Newcastle United have six players at the Qatar World Cup – with Bruno Guimaraes, Kieran Trippier, Fabian Schar, Nick Pope, Callum Wilson and Garang Kuol in their respective national squads.
The tournament kicks off on Sunday (20 November) with Qatar v Ecuador at 4pm, shown on BBC.
The first potential involvement of Newcastle United players will be on Monday at 1pm, England v Iran, also shown live on BBC.
Kieran Trippier looking very likely to start, Callum Wilson hoping for minutes off the bench, whilst Nick Pope expected to be second choice behind Pickford.
Tuesday (22 November) we are set to see a bit of history, because if Garang Kuol gets on the pitch, he will become the youngest ever player to represent Australia at a World Cup.
The 18 year old has been in devastating form in the lead up to this World Cup…
‘Central Coast Mariners this season:
With Garang Kuol ON the field – Averaging one goal every 16 minutes.
With Garang Kuol OFF the field – Averaging one goal every 103 minutes.
Last weekend he came off the bench with Central Coast Mariners 2-0 down and a man down, within 17 minutes they were level, thanks to two goals from Garang Kuol. Sadly, they lost the game to a goal deep in added time.
Despite still yet to start a single first team A-League match, in thirteen career sub appearances and 328 minutes of A-League football played, the NUFC striker has six goals so far and a number of assists.
With that form off the bench coming into these finals, every chance the same could happen in terms of coming off the bench with Australia, if they are looking for a goal as a game develops.
Australia play France on Tuesday night and the 18 year old (the second youngest player at the Qatar World Cup out of all the squads) asked if he will feel intimidated getting onto the pitch against one of the tournament favourites:
“I wouldn’t say intimidated, I find it more exciting, to see what I can do against players of that calibre.
“It is a very exciting experience for me.
“Obviously, I’ve watching the Socceroos for a long time.
“The World Cup is the biggest stage of all.
“I want to prove myself and I have just got to go into it with the right mindset.
“It is all about having confidence in yourself and being ruthless, having that mindset to want to create something and make an impact.
“I don’t really pay attention to what is said around me and stuff.
“I am mainly just focused on what I do on the field, at training and games.
“If I’m not playing well, I’m not going to look at what is said online to gee me up.
“I’m still getting used to it (with the Australia squad), the boys play quick, the ball just zips around.
“It is a whole lot of chasing, we are trying to mirror what France would do.
“Speaking with Arnie (Aussie Head Coach Graham Arnold) he just told me he has plenty of belief in me.
“I have just got to keep training well and to prove myself.
“Three years back, my mum was driving me to Melbourne every two weeks, two hours there, two hours back. It’s a journey that involves me and everyone (family) is part of it.
“They are very happy for me obviously, they just told me to do my best and make them proud.
“Before I went to Central Coast Mariners I was playing in Victoria, so training only twice a week, which was a killer for me, I wanted to be training every day.
“As soon as I got to the Mariners I was training every day.
“Which is what I wanted to do all my life.
“That is really where my journey really started in terms of being a proper footballer.
“The impact it has had on me has been massive.
“I’m just thankful for those at the Mariners who brought me in.”
The TV schedule for all 48 Qatar World Cup group games, games highlighted with NUFC player potential involvement:
20 November, 16:00: Qatar v Ecuador – BBC
21 November, 10:00: Senegal v Netherlands – ITV
Monday 21 November, 13:00: England v Iran – BBC (Nick Pope, Kieran Trippier, Callum Wilson)
21 November, 19:00: USA v Wales – ITV
22 November, 10:00: Argentina v Saudi Arabia – ITV
22 November, 13:00: Denmark v Tunisia – ITV
22 November, 16:00: Mexico v Poland – BBC
Tuesday 22 November, 19:00: France v Australia – BBC (Garang Kuol)
23 November, 10:00: Morocco v Croatia – ITV
23 November, 13:00: Germany v Japan – ITV
23 November, 16:00: Spain v Costa Rica – ITV
23 November, 19:00: Belgium v Canada – BBC
Thursday 24 November, 10:00: Switzerland v Cameroon – ITV (Fabian Schar)
24 November, 13:00: Uruguay v South Korea – BBC
24 November, 16:00: Portugal v Ghana – ITV
Thursday 24 November, 19:00: Brazil v Serbia – BBC (Bruno Guimaraes)
25 November, 10:00: Wales v Iran – BBC
25 November, 13:00: Qatar v Senegal – BBC
25 November, 16:00: Netherlands v Ecuador – ITV
Friday 25 November, 19:00: England v USA – ITV (Nick Pope, Kieran Trippier, Callum Wilson)
Saturday 26 November, 10:00: Tunisia v Australia – BBC (Garang Kuol)
26 November, 13:00: Poland v Saudi Arabia – ITV
26 November, 16:00: France v Denmark – ITV
26 November, 19:00: Argentina v Mexico – ITV
27 November, 10:00: Japan v Costa Rica – ITV
27 November, 13:00: Belgium v Morocco – BBC
27 November, 16:00: Croatia v Canada – BBC
27 November, 19:00: Spain v Germany – BBC
28 November, 10:00: Cameroon v Serbia – ITV
28 November, 13:00: South Korea v Ghana – BBC
Monday 28 November, 16:00: Brazil v Switzerland – ITV (Bruno Guimaraes, Fabian Schar)
28 November, 19:00: Portugal v Uruguay – ITV
29 November, 15:00: Ecuador v Senegal – ITV
29 November, 15:00: Netherlands v Qatar – ITV
29 November, 19:00: Iran v USA – BBC
Tuesday 29 November, 19:00: England v Wales – BBC (Nick Pope, Kieran Trippier, Callum Wilson)
30 November, 15:00: Tunisia v France – BBC
Wednesday 30 November, 15:00: Australia v Denmark – BBC (Garang Kuol)
30 November, 19:00: Poland v Argentina – BBC
30 November, 19:00: Saudi Arabia v Mexico – BBC
1 December, 16:00: Canada v Morocco – BBC
1 December, 16:00: Croatia v Belgium – BBC
1 December, 19:00: Japan v Spain – ITV
1 December, 19:00: Costa Rica v Germany – ITV
2 December, 16:00: Ghana v Uruguay – BBC
2 December, 16:00: South Korea v Portugal – BBC
Friday 2 December, 19:00: Serbia v Switzerland – ITV (Fabian Schar)
Friday 2 December, 19:00: Cameroon v Brazil – ITV (Bruno Guimaraes)