Liverpool Int'ls: Preview and Schedule, 10.16.12

David Cannon - Getty Images

The last round of internationals before Liverpool's squad members return is nearly upon us, with England's U21s looking to secure passage into the European Finals, and everyone else trying to get themselves into position as the halfway point approaches.

Only one more day of breath-holding and voodoo chanting before Liverpool's squad reassembles, and we've got the full slate of qualifiers to watch/fear/gaze upon with horror. A few of the names that were around Saturday are either doubts or confirmed absences tomorrow, but most will have some part to play as their respective squads wrap up the international break.

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U21 European Championship 2013 Qualifying:

Serbia U21s v. England U21s - Tuesday, October 16 - 5:00PM BST/12:00PM EST

Stuart Pearce's squad will be looking to protect the narrow 1-0 advantage they earned at Carrow Road, and it's likely that Jordan Henderson and Raheem Sterling will have some part to play. Henderson's been the captain for much of qualifying and is a lock, and Sterling looked good for most of the hour-plus he played in the first leg. It doesn't seem that either of Jonjo Shelvey or Jack Robinson will be in the mix; the former isn't listed on the FA's squad sheet despite the absence of Jack Rodwell, and the latter apparently hasn't overcome an illness and didn't travel.

World Cup 2014 Qualifying:

Iraq v. Australia - Tuesday, October 16 - 3:15PM BST/10:15AM EST

The Australians have had a horrible start to their qualifying campaign, earning only two points from their first three matches and sitting eight points behind Group B leaders Japan. They have an identical record as Iraq, and taking points will be critical in a group that's log-jammed outside of the top spot. Mark Schwarzer's first-choice and, fitness concerns aside, will start, but Brad Jones has traveled with the squad and will likely be on the bench.

Croatia v. Wales - Tuesday, October 16 - 7:00PM BST/2:00PM EST

With a win against Scotland on Saturday, Chris Coleman's Welsh side earned their first points in qualifying, proving enough to bump themselves off the bottom of the Group A table and past their visitors. A tougher test comes tomorrow, with a trip to group leaders Croatia on tap. Joe Allen will likely start in the midfield again and play much of the match, and if they can come away with a point it'll be a terrific result.

Hungary v. Turkey - Tuesday, October 16 - 7:30PM BST/2:30PM EST

Nuri Sahin was kept out of the starting eleven for Turkey's home loss to Romania on Saturday, but had a wonderful chance to equalize at the death only to head it narrowly over. They can draw level on points with their hosts tomorrow, and while a start might not be in the cards for Sahin, he'll probably see significant minutes in a must-win for the Turkish squad.

Slovakia v. Greece - Tuesday, October 16 - 7:30PM BST/2:30PM EST

After a draw with Lithuania to start qualifying, Martin Skrtel and Slovakia have rattled off consecutive home wins against Liechtenstein and Latviaa and sit atop Group G alongside Bosnia-Herzegovina, who played out a scoreless draw with Greece, who the Slovaks face tomorrow. Skrtel required assistance coming off late in the win over Latvia, but there hasn't been any word as to whether or not it was enough to keep him out of action tomorrow. If there's any doubt, let's hope he's given a rest and that he'll have enough time to recuperate before Reading's visit to Anfield at the weekend.

Italy v. Denmark - Tuesday, October 16 - 7:45PM BST/2:45PM EST

It's been a difficult start to qualifying for Daniel Agger's Denmark, who've drawn with the Czech Republic and Bulgaria and now travel to Italy in hopes of adding to their two points. They're second bottom in a tricky Group B; Armenia were a surprise threat in Euro 2012 qualifying, and they're among the five other teams in the group that have a legitimate chance at qualification. Agger will captain and start in central defense, and while it'd be nice for the Danes to get a point, I'm mostly just hoping Agger survives.

Poland v. England - Tuesday, October 16 - 8:00PM BST/3:00PM EST

The greatest qualifying campaign since the Euro 2012 qualifying campaign continues in Poland, with Roy Hodgson's noble charges looking to build off their win over San Marino on Saturday. Jonjo Shelvey looks to be sticking around for the time being, and Steven Gerrard will be back after serving his one-match suspension and Glen Johnson will both be back after their respective suspensions (thanks to totokia for setting me straight). This'll probably be a vintage Roy Hodgson away performance, as Poland's got enough attacking talent to scare up a 9-1 formation with Gerrard lurking just off Joe Hart's hip during open play.

Spain v. France - Tuesday, October 16 - 8:00PM BST/3:00PM EST

Reigning champions Spain will get their first actual test of qualifying with France's visit, as both nations are perfect through two matches and have a combined 9-1 goal differential over their opponents. Interesting from a neutral perspective, but little to pay attention to for those with Liverpool leanings, as Pepe Reina's going to have to hope that there's a goal or two for Spain so he can leave the bench.

Bolivia v. Uruguay - Tuesday, October 16 - 9:00PM BST/4:00PM EST

Uruguay's loss to Argentina on Saturday in Mendoza was the latest in a string of disappointing results for the 2011 Copa America champions starting with their 0-4 humbling at the hands of Colombia. They'll need to rebound tomorrow in one of the more difficult venues for visiting teams, and Luis Suarez will be an important part of any success they have. Sebastian Coates didn't play in Argentina and has an outside shot at taking part tomorrow but should feature tomorrow with Diego Lugano injured and Diego Godin suspended (thanks to GreenCurtains for the update).

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