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Men's Team

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Karim Rekik grabs a goal for Netherlands U19s

Karim Rekik

Karim Rekik

City’s loan rangers suffered a reduced fixture list this week, as many leagues took a break for the internationals and others fell victim to the British winter weather.

Karim Rekik enjoyed a productive week, captaining Netherlands U19s and grabbing a goal as they thrashed Czech Republic U19s last Thursday.

The 18-year-old returns to Blackburn Rovers for their Championship clash with Blackpool on Saturday under caretaker boss Gary Bowyer, after the Ewood Park club parted ways with Michael Appleton last week.

Eirik Holmen Johansen also added another 90 minutes to his tally for Scunthorpe in their 3-2 defeat to league leaders Doncaster at the weekend.

Eirik Johansen

The Iron have now drifted into the relegation places, but Eirik is keen to benefit from his experience at Glanford Park.

He told the Scunthorpe Telegraph: "I just want to get some games under my belt, some proper league games rather than Under-21 games," said Johansen, who has yet to make a senior appearance for the reigning Premier League champions.

"I want to bring all the experience I get from that into my game and kick on from there.

"It is a little bit different football here. At City we play a little bit more possession, keep the ball and if it's not on, come round and start building up again. Here, it was a little bit more direct.

"As a goalie wanting to come out on loan, I want to experience that different side of it and go a little bit more direct.

"It's a little tougher because we're playing against men rather than teenagers.

"I think it will be very good for me to experience this side of the game."

You can read the full interview with the young goalkeeper here.

City’s Norwegian duo both saw action for their country’s U21 side this week.

Omar Ellabdellaoui built on his promising loan with 2.Bundesliga side Eintracht Braunschweiger by playing the full 90 minutes in Norway U21s 5-2 defeat to Spain last week, and then played the first half of a 4-1 defeat to Netherlands U21s on Monday.

He was joined on the field for the match against the Netherlands by Abdi Ibrahim, who played 90 minutes.

Defender Ryan McGivern was also called up to the senior Northern Ireland squad, but their game with Russia was postponed due to snow.

Ryan will be hoping that his good loan spell with Hibs in the Scottish Premier League leaves him in a strong position to start for his country when they face Israel in Belfast this evening.

Most League Two matches were postponed this weekend thanks to another round of snow, and Adam Drury and Alex Henshall were both affected as Burton Albion and Chesterfield’s games were called off.

Henshall was an unused substitute for Chesterfield in midweek when they faced Torquay.

In Italy, Luca Scapuzzi was not involved for Varese in their draw with Vicenza at the weekend, but came on as a sub for the last 20 minutes of the Serie B club’s 2-0 home loss to Novara last Tuesday.

Roque Santa Cruz was surprisingly omitted from the Paraquay squad for their World Cup qualifiers.  Wayne Bridge, Jeremy Helan and Mohammed Abu also had a break from match action this week as they wait for their leagues to resume after the international interlude.

Alex Nimely continues to recover from a hamstring injury.

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