The European Championship qualifying campaign returns for its latest round of fixtures later this month along with some tasty looking friendlies. GiveMeSport contributor Simon Byrne takes you through the games you can not afford to miss, or forget to record and watch later.
Germany v Gibraltar
It’s been a hard start to being an international football team for the British colony. Gibraltar have suffered two 7-0 thrashings at the hands of Poland and the Republic of Ireland and on paper anyway things look like they’re about to get a lot worse.
Gibraltar face a trip to take on world champions Germany in their next European qualifier. Germany have had a rotten start to their qualifying campaign by their high standards after being held to a 1-1 draw at home with Ireland and a defeat away in Poland.
Germany will be playing with a different kind of pressure on their shoulders next week with their fans expecting a good performance from their side as well as scoring plenty of goals in the process. It could be a very long night for the Gibraltar goalkeeper.
Argentina v Portugal
What a treat in store for football fans in Manchester as Portugal take on Argentina in an international friendly at Old Trafford. Not only will former favourites Carlos Tevez and Cristiano Ronaldo be returning to Old Trafford, fans will get to see current fans favourite Angel Di Maria as well as Lionel Messi, Sergio Aguero and Gonzalo Higuaín.
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It will be a rare opportunity to see Lionel Messi playing on English soil, but the main attraction of course will be Ronaldo. Ronaldo is still treated like a god at Old Trafford and the majority of the fans will be cheering him and his Portugal side on to victory.
It is also a good opportunity for Ronaldo’s Portugal team mate Nani to impress the home fans, Nani is currently on loan at Sporting Lisbon from the Old Trafford club.
Scotland v England
The oldest rivals in world football prepare to lock horns again when England go north of the border to take on Scotland at an international friendly at Celtic Park. Scotland will also take on the Republic of Ireland in a Euro qualifier but the England match will be the big one for
Scotland are a fast improving side under new manager Gordon Strachan
and will prove a tough test for Roy Hodgson’s men. England will be looking to put in a much improved performance than the one they put in against Estonia in their last outing.
Spain v Germany
Germany’s second big game of the international break will see them travel to Vigo to face Spain. The game will see the current world cup holders face the current European champions.
Despite both sides pedigree both Spain and Germany are searching for their best form that helped them towards their major international triumphs in recent years. The new look Spanish side will want to show they are still cable of winning against the other big
international sides after bad results against Holland and Chile at the world cup.
Despite both side’s poor form of late these are the two best sides on the continent and this game could be a dress rehearsal for a later meeting at the European championships
in France in 2016.
Italy v Croatia
This is the stand out fixture in the latest round of European qualifying action. Both sides but their 100% start to qualifying on the line when they meet in Milan. Both these sides bar a major disaster should qualify for the finals but both will want to win group H out right and this game could go a long way to deciding which one will.
Both sides flopped at the World Cup but the way they have begun qualifying will give both sets of supporters hope that their sides can challenge in France in 2016.