Liverpool's Internationals Preview and Schedule, 09.06.13

Alex Livesey

Previewing the first set of September's international fixtures from a Liverpool point of view, with England injuries and Denmark must-wins on tap plus a first look at Victor Moses following his arrival on loan.

It may not be the type of football most Liverpool fans want to see, but September's international break brings with it plenty of interesting action on Friday. Injuries in the England camp will limit Liverpool involvement, and Mamadou Sakho isn't in the French picture, but there's still plenty to keep an eye on—and from Denmark's must-win game against Malta to Uruguay's must-win game against Peru, by the time Friday's over a few more countries could find themselves edging out of the World Cup conversation. Plus there's a chance to watch Victor Moses on Saturday in a match that could determine Nigeria's World Cup fate...

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England U21 v. Moldova U21
Thursday, September 5th
7:45PM BST/2:45PM EST

With Jonjo Shelvey a Swan, Raheem Sterling with the senior side, and Jordan Henderson too old, England's U21s suddenly provide far less interest from a Liverpool point of view. New manager Gareth Southgate has named Andre Wisdom his captain, and Jack Robinson—currently out on loan at Blackpool—is expected to start on the bench, but otherwise there's nothing on show for Liverpool fans as England begin their qualification efforts for the 2015 European U21 Championships.

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Macedonia v. Wales
Friday, September 6th
6:00PM BST/1:00PM EST

Joe Allen is confirmed out for both Friday's match against Macedonia and Tuesday's against Serbia, but at this point it hardly matters as even were Wales to take maximum points from their remaining games they wouldn't be favoured to make it to second in the group with its promise of a chance to qualify via play-off—and first is already a mathematical impossibility.

Malta v. Denmark
Friday, September 6th
7:00PM BST/2:00PM EST

Daniel Agger will captain Denmark against Malta in a match the Danes must win to keep their World Cup hopes alive. With all the countries in Group B having played six of ten qualifying matches, Denmark currently sit second to last with six points. Italy currently lead the group on 14 points while Bulgaria hold second—and the chance of qualification via a play-off—with ten. With two of their final four games against Malta, one against Armenia, and one against Italy, Danish hopes aren't completely dashed, but they'll likely have to earn at least nine points to be in the conversation—and that means starting with a win on Friday.

Bosnia and Herzegovina v. Slovakia
Friday, September 6th
7:15PM BST/2:15PM EST

Following his impressive return to action against Manchester United on Sunday, Martin Skrtel will captain Slovakia as they take on Bosnia and Herzegovina and seek to narrow the gap on Greece in second place. Bosnia and Herzegovina, though, could offer surprisingly stiff competition, with the unexpected group leaders having so far taken 16 of a possible 18 points in qualification—including victories over Latvia, Lithuania, and Greece. However, they have yet to face Slovakia, and back to back games between the two could go a long way towards deciding Group G.

England v. Moldova
Friday, September 6th
8:00PM BST/3:00PM EST

Like the U21s on Thursday, England's seniors will be facing off against Moldova this week. Daniel Sturridge and Glen Johnson have both been ruled out of Friday's World Cup qualifier. Johnson's ankle injury is going to keep the fullback sidelined for some time, though Sturridge will be reevaluated ahead of Tuesday's match against Ukraine. Steven Gerrard will captain the side while a long list of injuries means Raheem Sterling could see action off the bench. England currently stand second in Group H, two points back of upstarts Montenegro with four games remaining in qualification.

Scotland v. Belgium
Friday, September 6th
8:00PM BST/3:00PM EST

Liverpool fans may have lost their tenuous link to Spanish international action with Pepe Reina having headed to Napoli for the season, but rather conveniently the club's new starting keeper will be filling something of the same role with Belgium. Simon Mignolet is expected to be on the bench in support of regular starter Thibaut Courois, while Belgium—who sit first in Group A and are already guaranteed a top-two finish—look to put some distance between themselves and second-place Croatia.

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Peru v. Uruguay
Friday, September 6th
3:30AM BST (Saturday)/10:30PM EST

With 12 of 16 CONMEBOL qualifying matches played, Uruguay sit uncomfortably in fifth on goal differential. The top four countries in South America advance to the World Cup automatically, with the fifth facing a play-off against the fifth-place Asian side. Peru currently sit seventh, two points back of Uruguay. Luis Suarez will, as always, start in attack for Oscar Tabarez' struggling side, as Uruguay have followed up a disappointing 2012 with a 2013 that has yet shown no signs of them being able to return to the kind of form that saw them impress at the last World Cup and win the 2011 Copa America.

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Nigeria v. Malawi
Saturday, September 7th
4:00PM BST/11:00AM EST

Liverpool fans get their first look at Victor Moses following his loan move from Chelsea on Saturday with the final, deciding match of Group F in CAF qualifying. Nigeria stand two points ahead of Malawi, and a win or draw will take them through to the third and final round of African qualification, where the winners of the ten second round groups pair off in a home-and-home series to determine the five World Cup qualifiers. Moses will be expected to start for Stephen Keshi's Super Eagles.

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