International Roundup: Fletcher Injury Causes Major Concern

Alex Livesey

We cast our collective eyes over the performances of all Sunderland players involved in international action during the first part of this break. See what happened, and to whom, here!

It was a quiet night in Wycombe for both Danny Rose and Connor Wickham as England Under-21's beat their Romanian counterparts 3-0 in a friendly as they warm up for the summer's Euro tournament in Israel.

Rose started the game at left-back before being withdraw at half time having had a quietly solid game. Wickham entered the action on 88 minutes and barely got himself a kick.

Both will likely feature more prominently, especially Wickham as an impressive Wilfred Zaha has returned to Crystal Palace, on Monday as England host Austria in the final friendly before the summer's big tournament.

Also on England duty was Jordan Pickford who once again held his own as England Under-19's starting goalkeeper as they won 1-0 against Turkey's Under-19 team.

Pickford was rarely called into action as England dominated more than the scoreline suggests but he did well to get down low and save a header in the first half, and similarly for a tame shot in the second from distance.

On Friday Seb Larsson went head to head with some of his teammates as Sweden hosted Ireland as both teams looked to qualify for the World Cup in 2014.

After about 20-minutes it was Larsson who was getting the better of James McClean whom he was up against all night out wide, showing good composure and defending skills to stop McClean getting in a dangerous cross.

A moment later Larsson could have had himself on the scoresheet after a stray pass from Ciaran Clark landed nicely for him to hit and flash just inches wide of the goal.

That was about it for his involvement. A decent enough performance on the right hand side of midfield. Take note Martin O'Neill.

Both James McClean and John O'Shea started for Ireland in the game. McClean impressed for the most part too, especially in getting plenty of crosses into the box before later being replaced by Andy Keogh as Ireland went in search of a late winner.

John O'Shea played the full 90 minutes and handled Zlatan Ibrahimovic well for the most part, although the enigmatic frontman seemed a little off the boil.

It's bad news for Kieren Westwood though. Giovanni Trapattoni warned him that a lack of first team football would cost him, and David Forde who started and played the full game against Sweden looked solid enough to warrant further starts.

And now to the headline news. The crushingly depressing headline news as Steven Fletcher looks to have picked up a bad injury just two minutes into Scotland's defeat to Wales last night.

Having risen to challenge for a header, our leading striker landed awkwardly and was stretchered off with his leg in a brace following a lengthy delay.

At the moment the severity of his injury is unknown, but we must hope that it isn't as bad as the broken ankle which several amateur doctors are claiming it is at the moment. We'll know in the next few days, and it could be a huge dent to hour hopes of survival.

David Vaughan was due to take part in this game but withdrew through injury, as has Stephane Sessegnon from Benin's squad to play Algeria.

Simon Mignolet remained on the bench for the entirety of Belgium's 2-0 win over Macedonia as he is firmly second choice behind Thibault Courtois.

Ahmed Elmohamady was part of an Egypt side which routed Swaziland 10-0 in a friendly in Cairo.

Overall, this might be one of the worst international breaks we've been through. It's fingers and everything else crossed as we hope Steven Fletcher is well enough to help us out in the remainder of the season. We'll be keeping a close eye on it and letting you know any news which comes through about his injury.

He'll certainly be returning to Wearside soon as most of the other players remain away on duty for games on Monday and Tuesday, and we'll also be rounding those up on Wednesday.

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