Nottingham Forest duo Costel Pantilimon and Karim Ansarifard have been called up by Romania and Iran respectively for the upcoming international break.
Forest drew 0-0 with Stoke City on the weekend, Pantilimon keeping his seventh clean sheet of the season, having played all 17 games, while Ansarifard remained an unused substitute and yet to add to his one, albeit short, appearance to date.
The former Manchester City stopper will be looking to add to his 28 caps to date, but the 31 year-old competes with Nantes ‘keeper Ciprian Tatarusanu for the number one jersey, as well as Sparta Prague’s Florian Nita. Ex-Olympiacos frontman Ansarifard is a more regular fixture in the Iran starting side. The 28 year-old has featured at two World Cups and has scored against Portugal in the 2018 version.
Romania could still yet suffer the ignominy of relegation, as they sit in third place in of Group 4 in League C, yet lead the other third placed sides. They face pointless Lithuania, who are bottom having lost all four games, before a vital game against Montenegro which could lead to promotion for Pantilimon’s men.
Iran are visited by Trinidad & Tobago before Venezuela make the long trip to Asia to face Carlos Queiroz’ plucky Iranian side. Nottingham Forest are one point outside of the final play-off place which is currently occupied by their big rivals and neighbours, Derby County.
Upon return from the International fixtures, Aitor Karanka will hope to have Pantilimon and Ansarifard available when they make the tip over to East Yorkshire to face relegation threatened Hull City.