Five to watch from the home nations in the Euro 2020 qualifiers

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England, Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland, Scotland and Wales this week kick off their qualifying campaigns for Euro 2020.

Here, we have identified five players to look out for.

England – Declan Rice

There will be plenty of attention on 20-year-old Rice should he make his first England appearance against either the Czech Republic or Montenegro.

After protracted speculation about his international future, the West Ham midfielder’s change of allegiance from the Republic of Ireland – for whom he played in three friendlies – was confirmed earlier this month.

He and 18-year-old Chelsea winger Callum Hudson-Odoi are the only uncapped players in Gareth Southgate’s squad.

Scotland – Oli McBurnie

The in-form 22-year-old heads into games against Kazakhstan and San Marino on the back of 10 goals in as many games for Swansea.

However, the striker, who has missed the last three Swans games due to illness, is still searching for his first Scotland goal. With key frontmen Leigh Griffiths, Steven Naismith and Steven Fletcher all sidelined, manager Alex McLeish will be desperate for McBurnie to continue his recent run at club level and break his international duck.

Wales – David Brooks

Brooks was rewarded with a long-term Bournemouth contract earlier this month after quickly establishing himself among the Premier League’s top young talents. The 21-year-old midfielder has hit six goals and provided four assists for the Cherries having stepped up from the Championship with consummate ease.

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Capped nine times by his country already, he could be central to their quest to qualify for a second successive European Championships, starting against Slovakia on Sunday.

Northern Ireland – Will Grigg

Having missed his country’s last three games due to injury, striker Grigg returns to a Northern Ireland squad which has managed just two goals in their last eight international fixtures.

Manager Michael O’Neill, who guided his country to Euro 2016, is hopeful the 27-year-old can shake off a knock to feature in the Windsor Park double-header against Estonia and Belarus.

However, Grigg, now a Sunderland player after a £4million January transfer from Wigan, has found goals hard to come by this season, hitting only three in the league since August.

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Republic of Ireland – David McGoldrick

After a 21-month international absence, Sheffield United striker McGoldrick is back in the Republic of Ireland squad under his former club manager Mick McCarthy for qualifiers against Gibraltar and Georgia.

The 31-year-old has not represented his country since a friendly defeat to Mexico in June 2017 but denied a falling out with previous international boss Martin O’Neill. McCarthy, who began his second spell with the Republic in November, spent five years managing McGoldrick at Ipswich before both departed Portman Road last summer.

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