31.08.2015 16.20 - in: Other competitions S

      International duty calls for Bianconeri

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      Ahead of a busy two weeks of international friendlies and qualifiers, 13 Juventus players will report for duty with their respective national teams

      With the race to qualify for the 2016 European Championships in France reaching its climax and a host of international friendlies on the horizon, 13 Juventus players have been called up by their respective national teams.


      Azzurri boss Antonio Conte has included five Bianconeri players in his squad for two crucial home qualifiers against Malta on 3 September and Bulgaria on 6 September.

      Juventus captain Gianluigi Buffon, defenders Andrea Barzagli, Giorgio Chiellini, Leonardo Bonucci and summer signing Simone Zaza will all join up with the Italy squad next week as they seek to close the gap on leaders Croatia at the top of Group H. 

      At youth level, Emil Audero is in Italy's U19 squad for their two friendly meetings with Holland and Ireland.

      Elsewhere, Daniele Rugani is set to feature for Daniele Di Biagio's U21 side as they face Slovenia in Reggio Emilia on 8 September in the first game of qualifying for the 2017 U21 European Championships. 


      Paul Pogba and Patrice Evra's France will be in Lisbon on Friday evening for their friendly with Cristiano Ronaldo's Portugal before returning home to Bordeaux for a Monday night meeting with Serbia. 


      Croatia will look to Mario Mandzukic to lead the line once more in their two key upcoming qualifiers away to Azerbaijan on Thursday and in Norway on 6 September.

      The Group H leaders go into the latest round of fixtures knowing two more wins will all but secure their place in next year's finals in France. 


      Stephan Lichtsteiner's Switzerland meanwhile face an intriguing double header against their nearest qualifying rivals, Slovenia, on Saturday and England next Tuesday.

      Two wins are on the agenda for the 2014 World Cup quarter-finalists as they seek to keep pace with Roy Hodgson's Three Lions in Group E.


      Martin Caceres, fresh from his first start of the new Serie A campaign against Roma at the weekend, will be in Central America for Uruguay's friendly in Panama on 4 September before heading over the border to Costa Rica the following Wednesday.


      The Bianconeri's second South American representative will be Roberto Pereyra as the midfielder joins up with World Cup finalists Argentina for two games in Texas: the first against Bolivia in Houston on 4 September, the second against Mexico in Dallas on 8 September. 

      A full summary of the Bianconeri's international commitments below (all kick-offs in Central European Summer Time). 

      Thursday 3 September

      Azerbaijan vs. Croatia, Baku, European Qualifying Group H, 18.00. 

      Italy U19 vs. Holland U19, Cava de Tirreni, International Friendly, 18.00.

      Italy vs. Malta, Florence, European Qualifying Group H, 20.45. 

      Friday 4 September

      Portugal vs. France, Lisbon, International Friendly, 20.45.

      Saturday 5 September

      Argentina vs. Bolivia, Houston, International Friendly, 02.30.

      Panama vs. Uruguay, Panama City, International Friendly, 03.30.

      Switzerland vs. Slovenia, Basel, European Qualifying Group E, 20.45.

      Sunday 6 September 

      Norway vs. Croatia, Oslo, European Qualifying Group H. 18.00.

      Italy vs. Bulgaria, Palermo, European Qualifying Group H, 20.45.

      Monday 7 September

      Italy U19 vs. Republic of Ireland U19, Cava de Tirreni, 18.00.

      France vs. Serbia, Bordeaux, International Friendly, 20.45.

      Tuesday 8 September

      Italy U21 vs. Slovenia U21, Reggio Emilia, International Friendly, 17.00.

      England vs. Switzerland, London, European Qualifying Group H, 20.45.

      Wednesday 9 September

      Costa Rica vs. Uruguay, Costa Rica, International Friendly, 04.00 

      Argentina vs. Mexico, Arlington (TX), International Friendly, 04.00

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