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The Premier League, in its early stages of the 2023/24 season, is taking a temporary hiatus as European nations gear up for Euro 2024 qualification matches. This pause brings relief to clubs like Newcastle, Everton, and Burnley who seek to regroup after a challenging start. Meanwhile, high-flying teams such as Manchester City, Tottenham, Liverpool, and Arsenal are eager to return from the international break injury-free as they aim to sustain their impressive season openers.

Euro 2024 Qualification at Stake
This international break carries immense significance as it plays a crucial role in determining the 24 teams that will compete in Euro 2024. Nations like England and Scotland are determined to extend their flawless records as they enter the decisive phase of qualification.

International Break Schedule
The international break officially commenced on September 4th, just four weekends into the new Premier League season and a mere three days after the transfer deadline day. It runs until September 12th, offering both players and fans a brief pause to catch their breath.

 Key Fixtures to Watch
England, under the guidance of Gareth Southgate, have been outstanding in their Euro 2024 qualification campaign, securing four wins from four games, including a stunning victory over reigning champions Italy. With a remarkable 15 goals scored and only one conceded, they face a stern test in an away match against Ukraine at the Stadion Miejski Wroclaw in Poland on September 9th.

Scotland’s Ambitions
Scotland, buoyed by recent successes, are poised to continue their impressive run. Sporting a 100 per cent record in their opening qualifiers, they are strong favourites to extend their streak against Cyprus on September 8th.

Wales and Northern Ireland’s Challenges
In contrast, Wales has had a less promising start to their Euro 2024 qualification campaign, winning only one of their first four matches. They hope to bolster their chances with a victory away to Latvia on September 11th. Northern Ireland faces similar challenges, with just one win in their opening three qualifiers. They embark on crucial fixtures against Slovakia and Kazakhstan during this international break, aiming to turn their campaign around.

Historic England vs. Scotland Friendly
The international break holds a historic fixture in the form of an international friendly between England and Scotland on September 12th. Marking the 150th anniversary of one of the oldest rivalries in world football, this clash at Hampden Park in Glasgow promises a thrilling encounter, reminiscent of their tightly fought 0-0 draw during the group stage of Euro 2020.

 Premier League Standings
While the Premier League takes a pause, it’s worth noting the stellar performances of top clubs. Manchester City leads the PL table with 12 points, boasting 4 wins from 4 matches. Tottenham, Liverpool, West Ham  and Arsenal are close behind with 3 wins each, setting the stage for a captivating title race when league action resumes.

In this momentary break from Premier League action, fans can reflect on the season’s excitement and look forward to an action-packed return. As qualification for Euro 2024 hangs in the balance and thrilling fixtures beckon, football enthusiasts have ample anticipation for the resumption of domestic play, which promises to be a spectacle of its own.

Iain West is an MFF sports writer

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