Four Southampton stars in international action

Graziano Pelle and Maya Yoshida are among the Saints players likely to feature in Thursday's international fixtures

Four Southampton stars in international action
Graziano Pelle could feature for Italy | Photo:

Four Southampton players, Maya Yoshida, Graziano Pelle, Steven Davis and Lloyd Isgrove will be in action for their countries today as they look to get minutes under their belts in various friendlies and Asia Cup qualifiers.

Yoshida's Japan

Yoshida will once again hope to feature for his Japan side as they face a home game against Afghanistan in an Asia Cup qualifier which is crucial in whether the side will progress to next year's competition.

Kick-off is at 10:30AM GMT. Yoshida will be hoping for some game time having spent much of the season as third-choice centre-back at Southampton behind Virgil Van Dijk and Jose Fonte, though he has played well when called upon.

The match in Saitama doubles as a 2018 FIFA World Cup and 2019 Asian Cup qualifier. The eight group winners and four best runners-up will qualify for the Asian Cup finals, in the  United Arab Emirates, in three years’ time, while they will also advance to the third stage of FIFA World Cup qualification.

The Afghanistan game is Japan’s penultimate match in the current stage, before they host second-placed Syria next Tuesday.

Pelle's Italy

Pelle will be hoping to appear for the Azzurri as they continue their build-up to the European Championships in France with a match against defending champions Spain.

Pelle scores for Italy in a friendly against England | Photo: Daily Mail
Pelle scores for Italy in a friendly against England | Photo: Daily Mail

The match against Spain takes place at Stadio Friuli, in Udine, with kick-off scheduled for 7.45PM GMT.

Pelle will be looking to continue his decent run of form after netting three goals in his past two Southampton matches as his side claimed important victories over Stoke City and Liverpool.

Davis and Isgrove could face off

Southampton midfielder Davis and loanee Isgrove could face each other tonight as Northern Ireland meet Wales in another friendly as both sides build up to their respective Euro 2016 campaigns.

The match in Cardiff kicks off at 7.45PM GMT and should be a close match between two sides who stole the headlines in qualifying for the Euros.