Manchester United players are focused on big Euro 2021 play-off finals tonight, with a prize in next summer’s finals at stake.
Scott McTominay is a key figure for Scotland who on their travels to Serbia will be hoping to qualify for a first major finals since the 1998 World Cup.
Meanwhile, United youth player Ethan Galbraith has been called up to Northern Ireland’s senior squad as they host Slovakia.
It would be a magnificent achievement for McTominay to make a nation proud if Scotland win tonight. He’s played well this season and it could give him a boost after what has been a difficult season to date at club level.
“It’s a big chance to everybody involved, a massive chance,” McTominay told Manchester United’s official website. “I feel like you can be having to overthink how big a match it is, though, and we should act like it’s a normal match — just with a little more riding on it. We’ll keep focused and try to do something special for the whole of Scotland.
“For us, to have the Euros at the end of the season would be amazing.”
Like he at United, McTominay is one of the squad members the manager call upon with a great degree of trust. The midfielder plays in a back three for Scotland.
“Before, whenever the manager of Scotland asked me if it was a role I was comfortable with, I was like: ‘Of course’. Whatever the manager asks you to do, you do,” he said. “But I could not remember the last time I played there, which I said to him, but it’s a different role I’m enjoying.
“We have a big game coming up and it is important for us to get a big win there as we’ll be off to be Euros.”
It would be great to see Galbraith make his international debut tonight but it’s a huge match for Northern Ireland, and I wouldn’t expect too many debuts during the play-off finals.
“Ian gave me a ring and I thought it was a normal call to check up on me,” the 19-year-old told the Belfast Telegraph. “But he told me I was in the squad and it’s unbelievable. It’s my first time to be fully in with the senior squad and to get a taste of it this week is class.
“I went to the Euros [in 2016] and enjoyed it. I also went to the fan zones to see the team fo what they did in France, so to be involved in this game is massive for me.”
Euro play-offs aside, there are also international friendlies involving United players later today.
Daniel James and Dylan Levitt are in the Wales squad for their friendly against USA.
And England take on Republic of Ireland at Wembley — with Dean Henderson, Harry Maguire and Marcus Rashford in Gareth Southgate’s group.
I highly doubt Eric Bailly will play in Ivory Coast’s clash against Madagascar due to the defender being out injured for a sustained period, but you never know…
International game watch — Manchester United player watch
France 0-2 Finland: Paul Pogba started for France while Anthony Martial was on the bench.
Netherlands 1-1 Spain: Donny van de Beek started and scored Netherlands’ only goal. David de Gea watch benched.
Portugal 4-0 Andorra: Bruno Fernandes was on the bench for Portugal.