Manchester City stars will not don the light blue colours this coming week as it is a chance to impress and cement their places ahead of the World Cup.
All Premier League fans, I for one, do not enjoy the international break, especially as it breaks the good run of form that has seen City remain unbeaten so far this season.
The emergence of the Nations League has seen some enticing fixtures in the past and this round is no different, especially as several City stars will be facing each other.
We could see good mates De Bruyne and Ake go head-to-head while the England stars will be hoping to improve their form and put Gundogan’s Germany to the sword.
What City players are in action over the September international break?
A total of 23 City stars have been picked to represent their respective nations in the European Nations League and international friendlies before the Premier League resumes next Saturday.
Kevin De Bruyne
Our Ginger King is the first name on the team sheet for Belgium as much as he is for us, so KDB is more than likely going to feature in both games. The Wales game is more winnable with this fixture the best opportunity to potential rest and Roberto Martinez looking at other options, probably Milan pair Alexis Saelemaekers or Charles De Ketelaere, ahead of Qatar.
Wales (H) | Thursday 22 September | Nations League | 19.45 (BST)
Netherlands (A) | Sunday 25 September | Nations League | 19.45 (BST)
A perfect opportunity for Ake to gain some fitness as he returns from a frustrating injury spell. Will come up against Robert Lewandowski and Kevin De Bruyne as he is likely to be deployed in the three-man defence system favoured by Louis Van Gaal.
Poland (A) | Thursday 22 September | Nationals League | 19.45 (BST)
Belgium (H) | Sunday 25 September | Nations League | 19.45 (BST)
John Stones, Kyle Walker, Phil Foden, Jack Grealish
These two fixtures have significance for England given that relegation is on the line and a harder route for Euro 2024 qualification. Stones, Foden and Grealish are all likely to feature, however, Walker’s injury may make him sit out given the abundance of options in the right-back department.
Italy (A) | Friday 23 September | Nations League | 19.45 (BST)
Germany (H) | Monday 26 September | Nations League | 19.45 (BST)
Germany’s position within the top tier of the Nations League is at threat also, so they will need Gundogan pulling the strings in midfield, along with Toni Kroos. That position could be confirmed before facing the City stars at Wembley.
Hungary (H) | Friday 23 September | Nations League | 19.45 (BST)
England (A) | Monday 26 September | Nations League | 19.45 (BST)
The two fixtures against African opponents will be played in France and saves the journey back to South America. Ederson is not number one for the country, so there is a likelihood he will only play one of these fixtures.
Ghana (H) | Friday 23 September | International friendly | 19.30 (BST)
Tunisia (H) | Tuesday 27 September | International friendly | 19.30 (BST)
This will be a chance for Algeria to test out some of their untried and tested given their failure to qualify for the World Cup. Despite this, Mahrez’s hero status in his home country will demand him to feature in both games against good African opponents.
Guinea (H) | Friday 23 September | International friendly | 20.00 (BST)
Nigeria (H) | Tuesday 27 September | International friendly | 20.00 (BST)
This is an appeal to Slovenia and Serbia, DO NOT HARM HIM. Haaland will be hoping to add to his impressive goal tally and will be vital for their promotion hopes to the League A format as they currently sit top and unbeaten.
Slovenia (A) | Saturday 24 September | Nations League | 17.00 (BST)
Serbia (H) | Tuesday 27 September | Nations League | 19.45 (BST)
Joao Cancelo, Ruben Dias, Bernardo Silva
All three are just as pivotal to their country as Cristiano Ronaldo and will likely feature in both games. Fernando Santos will be forming his favoured XI ahead of the World Cup where they stand a good chance to go all the way given the strength of Portuguese football.
Czech Republic (A) | Saturday September 24 | Nations League | 19.45 (BST)
Spain (H) | Tuesday September 27 | Nations League | 19.45 (BST)
City fans will be hoping Luis Enrique rests Rodrigo given he has featured in the majority of minutes for City. Now the seriousness of Kalvin Phillip’s injury has bee revealed, we have got our fingers crossed he does not come back on the treatment table.
Switzerland (H) | Saturday September 24 | Nations League | 19.45 (BST)
Portugal (A) | Tuesday September 27 | Nations League | 19.45 (BST)
Akanji looks composed in his City performances so far and Switzerland will require clean sheets as they need at least four points from their September fixtures to avoid relegation.
Spain (A) | Saturday September 24 | Nations League | 19.45 (BST)
Czech Republic (H) | Tuesday September 27 | 19.45 (BST)
Two games in the USA and Alvarez will be hoping to cement his place in the squad as the number nine ahead of the World Cup. Certainly has a good chance of doing that given the opposition.
Honduras (N) | Sunday 25 September | International friendly | 01.00 (BST)
Jamaica (N) | Sunday 28 September| International friendly | 01.00 (BST)
James Trafford, Cole Palmer, Taylor Harwood-Bellis, Luke Mbete, Tommy Doyle, James McAtee
It is great to see so many City players in the U-21 squad and given their chance against quality opponents.
Italy U21s (A) | Thursday 22 September | International friendly | 16.30 (BST)
Germany U21s (H) | Tuesday 27 September | International friendly | 19.45 (BST)
Fingers crossed for a clean bill of health on return to Manchester with the club kicking on in the Premier League and Champions League.