Liverpool's Internationals Matchday: England, Uruguay, and the End of Group Play

Mike Hewitt

Join the conversation on the Liverpool Offside as we follow the final day of group play in UEFA and CONMEBOL World Cup qualifying, with a focus on England and Uruguay.

Belgium are through while Wales and Slovakia are out. Denmark, meanwhile, are really only mathematically still alive while France are really only mathematically able to beat Spain to first in their group. All of that leaves us to focus on England and Uruguay, even if their own fates are only slightly less certain than all the rest.

Full previews for all today's action from a Liverpool point of view can be found here.

Denmark v. Malta
7:15PM BST/2:15 PM EST


Denmark need a better result against Malta than Bulgaria get against the Czechs to move into second in Group B. However, they would still be the second-place finisher with the worst record amongst UEFA's nine groups—and only the top eight go to the playoffs. For that to change, they need Romania to lose to Estonia and the Netherlands to beat Turkey by four goals in Group D. And if you think that's going to happen, I've got a dead prince's fortune and can give you a 10% cut if you give me your personal banking details.

England v. Poland
Watch: ITV 1 (UK); Fox Sports (USA)

The only expected change for England following a strong—and surprisingly entertaining—showing against Montenegro on Friday will be to partner Micheal Carrick in midfield with captain Steven Gerrard while Frank Lampard moves to the bench. Daniel Sturridge will lead the line with Wayne Rooney playing off him. While England are assured at least a playoff berth, they are rightly approaching tonight's match against an already dispatched Poland as must-win in order to avoid any chance of Ukraine leapfrogging them and taking first in Group H.

France v. Finland
Watch: ESPN 3 (USA)

Sakho played a half for France in their friendly thumping of Australia on Friday, but he's likely to start on the bench in a match the hosts need to win to have any chance of beating Spain to first in Group H. France, though, don't control their own destiny in that respect, as Spain are currently level on points but well ahead on goal differential and set to face minnows Georgia today. Barring an unlikely upset in that match, France will finish second in the group no matter what happens here tonight.

Uruguay v. Argentina
12:30AM (Wed.) BST/7:30PM EST
Watch: BeIN Sport (USA)


Luis Suarez will, as always, start for Uruguay, while Lionel Messi remains out of the Argentina picture with a thigh injury. The visiting Argentineans are assured of first in CONMEBOL qualifying regardless of anything that happens tonight and may take the chance to experiment. Uruguay, meanwhile, are assured of at least finishing fifth and heading to the intercontinental playoff against Jordan—a tie that on paper at least they should win handily. Their only chance of moving up comes if they can beat Argentina while one of Chile or Ecuador—the two sides ahead of them in the standings they can catch and playing each other tonight—wins by at least a couple of goals. That match kicks off an hour earlier, so Uruguay will know at halftime if they have any chance of jumping into fourth with the right result.

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