Internationals | Portuguese quartet begin Nations League hunt

Wolves’ Portuguese quartet of Rui Patricio, Joao Moutinho, Ruben Neves and Diogo Jota are preparing to begin their country’s quest for Nations League glory this evening.

Portugal are set to face off against Switzerland in the first semi-final of the inaugural competition from 7.45pm tonight, in a match which could see Jota make his senior international.

The Wolves forward has been a regular in the Portugal under-21 side in recent years and got his first call up to the senior squad for his country’s UEFA Euro 2020 qualifiers against Ukraine and Serbia in March but was an unused substitute in both of those matches.

The victors of Portugal and Switzerland will face the winners of the other semi-final between England and Holland – which takes place on Thursday evening – in the Nations League Final on Sunday night, while the semi-final losers will play a third-place play-off on Sunday afternoon.

Other Wolves players who will hoping to be in action this week include Matt Doherty, whose Ireland side face a trip to Denmark in the Euro 2020 qualifiers on Friday evening, and Leander Dendoncker. The Belgian and his teammates welcome Kazakhstan to Heysel Stadium on Saturday night in the same competition.

While Raul Jimenez and Mexico will prepare for their Gold Cup pursuit with a friendly against Venezuela in the early hours of Thursday morning, before another fixture against Ecuador on Sunday night.

Those who have already played international football this week include Ruben Vinagre, who was knocked out of the U20 World Cup with his Portugal side following a 1-1 draw with bottom of the table South Africa.

After featuring for the full 90 minutes in both of his team’s previous matches in the competition, the left wing-back was brought off after 54 minutes in the final group game, with Portugal missing out on progression in the tournament after finishing outside the three best ranked third-placed sides.

Elsewhere, Connor Ronan started for the Republic of Ireland under-21 team against China in their first match of the 2019 Toulon Tournament in France. Ronan, who spent the second half of last season on loan at DAC Dunajská Streda in Slovakia, played 63 minutes of the game before being substituted when his side were 3-1 up.

Ireland went on to win their opening match 4-1 and will now face Mexico in their second group game on Thursday evening and Bahrain in their final group match on Sunday afternoon.