Five key fixtures to watch during the international break


This week sees the return of international football, with qualifying matches for the 2022 World Cup notably getting under way.

Those fixtures also mark an opportunity for teams to build momentum ahead of this summer’s rescheduled Euros.

Here, we take a look at some of the key games to watch during the international break.

24 March, 7.45pm GMT kick-off – Sky Sports Main Event

With Ryan Giggs still absent, Rob Page will take charge of Wales as they face a stern test in their first qualifier. Cymru take on the world’s top-ranked side, Belgium, who are beginning what may well be their ‘golden generation’s final push towards a major trophy.

Since a 3-0 loss to England last autumn, Wales are unbeaten in five fixtures, having won three and drawn two. Belgium, meanwhile, also lost to the Three Lions in October but have won all four games they’ve played since then – avenging the defeat by Gareth Southgate’s men along the way.

The last time Wales and Belgium went head-to-head was at Euro 2016, with the Welsh achieving an upset victory in the quarter-finals.

24 March, 7.45pm GMT kick-off – Sky Sports Premier League

Only two nations have ever retained the World Cup trophy – Italy, who were champions in 1934 and ‘38, and Brazil, who won the tournament in ‘58 and ‘62. France will look to add themselves to that list next year following their triumph in Russia in 2018, but first they must navigate the qualifiers, beginning with a match against Ukraine this week.

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