Liverpool’s players have been finding out their fate for their countries ahead of Euro 2016, with provisional squads being announced.
European football’s biggest international tournament is now under a month away, with the competition, taking place across France, getting underway on 10th June.
There are many Reds players hoping to be involved for their respective countries, with international managers announcing their squads ahead of warmup friendlies.
It has been mixed news for the Liverpool contingent.
Liverpool dominate England squad
Roy Hodgson has named his 26-man preliminary squad for the tournament – it will have to be whittled down to 23 by 31st May – and five Reds players feature.
Only Tottenham have as many representatives for the Three Lions.
Lovren, Sakho & Bogdan Axed
Despite enjoying a huge renaissance at Anfield in 2015/16, including that memorable winning goal against Borussia Dortmund, Dejan Lovren has not been selected for Croatia’s provisional squad.
The centre-back had a much-publicised falling out with manager Ante Cacic during the last international get-together, and it seems that is the key to him being axed.
Cacic responded to the news on Monday, saying, “I haven’t closed the door on Lovren for good, he can return one day if he realises that he has to be a team player.”
Mamadou Sakho‘s failed drugs test has also cost him a place at Euro 2016, with Didier Deschamps deciding not to include him.
The 26-year-old had a good chance of starting alongside Raphael Varane at the back, but those hopes have now been extinguished.
Meanwhile, Adam Bogdan‘s peripheral role at Liverpool this season has seen him left out of Hungary’s initial squad.
Belgian trio called up
Belgium go into the tournament at the world’s highest-ranked European side – second behind Argentina – and Liverpool will have a healthy involvement with them this summer.
There is a good chance that none of the Reds trio will actually start for Belgium, though, given the likes of Thibaut Courtois, Kevin De Bruyne, Eden Hazard and Romelu Lukaku could all be ahead of them in the pecking order.
Origi’s form in 2015/16 has been the most impressive of the three, and it may be that he can sneak into the starting lineup ahead of Lukaku, given the Everton man’s dip in form.
Allen & Ward set for historic campaign
Liverpool fans have finally seen what all the fuss is about with Joe Allen this season, but Wales supporters have known about his class all along.
The silky midfielder has been a mainstay of the team for a number of years now, and he will be a key member of Chris Coleman final squad. He was named in his 29-man group earlier in the month.
It will be Wales’ first international tournament since 1958, and their clash with England on 16th June should be an enormous occasion.
Allen will be desperate to take his Liverpool form with him to the international stage, alongside team-mate Danny Ward, who has done well in goal for the Reds when called upon.
Skrtel to captain his country in France
Lovren and Sakho may be playing no part in France this summer, but Martin Skrtel is sure to be a key part of Slovakia’s plans.
The skipper now has 79 caps to his name, and his experience will be needed in a group alongside England, Russia and Wales.
It will mean Skrtel could come up against some of his Liverpool team-mates, for whom he may have played alongside for the final time.
The 31-year-old started against West Brom on Sunday, in what is expected to be his final appearance in a Reds shirt.
Can expected to be included, Balotelli fate unknown
Germany coach Joachim Low will name his Euro 2016 squad on Tuesday, with Emre Can likely to be selected.
The 22-year-old has had an excellent season for Liverpool, especially as the campaign has progressed, and he has been a regular squad member for Germany over the past 12 months or so.
Can has often been used as a right-back by Low, given the quality they possess in midfield, but injuries to Bastian Schweinsteiger and Ilkay Gundogan could change that.
Mario Balotelli – remember him? – is another who will soon find out whether he will be involved for Italy this summer, but his chances appear slim.
The 25-year-old has scored just three goals in 18 appearances for AC Milan this season.