Antonio called up by England



West Ham United’s large band of international players will be in action for their respective nations during the October break.

FIFA 2018 qualifiers will take place across the globe, with as many of 13 Hammers potentially involved in Europa, Africa and South America.

Michail Antonio's fine form for the Hammers has been rewarded with another call-up to the England squad for their qualifiers against Malta at Wembley Stadium on Saturday 8 October and Slovenia in Ljubljana the following Tuesday.

Antonio, who has scored five goals in the first seven Premier League games of the season, is in Three Lions interim boss Gareth Southgate's first selection and will hope to win his first international cap.

The second round of European qualifiers will kick-off on Thursday 6 October, with Darren Randolph, James Collins, Angelo Ogbonna and Gokhan Tore also set for duty.

Randolph’s Republic of Ireland will try to build on their opening 2-2 draw in Serbia when they host Georgia in Dublin in Group D, before heading for their third qualifier in Moldova on Sunday 9 October.

In the same group, Collins earned his 50th cap in the opening 4-0 win over Moldova in Cardiff and will hope to add to his tally when Chris Coleman’s side travel to Austria on Thursday before hosting Georgia on 9 October.

Ogbonna could be involved as Italy host Spain in a mouth-watering Group G clash in his old home, Juventus Stadium in Turin, on Thursday.  Following that, the Azzurri head for FYR Macedonia on 9 October.

In Group I, Tore’s Turkey drew 1-1 in Croatia in their opening tie, and will next host Ukraine in Konya on 6 October before traveling to Reykjavik to tackle Euro 2016 stars Iceland on 9 October.

Dimitri Payet’s France continue their Group A challenge on Thursday 7 October, when they welcome Bulgaria the Stade de France in Paris. Les Bleus, who drew 0-0 in Belarus in September, then travel to Amsterdam to tackle the Netherlands on Monday 10 October.

Havard Nordtveit will miss Norway’s Group C fixtures in Azerbaijan on Friday 8 October and home to San Marino on Tuesday 11 October, but Martin Samuelsen, on loan at Blackburn Rovers, could be involved. Norway opened with a 3-0 home defeat by Germany in Oslo.


In Africa, Cheikhou Kouyate’s Senegal kick-off their Round 1 Group D campaign by welcoming Cape Verde Islands to Dakar on 8 October. The group is completed by Burkina Faso and South Africa.

Sofiane Feghouli’s Algeria also begin their challenge in a fearsome-looking Group B when they host Cameroon in Bilda on 9 October. The group also includes Nigeria and Zambia.

In South America, Enner Valencia, who is on loan at Everton, and Ecuador host Chile in Quito on 6 October before travelling to Bolivia on 11 October.

Away from World Cup qualifiers, Winston Reid’s New Zealand have two eye-catching friendly matches to play in Nashville, Tennessee. The first is against Mexico on 8 October, followed by a meeting with the United States on 11 October.

Finally, at senior level, Doneil Henry, on loan at Danish club AC Horsens, travel to Mauritania and Morroco for friendly internationals on 7 and 11 October respectively.

At age-group level, Edimilson Fernandes (Switzerland U21), on-loan Bradford City midfielder Josh Cullen (Republic of Ireland U21), Reece Oxford (England U20), Nathan Trott (England U19), Declan Rice (Republic of Ireland U19), Domingos Quina (Portugal U19), Conor Coventry (Republic of Ireland U17), Rihard Matrevics (Latvia U19) and Malyk Hamilton (Canada U18) have also received call-ups for a selection of qualifiers, international tournaments and friendly internationals.