International Friendlies: Preview

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England and Italy meet for the second time in two months tonight, with Frank Lampard set to captain the Three Lions in Bern.

Cesare Prandelli’s side won the Euro 2012 quarter-final on penalties, and Roy Hodgson will be out for revenge with a young squad missing a host of regulars.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Joe Hart, Theo Walcott and Daniel Sturridge have all pulled out of the side, whilst John Terry and Steven Gerrard were not selected for the match.

For Italy, striker Mario Balotelli and playmaker Andrea Pirlo are amongst the absentees, although Daniele De Rossi is expected to feature.

Germany and Argentina go head-to-head in one of the glamour friendlies tonight, with manager Joachim Loew looking to bounce back following the nation’s semi-final defeat to Italy in the European Championships.

Argentina have named a strong squad for the match, with Lionel Messi included and Newcastle defender Fabricio Coloccini back in the side after a three-year absence. Manager Alejandro Sabella will be eager to make a statement.

France against Uruguay is another big game to look out for tonight, with Didier Deschamps taking charge of Les Bleus for the first time after their quarter-final exit at the hands of Spain at Euro 2012.

Karim Benzema and Franck Ribery are expected to start in a strong line-up, although the Copa America champions will have Diego Forlan and Gaston Ramirez in their line-up.

Oscar Tabarez will be eager to see his side bounce back from the disappointment of U23 failure at the Olympics, with Luis Suarez and Edinson Cavani both missing out tonight after their involvement at London 2012.

Spain continue their jet-setting friendly campaign with a clash against Puerto Rico, whilst Portugal host Panama in another clash that struggles to capture the imagination.

Belgium’s clash with Holland will see one of football’s rising nations come up against a side who under-performed dramatically this summer, whilst Brazil look to move on from their Olympic final defeat to Mexico against Sweden in one of the day’s earlier kick-offs.

The other ‘home’ nations are also in action tonight, with Northern Ireland hosting Finland, Republic of Ireland traveling to Serbia and Scotland hosting Australia.

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