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UEFA Nations League Round 4

The Blues Return from Their International Duties in October

UEFA Nations League Draw Photo by Robert Hradil/Getty Images

The Blues concluded their international duties for the month of October, and for the most part, they fared well with their national teams.

On the European continent, the majority of City’s players competed in the UEFA Nations League. Kyle Walker, John Stones and Raheem Sterling fought for a well-earned 0-0 draw against Croatia on League A – Group 1 Matchday 2. Whilst Stones fouled out and could not compete on Matchday 3, Walker and Sterling led England to a memorable 3-2 victory over Spain. Sterling scored a brace, thus putting his international demons to rest, and regained his confidence in front of goal.

In other news, Oleksandr Zinchenko’s Ukraine became the first country in the competition’s history to gain promotion after defeating the Czech Republic 1-0. Ukraine won their group in League B and will now compete in League A during the 2020/2021 season.

Bernardo Silva’s Portugal defeated Poland in League A – Group 3 and will face Italy on Matchday 4 in November. A victory would see them make the League A semi-finals, and the Portuguese could be on course for their second European title in two years. Vincent Kompany’s Belgium overcame Switzerland to top League A – Group 2 and they could also make the competition’s finals.

Leroy Sané’s Germany underperformed, however, and look likely to be dumped into League B. Following their abysmal performance at the 2018 FIFA World Cup, relegation into a lower division would surely see a rotation in the German squad for the upcoming Euro Cup 2020 qualification cycle.

Outside of Europe, the Latin American contingency performed well. Ederson, Danilo and Gabriel Jesus saw their Brazilian side overcome Saudi Arabia before defeating fellow Blue Nicolás Otamendi and Argentina. There will be some concerns, however, as Danilo sustained an ankle injury during the match against Argentina. The Brazilian was carted off of the field and the extent of the injury is unknown.

Finally, Riyad Mahrez’s Algeria split their two-legged affair with Benin, having won the first match 2-0 and then losing 1-0 in the return leg. Nonetheless, Algeria are first in the 2019 African Cup of Nations Qualification Group D, and they seem to be on course to qualify for the tournament.

As for the other City stars, they are either still sidelined through injury or were not recalled to their squad. The international break has concluded, and City will begin their preparations for the upcoming 2018/19 English Premier League match this weekend.

Manchester City will host Burnley, and former City star Joe Hart, on Saturday, October 20.