The International Football Break: Omalla, Zlatan Ibrahimovic at 41, Big Names Called Up

The international break is in just a few days. It begins on March 20 and ends on March 28. Striker Benson Omalla and midfielder Alpha Onyango from Gor Mahia earned call-ups to the Harambee Stars squad while Zlatan Ibrahimovic earned his call-up to the Sweden Squad at 41 as we take a look at England squad depth.


Harambee Stars will play a friendly match against Iran in Tehran on March 28.

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Harambee Stars

The duo earned the call-ups due to a good season at the club despite Omalla facing minor injury issues after lifting his club to the top of the log boosting their confidence.

K’Ogalo’s on-form striker Benson Omalla has netted 19 goals this season and the fans are hoping to see him back, despite coming off in the 1-0 win over Bidco United on Sunday.

Read Also: FKF-PL Round 19: Top-of- the-table clash, Gor Mahia vs KCB

I just can’t wait to see Omalla, Olunga, Mguna, and other Harambee Stars players enjoy their moments and play for they have a good depth. The FKF-PL resumption makes it easy for the Harambee Stars coaching staff to pick those on form hence the call-ups.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic AC Milan forward called up to the Sweden squad at 41

Following the European Championship qualifiers, Zlatan Ibrahimovic has been called up to the Sweden squad despite being at the age of 41 as they face Belgium and Azerbaijan later this month.

However, the AC Milan forward who quit international football after Euro 2016 but returned in 2021 for their unsuccessful World Cup qualifying campaign has faced a number of knee injuries this season.

Read Also: UEFA Champions League: Real Madrid Cruise Past Liverpool as Napoli Storm Into Quarters For the First Time

Zlatan has managed three appearances from the bench for AC Milan this season and was last seen playing for his country against Poland in their World Cup qualification play-off loss in 2022. His head coach Jan Olof “Janne” Andersson has backed the call up claiming that Zlatan offers his side more “substitution possibilities”.

 The former Manchester United and Paris St-Germain striker is Sweden’s all-time top scorer, with 62 goals in 121 matches.

Read Also: NSL: Shabana FC go seven points clear, Wednesday fixture results

Gareth Southgate’s team for Euro 2024 qualifiers vs Italy, Ukraine

England begins their campaign for the Euros with two thick fixtures against Italy and Ukraine this month.

In Qatar 2022, the Three Lions’ World Cup journey ended in the quarterfinal stage hence the manager, Gareth Southgate’s future was under scrutiny.

Southgate is known for his strategy and one of them is loyalty to certain players since taking charge in 2016 but he could freshen up his options for the upcoming qualifiers.

Southgate England football squad for March 2023


Jordan Pickford is the No.1 choice, backed up by Nick Pope and Aaron Ramsdale, Pickford was less involved at the world cup. However, the Everton shot-stopper is crucial for Southgate.

Pope and Ramsdale are enjoying impressive domestic seasons with Newcastle United and Arsenal respectively and will be ready to put pressure on Pickford’s position.

Read Also: Arsenal’s plan, Lukaku back to Chelsea, Manchester Utd bid


Right-backs Kyle Walker, Kieran Trippier, and Trent Alexander-Arnold are all expected to be called up alongside White, but Reece James’ recent injury issues could see the Chelsea defender overlooked this time.

Luke Shaw and Ben Chilwell are the natural picks on the left with John Stones’ return from injury a timely boost for Southgate with no Maguire following a lack of playing time at the club.

This squad could be the first time where Southgate is unable to make a case for Maguire, and his rumoured omission could impact his future, with United reportedly looking to sell him this summer.

On form Brighton & Hove Albion captain Lewis Dunk and Crystal Palace’s Marc Guehi are both potential options as AC Milan’s Fikayo Tomori hopes for a recall.

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Jude Bellingham alongside Declan Rice is one of Southgate’s best duos at the midfield since the World Cup. However, Jordan Henderson and Mason Mount both faced injuries ahead of the squad announcement.

Kalvin Phillips’ lack of football at Manchester City could see him left out and replaced with Southampton Captain James Ward-Prowse.

Harvey Elliott and Brighton winger Solly March have been heavily tipped for a call-up.


Harry Kane, Bukayo Saka, and Raheem Sterling all automatic picks for Southgate after an impressive performance in the world cup.

On-form Marcus Rashford is tipped to start against Italy, but his teammate Jadon Sancho does not look ready for an England as City duo Jack Grealish and Phil Foden have their spots.

Ivan Toney faces FA investigation over alleged betting offences and this could see Southgate drop him for Arsenal’s Eddie Nketiah as an option despite being uncapped at the senior level.

Also Read: Manchester United: Garnacho out several weeks

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Euro 2024 Qualifiers — March 2023

England faces two sides this month to kick off their Group C campaign, with a trip to the iconic Stadio Diego Armando Maradona in Naples on March 23 followed by a home fixture against Ukraine at Wembley three days later.


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