We’re already at the first international break of the season, with 14 United players in action over the next week. The big news — or perhaps ‘big’ news — is that this break marks the start of the inaugural UEFA Nations League, which is designed to replace friendly matches with slightly-less-friendly matches between similarly-ranked sides, culminating in a finals tournament next June. It also has some small ramifications on European Championships qualifying, which you can read about over here.
David de Gea (Spain); Victor Lindelöf (Sweden); Luke Shaw, Jesse Lingard and Marcus Rashford (England); Paul Pogba (France); Marouane Fellaini and Romelu Lukaku (Belgium); Nemanja Matić (Serbia); and Scott McTominay (Scotland) will all play at least one Nations League match over the next week, with some of them playing two. A full list of fixtures can be found below.
Outside of Europe, there isn’t a great deal going on. The only other competitive fixture — perhaps the only proper competitive fixture in the entire break — sees Eric Bailly’s Ivory Coast going up against Rwanda in a qualifying game for the Africa Cup of Nations. Brazil (Fred, Andreas Pereira) and Argentina (Sergio Romero) both have friendly matches, with the Belgian-born Pereira still awaiting his full international debut for the Seleçao.
Full fixtures (times BST)
Thursday 6 September
Friday 7 September
Lithuania vs. Serbia 19:45 (Nations League)
Scotland vs. Belgium 19:45 (friendly)
Saturday 8 September
USA vs. Brazil 00:30 (friendly)
Argentina vs. Guatemala 04:00 (friendly)
England vs. Spain 19:45 (Nations League)
Sunday 9 September
Rwanda vs. Ivory Coast 14:30 (Africa Cup of Nations qualifier)
France vs. Netherlands 19:45 (Nations League)
Monday 10 September
Tuesday 11 September
Wednesday 12 September
Colombia vs. Argentina 01:00 (friendly)
Brazil vs. El Salvador 01:30 (friendly