The fourth and final domestic international break of the year and third of the 2018/2019 season is upon us, with youth and senior West Ham United stars jetting off to represent their respective nations for the penultimate time this campaign.
Join us as, with the official start of the November international break just hours away, we are going to be analysing where and when the six internationals from Manuel Pellegrini’s Hammers will be in action over the course of the next week or so, today.
As aforementioned, just six international stars from the club have received call-ups to turn out for their countries in this international break, not including players currently away from East London on loan.
As you’ll find out later in this analysis, they are Marko Arnautovic of Austria, whom he has 77 caps for, Polish goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski, the man with the second-most Premier League saves this season, regular Irons centre-back and Paraguayan Fabian Balbuena, his central defensive partner, France under-21 man Issa Diop and the England U20s and Academy of Football graduate duo Nathan Trott and Grady Diangana.
Marko Arnautovic (Austria)
We will start with Arnautovic, who has six goals for club and country this term and a total of four for Austria in 2018 and sparked great speculation about his future by inciting he may leave West Ham in an interview with an Austrian media outlet this week.
The vice-captain for his nation and his comrades face a pair of UEFA Nations League, League 3 Group B challenges, the first of which is tomorrow (Thursday) night at 7:45pm GMT at home to Bosnia & Herzegovina and the second, Sunday afternoon away at Northern Ireland at 5pm. Both are live on Sky Sports football in the UK. Franco Foda’s men are hoping to overhaul a six-point deficit on the Bosnians at the top of the table in the hunt for League A promotion.
Lukasz Fabianski (Poland)
The other Hammer in Nations League action over the next seven days is the man who’s arguably been the pick of Pellegrini’s summer signings, Fabianski, as he looks to carry over his domestic form to the International stage and claim cap numbers 48 and 49.
The ex-Arsenal man will be hoping to start in front of former teammate Wojciech Szczesny for his bottom-place-in-League-A-Group-Three-nation when they host the Czech Republic in a 7pm friendly on Thursday evening, before travelling to Portugal at 7:45pm next Tuesday. The latter is a game they must win to have any chance of staying in League A.
Fabian Balbuena (Paraguay)
Having been called up to the Paraguay squad for the first time since moving to the Premier League from Corinthians in the Brazilian Top-Flight over the summer, ‘The General’ Balbuena has been called up by new manager Juan Carlos Osorio once again.
Last time out, the centre-back and his teammates were only subjected to a training camp with no friendly matches, but this time, they have both ahead of 2020 Copa America qualifying as they make the lengthy trip to South Africa. Balbuena will be hopeful of making his first international appearance since June in next Tuesday’s 5pm friendly with South Africa at the Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban.
Issa Diop (France U21)
There are friendlies galore amongst the West Ham players going away this break and the next of them to be involved in the type of non-competitive match is young centre-back Diop.
Following missing only two PL matches this campaign and impressing to the point clubs like Paris Saint-Germain have shown interest, the 21-year-old described by Jose Mourinho as a “monster” also received his first call-up as a Hammer. His France U21 side welcome Croatia to Beauvais at 5:45pm on Thursday and then Spain to Caen at 8pm next Monday, like Balbuena’s friendly, none of these matches are being broadcast in the United Kingdom.
Nathan Trott And Grady Diangana (England U20)
Last but not least are the youngest East Londoners on International duty in November and they will both be representing the same country at the same age group, England U20s, in their friendly with Germany in Colchester next Monday night at 7pm (not televised).
Trott is a regular for the side in goal, having made numerous appearances for them in the last year. Meanwhile, this is the first time that Diangana, also eligible for the Democratic Republic of Congo, has received a Three Lions call of any kind and he has deserved it, off the back of making his first seven first-team Irons appearances in recent weeks, three of which have been PL starts.
So, now that you’ve been given the full statistics-driven lowdown on where and when West Ham’s six International Hammers for the month of November will be in action for their respective nations, how will they get on?
Stay close to all our platforms, including @WestHamMatters_ on Twitter, to find out as we’ll be keeping you updated along the way and bringing you a comprehensive statistical review in seven days’ time.