6 Fulham Players to Watch Out for Over the International Break

With Fulham's 2017-18 Championship campaign stuttering and stalling of late, the November international break could not have come at a better time for the Whites. 


A halt in the domestic schedule could pose to be the pivotal, defining intermission in their season as the promotion-hopefuls crucially aim to turn their fortunes around once club fixtures resume.


Reflection will be the calling of the hour for the majority of Slavia Jokanovic's squad, however for some members the honour of representing their country takes centre stage. 


12 players ranging from the U18 set-up to the senior fold are involved in their respective country's contingency, and here are 6 notable first-team individuals to cast a beady eye upon, as they embark on matters outside of south-west London.

1. Neeskens Kebano - DR Congo

DR Congo are second in Group A, with Tunisia perched top of the standings with a 3 point buffer, however qualifying for next year's World Cup in Russia is not necessarily out of their reach by any stretch of the imagination for 'the Leopards'.


Neeskens Kebano and his national teammates face Guinea on Saturday evening and a win will be paramount. 


Tunisia also take on Libya on Saturday and a draw or a victory will be enough for them to secure their place at next summer's tournament, although a loss could scupper their efforts, if Kebano and co. can take their crunch encounter against 'Syli nationale' by the scruff of the neck, of course.

2. Oliver Norwood - Northern Ireland

World Cup play-off ties against Switzerland both home and away are on the agenda for Northern Ireland and Oliver Norwood, with the prize of competing in Russia in the planet's biggest, most prestigious sporting event being up for grabs.


Norwood will be hopeful of making the starting XI on Thursday at Windsor Park in the first-leg, a home fixture that will set the 'Green and White Army' up for the second encounter on Sunday in Switzerland. 


Progressing to the World Cup would be a major feat for Norwood and the prospect of performing on such a stage could spur the Brighton & Hove Albion loanee towards stronger showings for his temporary employers in order to reserve a seat on the plane indefinitely.

3. Tomas Kalas - Czech Republic

Fulham's defensive ranks have faltered recently, so much so that Chelsea loanee Tomas Kalas was dropped from the starting ranks at Championship leaders Wolverhampton Wanderers, a league match which the whimpering Cottagers lost 2-0 in-front of a buoyant Molineux on November 3rd.


Czech Republic have two friendlies lined up against Iceland on Wednesday and Qatar on Saturday, meetings which mean very little to the Czech's fundamentally, but for Fulham fans it will be interesting to gauge how well Kalas performs for his country with his second stint at the Whites nosediving sharply as it stands. 


Perhaps two convincing victories can inspire the 24-year-old into unearthing the factors of his usually steadfast game that had previously won him countless plaudits, with his services being invaluable to Fulham and their seemingly stagnant push for promotion.

4. Tim Ream - USA

Failing to qualify for the 2018 World Cup means that the United States have no more competitive matches ahead of them anytime soon, although a friendly against Portugal on November 14th will be anything but a gentle stroll.


Partnering Kalas in the heart of the back four for Fulham, Ream has not been firing on all cylinders thus far, with his concentration and decision-making coming under scrutiny on occasions throughout the season. 


The current European Championship holders will push, press and pull America's defence to the limit of its ability - Ream will need to be switched on and focused at every given instance, especially when Cristiano Ronaldo and his compatriots hare towards his penalty area with the target set ruthlessly in their sights.

5. Floyd Ayite - Togo

A Sunday afternoon friendly against Mauritius awaits Togo, and after a limp, deflated performance against Wolves, Floyd Ayite takes to the turf for his nation.


Ayite, much like Kebano, was an asset to Fulham last season, but has floundered in spells this term, with his worst outing for the club arguably coming against Nuno Esprito Santo's formidable men.


A positive result for 'the Sparrowhawks' and a spirited run-out for Ayite could instil a renewed sense of endeavour in the 28-year-old, a vigour which has been sorely absent on the left flank for the majority of the season to date. 

6. Ryan Sessegnon - England U19s

Ryan Sessegnon returns to the Young Lions' U19 set-up over the break, with three U19 European Championship qualifying games against Faroe Islands, Iceland and Bulgaria to contend with in Group 8.


England's future looks bright after a scintillating summer of triumph on all fronts and 'Sess' is undoubtedly regarded as one of the country's most promising starlets, alongside his twin brother, Stephen, who helped the U17 string claim the World Cup in India at the end of October. 


Bursting onto the scene for Fulham last season, the fledgling 17-year-old has endured a mixed campaign this year though. He nonetheless remains a regular component in England's youth teams, which will certainly improve and bolster his confidence and abilities, and will be beneficial to Fulham's cause for success in the future.,

TOP ARTICLES