HUDDERSFIELD Town's Capital One Cup first-round tie at Preston is set to go ahead as planned on Monday, August 13 – even though manager Simon Grayson could be missing a string of players because of international call-ups.
Centre-back Murray Wallace and forward Sean Scannell are already ruled out of the Deepdale trip after being selected at Under 21 level by Scotland and the Republic of Ireland respectively for games against Turkey at Sligo and Belgium at Dunfermline on Tuesday 14.
Strike star Jordan Rhodes is in line for a full Scotland call – they face Australia in Edinburgh on Wednesday 15 – while midfielder Oliver Norwood could be with Northern Ireland (versus Finland in Belfast) and defender Joel Lynch with Wales (versus Bosnia in Cardiff).
Any players selected would join up with their country on the previous Sunday, but while Football League games can be postponed if three players from one side are away on international duty, the rule does not apply to the first round of the League Cup – under a gentleman’s agreement.
“The difficulty is in finding an alternative date,” explained League spokesman John Nagle.
“This issue was discussed in 2008, with clubs were given the option of playing the first round earlier or accepting they would play on the arranged date regardless of call-ups, which they accepted.”
The call-ups will also interfere with preparations for Town’s Friday, August 17 Championship opener at Cardiff, although the Welsh side could have even more players on international duty.