The first international break of the 2023-24 season has arrived, temporarily halting domestic leagues across Europe. National teams will contest vital Euro 2024 qualifying matches between September 7-12.
This break offers Premier League clubs a chance to regroup after the season’s frantic start. Teams like Newcastle, Everton, and Burnley will aim to reset after difficult openings. Front-runners, including Manchester City, Tottenham, Liverpool and Arsenal, hope to avoid injuries before the league’s return.
Meanwhile, international squads seek to solidify their paths to Euro 2024 during this pivotal window. England, Scotland, and other contenders need positive results to stay on track for next summer’s tournament in Germany.
England Tough Test
Gareth Southgate’s England squad faces a tough away match against Ukraine on Saturday, September 9. England has a perfect four wins from four to begin qualifying, scoring 15 goals and conceding just once.
But Ukraine promises to be their toughest test yet. Due to the ongoing war in Ukraine, the fixture will occur at Stadion Miejski in Poland. England must maintain its strong form on the road to cementing status among the Euro favorites.
Fellow British squad Scotland also holds a perfect qualifying record after three matches. Scotland takes on Cyprus in Larnaca on Friday, September 8, to preserve their momentum. Cyprus has lost all three qualifiers thus far, so Scotland will expect to grab three more points.
Wales has struggled in comparison, recording just one victory over four Euro qualifying matches. Rob Page’s team faces a must-win game away to Latvia on Monday, September 11. Latvia is also winless in qualifying, allowing Wales to renew its campaign.
Northern Ireland sits on one win from three qualifiers entering this first international break. Upcoming road matches versus Slovakia and Kazakhstan are now critical for their hopes. Failure to earn results this week could derail Northern Ireland’s qualification dreams.
Across Europe, international powers like France, Germany, Spain, and the Netherlands also have important qualifiers. Meanwhile, smaller nations seek to produce upsets and stay in contention for Euro 2024.