Adam Johnson

Dozen on international duty

by Stuart Vose

12 players head off for internationals.

It's a busy week for a considerable chunk of the Sunderland squad with 12 players heading off on international duty.

Here's where the international Black Cats are headed:

Republic of Ireland - David Meyler, John O'Shea, James McClean, Keiren Westwood

John O'Shea and James McClean headline a strong contingent in the Republic's squad for two upcoming games.

Keiren Westwood and David Meyler have also been included, with the latter potentially in line for his first cap.

Giovanni Trapattoni's side face Kazakhstan in a World Cup qualifier in Astana on September 7 before taking on Oman at Fulham's Craven Cottage four days later.

Following the international retirement of Shay Given and Damien Duff, O'Shea is now the second most experienced player in the squad with 80 caps, behind Robbie Keane (120).

England - Adam Johnson

Johnson was named in the England squad by coach Roy Hodgson just days after moving to Wearside.

The winger, who has 11 caps to his name, is in a 23-man squad for the Three Lions' opening World Cup 2014 qualifier against Moldova in Chisinau on September 7.

The focus then switches to Wembley four days later as Ukraine visit in another qualifier.

Belgium - Simon Mignolet

Mignolet and Belgium will be hoping to get their qualification campaign off to a solid start after missing out on Euro 2012.

The Belgians take on Wales in Cardiff on Friday before returning home to face Croatia in Brussels next Tuesday.

Mignolet has firmly established himself as number one at international level, winning 10 caps so far.

Sweden - Seb Larsson

Larsson will return to Helsingborgs - opponents in a pre-season friendly last month - with the national side for a friendly against China on Thursday.

The clash with the Chinese is a warm-up for the Swedes' first World Cup qualifier, against Kazakhstan in Malmo on September 11.

Benin - Stephane Sessegnon

Sessegnon could face team-mate Ahmed Elmohamady, who is currently on loan at Hull, when Benin face Egypt in Alexandria on Friday.

England Under-21 - Connor Wickham, Danny Rose

Wickham joins new signing Rose in the England under-21 squad, who fly out today bound for Baku, Azerbaijan.

The Three Lions take on the Azeris on Thursday in their penultimate Euro 2013 qualifier.

The action then switches to Chesterfield's Proact Stadium, where England will take on Norway next Monday.

Republic of Ireland Under-21 - John Egan

Egan has broken into the Republic's under-21 set-up as Noel King's side prepare for two vital Euro 2013 qualifiers.

Ireland face an away game in Hungary on September 7, followed by a trip to Casarano in Italy four days later.

England Under-19 - Jordan Pickford

Young keeper Pickford has again been named in England's under-19 squad.

The young Lions face a tough trip to face Germany in Hamburg on Thursday.