International Preview: November 15


Bosnia-Hercegovina will travel to Portugal after stifling the Iberians in Zenica to come out with a 0-0 draw. Portuguese manager, Paulo Bento, is under immense public pressure to save a stuttering Euro 2012 qualifying campaign.

England’s Group G opponents Montenegro face an up hill task after they were soundly beaten 2-0 by the Czech Republic in the first leg in Prague. However, Montenegro have a strong home record and were unbeaten at home in the group stage.

The Republic of Ireland will be in celebratory mood after they thrashed nine-man Estonia 4-0 in Tallinn. Despite their imminent qualification, Robbie Keane has refused a request from his club LA Galaxy to return early for their MLS Cup final against Houston Dynamo.

Croatia are another team who should secure their berth in Poland and Ukraine without too much trouble after an impressive away thrashing of Turkey. Guus Hiddink has been able to work his magic for the Crescent-Stars and will be considering his future after this game, unless they produce a miracle performance to overturn the 3-0 deficit.

World Cup Qualifiers

Argentina will be out to make amends for their disappointing home draw against Bolivia when they take on Colombia in the fourth round of the South American qualifiers for the 2014 World Cup. They will travel to the Roberto Meléndez Stadium in Baranquilla, where the Colombians will be waiting with the same record as the Argentinians, but having played a game less.


World and European champions Spain travel to Central America after their surprise loss to England on Saturday at Wembley. The Costa Ricans also come into the game off of a loss – 3-0 away to Panama – and are expected to pair up young Arsenal striker Joel Campbell and Fulham’s Bryan Ruiz in attack.

France host Belgium and will hope to extend their unbeaten run to 17 matches in Paris. A young Belgium side will be looking to bounce back after a disappointing last round exit in the group stages of the Euro 2012 qualifiers. Star man Eden Hazard will be eager to perform well against the country where he makes his living.

The Lille winger is just getting his international career back up and running after an argument with national coach George Leekens saw him excluded from the line-up earlier this year.

Uruguay travel to Rome and the Stadio Olimpico, where a victory could see them move up to third in the FIFA world rankings.

The South Americans are on a 12 match unbeaten run that saw them take the Copa America title in Argentina. This will be no easy task, however, as Italy will be buoyant from a Euro 2012 qualifying campaign where they avoided defeat and conceded only two goals in the ten matches.

Le Celeste will also be without injured stars Diego Forlan and Luiz Suarez, who scored four goals in the World Cup qualifying victory against Chile.

The Imtech Arena in Hamburg will see Germany continue their rivalry with neighbours Holland. Both sides have just completed highly successful qualifying campaigns, with Germany winning every one of their qualifying matches.

Holland will be without Robin van Persie, who has returned to Arsenal after coach Bert van Marwijk struck a deal with Arsene Wenger to rest the Gunners’ main man. Rafael Van Der Vaart will be missing after injuring his hamstring the previous friendly, so Dirk Kuyt or Klaas Jan Huntelaar are expected to deputise.

Miroslav Klose will need a fitness test to decide whether he can start alongside Mario Gomez up front and Dennis Aogo will definitely start in the German defence.

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