch striker for manager Louis van Gaal. He could be heavily used as both of Holland's fixtures during the international break are World Cup qualifiers: on Friday (March 22 -- 7:30pm GMT | 3:30pm EST), the Oranje host Estonia and next Tuesday, they host Romania (March 26 -- 7:30pm GMT | 3:30pm EST).

* Jonny Evans (Northern Ireland): The 25-year-old defender, who has 31 caps, could be involved in two World Cup qualifiers: Northern Ireland host Russia on Friday (March 22 -- 7:45pm GMT | 3:45pm EST) and they also host Israel next Tuesday (March 22 | 7:45pm GMT | 3:45pm EST).

* Patrice Evra (France): The 31-year-old left-back, who has 48 caps, is still first-choice for France. The United vice-captain could be involved in two World Cup qualifiers: on Friday (March 22 -- 8:00pm GMT | 4:00pm EST) they host Georgia and on next Tuesday, they host Spain (March 26 -- 8:00pm GMT | 4:00pm EST) for a massive tie.

* David de Gea (Spain): The 22-year-old goalkeeper has been called into Spain's senior side for the first time because of Iker Casillas' injury. He'll be third-choice behind Pepe Reina and Victor Valdes but an easy argument could be made that the United goalkeeper is better than Casillas' two current deputies. Besides the just mentioned tie against France, the defending European and World champions will host Finland on Friday (March 22 -- 7:45pm GMT | 3:45pm EST) for a World Cup qualifier.

* Shinji Kagawa (Japan): The 24-year-old versatile attacker, who is sitting on 38 caps, has joined Japan for two fixtures in the Middle East. The first is a friendly in Qatar against Canada on Friday (March 22 -- 4:00pm GMT | 12:00pm EST) and the second is a World Cup qualifier next Tuesday (March 26 -- 2:00pm GMT | 10:00am EST) in Jordan. Kagawa is expected to be flown back to England after these ties on a private jet provided by MUFC.

* Javier Hernandez (Mexico): The 24-year-old striker -- who has the impressive goalscoring rate of 28 in 44 matches for El Tri -- will be involved in two World Cup qualifiers: the first one is when Mexico travel to Honduras on Friday (March 22 -- 9:00pm GMT | 5:00pm EST) and the second is when they host the United States next Tuesday (March 26 -- [March 27 2:30am GMT] | 10:30pm EST). Chicharito is also expected to be flown back to England on a private jet.

* Angelo Henriquez (Chile): The 18-year-old striker -- who is currently on loan to Wigan Athletic -- has been called into the Chilean national team for two World Cup qualifiers: the first is when they travel to Peru on Friday (March 26 -- [March 27 2:10am GMT] | 10:10pm EST) and the second is when they host Uruguay next Tuesday (March 26 -- 11:30pm GMT | 7:30pm EST). Henriquez currently has 1 cap and 1 goal scored for his country.


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