It’s that time again – another unwelcome international break.
Fans of domestic teams tend to dread it as they miss out on the buzz of supporting their club on the weekend, while nations such as England once again struggle to entertain their supporters.
But of course, the break is an opportunity for players to impress for their countries and Everton stars certainly are no exception.
The club have a number of players away on duty over the course of the next week, with several facing important 2018 World Cup qualifiers for their national sides – alongside some international friendlies.
Despite a positive start to the season, a 5-0 thrashing by Chelsea at Stamford Bridge last Saturday means that the first team stars won’t be going into their respective fixtures in the best of spirits. In fact, quite the opposite.
Here, we identify three Toffees players to look out for over the international break…
They may have featured in one World Cup as Zaire in 1974, but now the Democratic Republic of Congo are looking to reach a first under their new name.
They know they’ll book their place in Russia in two years’ time if they can finish top of their qualifying group, and got off to the perfect start with a 4-0 win over Libya in their opening match.
Bolasie, who has been in good form for Everton following a summer move from Crystal Palace, is one of the nation’s key men, and they will need him to be firing on all cylinders when they host Guinea on Sunday.
The Argentine may have struggled to get into the Toffees’ first XI this season, but he hasn’t had the same problem with his country.
The defender has been a regular in recent months and even scored in the 2-2 draw against Peru in October.
Argentina are currently sixth in the standings and with only the top four guaranteed to go to Russia, Funes Mori and his teammates need to pick up a result in one of the biggest international games in the world – against Brazil in Belo Horizonte on Thursday night.
Despite reaching the semi-finals of Euro 2016, Wales haven’t enjoyed the best of starts to their 2018 World Cup qualifying campaign, and currently lie third in Group D behind Serbia and the Republic of Ireland.
However, they are unbeaten and can leapfrog the former with a win when they host them at the Cardiff City Stadium on Saturday.
Williams brilliantly led his country in France earlier this year, and he will need to do the same in the Welsh capital this weekend.