Leeds United: Wood and Dallas to face off on international duty

Chris Wood. PIC: Bruce Rollinson
Chris Wood. PIC: Bruce Rollinson
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LEEDS UNITED pair Chris Wood and Stuart Dallas are in line to face each other tonight as Wood gears up for a busy summer representing New Zealand in the Confederations Cup.

Wood is current captain of the New Zealand national side who will face Dallas and Northern Ireland at Windsor Park for an international friendly.

Stuart Dallas. PIC: Bruce Rollinson

Stuart Dallas. PIC: Bruce Rollinson

The pair are among five Whites players on international duty, with 18-year-old midfielder Ronaldo Vieira currently representing England’s under-20s in the Toulon Tournament in France.

Vieira started the side’s opening game of the group stages on Monday evening against Angola as the young Three Lions emerged triumphant from with a 1-0 victory.

The nap hand of Whites players on international duty is completed by Pontus Jansson with Sweden and Eunan O’Kane for Republic Of Ireland.

Young goalkeeper Bailey Peacock-Farrell also spent last week training with Northern Ireland’s under-21s.

New Zealand captain Wood is facing the busiest summer of all the Whites players on international duty as the All Whites take part in the Confederations Cup in Russia.

The quadrennial international tournament begins on Saturday, June 17 and involves the six holders of the respective FIFA confederation championships, as well as the reigning FIFA World Cup champions and the host nation.

This year’s competition therefore involves Russia, Germany, Australia, Chile, Mexico, New Zealand, Portugal and the Cameroon.

New Zealand will face Russia in their first game of the group stages on Saturday, June 17 before facing Mexico four days later. The All Whites will then play Portugal the following Saturday.

In readiness for the Confederations Cup, the side have another friendly in Belarus on Sunday, June 11.

That means Wood could face at least five games in 23 days this month, possibly more if New Zeland progress further in the Confederations Cup.

Dallas, with Northern Ireland, will face a Group C World Cup qualifier in Azerbaijan eight days after tonight’s friendly with New Zealand.

Jansson, with Sweden, faces a Group A World Cup Qualifier at home to France next Friday evening, four days before a friendly in Norway.

O’Kane, with the Republic Of Ireland, was on duty in the early hours of this morning in a friendly against Mexico in New Jersey. The Republic face another friendly at home to Uruguay on Sunday, a week before next Sunday’s Group D World Cup Qualifier at home to Austria.

Following last night’s clash with Cuba, Vieira and England’s under-20s finishing their Group campaign on Sunday against Japan. There are three Groups which each winner plus the best runner-up advancing to the knockout stage. The tournament ends on Saturday, June 10.Vieira is on duty just two weeks after signing a new long term deal at Leeds that will keep him at the club until 2021.