Can this man finally get healthy?
With the transfer window having slammed shut less than 48 hours ago, it seems almost anti-climactic to be entering a weekend of internationals. Yet that is exactly where we find ourselves. Most European teams are playing in Euro 2012 qualifiers, with some notable exceptions like Spain only playing friendlies. Most other teams are also staying fresh, with Uruguay playing a friendly in the Ukraine and Brazil playing Ghana at, oddly enough, Craven Cottage (the home of Fulham in London). England, with only two Liverpool players called up (Stewart Downing and Andy Carroll), will be expecting a win despite not being at Wembley as they easily defeated the Bulgarians 4-0 at home. With Dimitar Berbatov retired from international duty, the only Bulgarian player I can even name is Martin Petrov of Bolton.
In some ways, this international break has come at a good time. As mentioned, due to injuries only two Liverpool players have been called up. Steven Gerrard and Glen Johnson will get more time to heal, with Johnson tweeting yesterday that he is finally back in training. Martin Kelly, who was rumored to be called up before his latest injury, also gets some time to heal up. Assuming no injuries are obtained during international duty, we'll have the opportunity to come back after the break with an even stronger squad. Brazil in particular are playing several friendlies, including ones on September 5th, 14th, and 28th, so I do worry about Lucas. Would be a nice time for him to feel some tightness in his hamstring. Fortunately, Uruguay only play one friendly, so Suarez should be fine.
Meanwhile, Jordan Henderson scored a miraculous goal and put in an overall excellent performance for the England U21's yesterday. Jon Flanagan also played the full 90, while Jonjo Shelvey got 10 minutes at the end. Andre Wisdom was unused on the bench.
The England game begins at 2:15 EST, while the Uruguay friendly begins at 2 EST. The United States plays Costa Rica in a friendly at 11 EST. I'm going to try my best to watch as many of these as possible, but I need to get to the library to do some research, so I may miss the first half or so of some of them. I can't be the only one hoping Andy Carroll can score a hat-trick today though.