The first international break of the year will have several exciting matches to witness.
The time has come for club football to take a backseat and international games to take center stage. With the onset of the international break in March, one will see several national teams feature in various competitions.
From the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers, international friendlies to UEFA Euro U21 Championships, there is a lot of action to look forward to. Below is a list of fixtures that one should keep an eye on amongst a whole host of games.
Here are the top 10 games to witness during the international break in March 2021, in chronological order:
10. Japan Vs Korea Republic – 25 March 2021
Japan and Korea Republic will clash in a hotly-anticipated friendly on 25 March. The match will be played at Japan’s Nissan Stadium in Yokohama.
The friendly is expected to be witnessed by a restricted crowd of only 5000, keeping in line with the limited capacity for sporting events. Several top Asian players like Takumi Minamino, Maya Yoshida, Son Heung-min and more are expected to feature.
9. England U21 Vs Switzerland U21 – 25 March 2021
UEFA Euro U21 Championships will kickoff from Wednesday onward. The tournament will feature some of Europe’s best young talents and stars of the next generation. One of the initial key fixtures will involve England U21 and Switzerland U21 in Group D.
Eyes will be on youngsters like Callum Hudson-Odoi, Ryan Sessegnon from England and Jordan Lotomba from Switzerland amongst others.
8. Oman Vs India – 25 March 2021
The Indian national team will resume their action after more than a year of hiatus due to the lockdown imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Igor Stimac’s men will face a gritty Oman side, who have recently played a goalless draw with Jordan. Eyes will be on how the Croatian tactician fields his team after inducting new players into the fold.
7. Germany vs Iceland – 25 March 2021
Germany have been undergoing a rough patch of form for the last couple of years. Joachim Low has been confirmed to be leaving his post as the head coach of the national team post Euro 2020.
The tactician will hope to end his glorious regime as the boss of Die Mannschaft on a high. Their game against Iceland could be a banana skin. Iceland are known to be giant slayers and their current form makes Germany vulnerable to a defeat.
6. Norway Vs Turkey – 27 March 2021
Norway are one of the most exciting young teams in Europe at the moment. Their ranks boast the likes of Erling Haaland and Martin Odegaard among others.
They will face Turkey in a World Cup Qualifier in Group G on 27 March. Turkey and Norway along with the Netherlands are directly contesting for the qualifying spots.
5. Serbia Vs Portugal – 27 March 2021
Eyes will be on Portugal and their preparation ahead of the Euro 2020 Championships. In the meantime, they also need to qualify for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, which could also be the swansong for captain Cristiano Ronaldo. Furthermore, Portugal will have some of the best attacking talents like Bruno Fernandes, Joao Felix and Andre Silva in their ranks.
However, Serbia will be tricky opponents. With players like Nikola Milenkovic, Sergej Milinković-Savić and Luka Jovic in the squad, they are a tough nut to crack.
4. Spain U21 Vs Italy U21 – 28 March 2021
Spain and Italy’s young starlets will clash in their Group B fixture on 28 March. Italy’s next generation of players, namely Sandro Tonali, Patrick Cutrone and so on are aiming to change the country’s fortunes on the international stage.
Spain, on the other hand, will also have several top talents featuring for them like Oscar Mingueza, Riqui Puig and Brahim Diaz.
3. Portugal U21 Vs England U21 – 29 March 2021
England’s U21 players will have no respite from their opening game, as they will be up against another tournament favorites, Portugal U21s in the next game.
Portugal’s developmental side features the likes of Diogo Dalot, Trincao and Vitinha among others. Group D is also considered as the “group of death,” therefore qualification will be hard to achieve.
2. United Arab Emirates Vs India – 29 March 2021
The Blue Tigers will play their second friendly with the UAE on 29 March. The games will act as an important factor in gauging the team’s performance before World Cup Qualifiers.
The recent Indian Super League season helped identify new younger faces who have received a debut national team call-up. The fresh faces will be raring to impress the coach and make a mark on the international stage.
1. England Vs Poland – 31 March 2021
England’s match against Poland is another one of the must-watch games in the international break. Gareth Southgate will rely on players like Harry Kane, Marcus Rashford, Mason Mount among others to start their World Cup qualification process on a positive note.
However, the Three Lions will be up against a Poland team that boasts of Robert Lewandowski, arguably the best player in the world right now in terms of goalscoring.