The much anticipated UEFA Nations League finals return to our screens as the October international break officially gets underway.
And there will be a new name on the trophy after holders Portugal failed to make it out of their group to defend their crown after winning the inaugural competition in 2019.
But there are two heavyweight clashes in store as Spain face European Champions and host nation Italy on Wednesday evening, with Belgium taking on France 24 hours later.
The losers of both games then meet on Sunday in a third-place play-off while the winners will go head-to-head to lift the trophy later in the day.
Unfortunately for Arsenal fans, Albert Sambi Lokonga won’t be involved.
The £15million summer signing was in the Belgium squad last month and even made his debut, but has not been called up by Roberto Martinez this time around despite featuring in all of the Gunners’ games since the September international break.
As a result, Lokonga will miss out on a potential showdown with Paul Pogba who is expected to start for Les Bleus in central midfield ahead of Arsenal loanee Matteo Guendouzi.
Not that the 21-year-old seems too bothered.
Whilst not talking about missing out on the Belgium squad, Lokonga has been active on social media over the past 24 hours, documenting his first return to Anderlecht following his summer move and was clearly in a happy mood.
“No words needed! The best club in Belgium by far,” he wrote on Instagram. “Happy to be back home.”
In addition, Lokonga has not been called up by the Belgium U21 squad either which means he should be well-rested ahead of the return to Premier League action a week on Monday.
And after impressing Mikel Arteta during the goalless draw against Brighton and Hove Albion last time out, the 21-year-old could be in line to retain his place in central midfield for the visit of Crystal Palace.
Source by Football London