Mixed fortunes for Magpie internationals

Posted by Marc Duffy

John Berry/Getty ImagesMoussa Sissoko saw action as a substitute in France's 3-1 win over Georgia.

With seven Newcastle United players travelling overseas to join their national teams for the latest round of World Cup qualifiers, you might expect injuries, jet lag and tiredness. As it happens, few of the lads got a look in on Friday and Saturday's games.

Steven Taylor travelled to San Marino with Roy Hodgson's England squad. With a tough game in Montenegro to be played on Tuesday night, I thought Taylor might get a run out even as a sub in this one, but it wasn't to be. England walked to an 8-0 victory. Disappointingly, Hodgson opted to bring on Scott Parker as a late (pointless) substitute when he could easily have taken the opportunity to try out some of the younger lads. Especially as a victory in this one was never in doubt no matter what team he fielded.

Yohan Cabaye, Moussa Sissoko and Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa were all called up by Didier Deschamps for France, but only Sissoko got any playing time. France were 3-0 up at home to Georgia when Sissoko entered the game with 24 minutes remaining. Cabaye was an unused substitute while Yanga-Mbiwa missed out altogether. With Cabaye's injury problems, Sissoko's numerous recent barnstorming performances and Newcastle's lack of centre halves, I am quite happy with this one. Matthieu Debuchy withdrew from the squad after he was injured at Wigan. France won 3-1.

France play Spain (who were surprisingly held to a 1-1 home draw by Finland on Friday) in their next qualifier on Tuesday night.

Cheick Tiote played the full 90 minutes as Ivory Coast beat Gambia 3-0 in Abidjan on Saturday afternoon. He also managed a full game without a yellow card. Ivory Coast lead Africa Qualifying Group C.

Papiss Cisse's Senegal were forced to play their Africa Qualifying Group J 'home' game against Angola in Guinea as part of their punishment following the riots in their home country when they were eliminated from the African Cup of Nations qualifier by Ivory Coast last year. Cisse replaced Newcastle old boy Demba Ba in the 77th minute as Senegal searched for a match winner. Cisse couldn't repeat his recent last-minute match winning heroics though and the game ended 1-1. Despite the dropped points, Senegal lead their group.

And the rest:

Shane Ferguson is in the Northern Ireland squad but their game with Russia was canceled on Friday and then again on Saturday because of adverse weather conditions in Belfast. Northern Ireland are due to play Israel at home on Tuesday, weather permitting.

Davide Santon found himself back down in the Italy U21 squad after recent senior call ups, but a strain meant he had to withdraw from the squad.

Young Geordie Adam Campbell made his first appearance for England U19's as a substitute in a 1-0 win over Turkey U19. Adam has now represented England at U16, U17 and U19 levels -- let's hope he keeps working his way up through the England ranks.

Twitter: @MarcSDuffy

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