Declan Rice and Tomáš Souček called-up for UEFA Nations League openers
West Ham United’s Declan Rice and Tomáš Souček have been called up by England and Czech Republic for their respective 2020/21 UEFA Nations League fixtures.
The Nations League was introduced in 2018 as a means of giving all of UEFA's 55 member nations meaningful football to play in between major tournaments and qualifying competitions.
Rice and England reached the inaugural Nations League finals in 2019 after topping League A Group 4 ahead of Spain and Croatia. However, Gareth Southgate’s team was beaten by the Netherlands in the semi-finals before securing third place courtesy of a penalty shootout win over Switzerland.
Souček’s Czech Republic secured home and away wins over neighbours Slovakia in League B Group 1, but defeats in both meetings with Andriy Yarmolenko’s Ukraine saw them settle for second place.
This time around, England have been drawn in League A Group 2 alongside Belgium, Denmark and Iceland, while the Czechs are in League B Group 2 with Scotland, Israel and Slovakia.
Rice will hope to add to his seven caps when England kick-off their campaign against Iceland in Reykjavik on Saturday 5 September, before the Three Lions travel to Copenhagen to face the Danes three days later.
Czech Footballer of the Year Souček, who helped his country qualify for UEFA Euro 2021 alongside England and has 25 caps to his name, and his compatriots begin their challenge with a trip to Bratislava to face Slovakia on Friday 4 September, before returning home to host Scotland in Olomouc the following Monday.
Darren Randolph was included in Republic of Ireland’s 23-man squad for their Nations League League B Group 4 double-header with Bulgaria and Finland on Monday.