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Internationals Part Two, Electric Boogaloo

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dirk kuyt netherlands

The international break's half done, which is good. But that still means there's a half left to go, which is rather less good. As always, you can catch all the week's action on the usual streaming sites—MyP2P, StopStream, First Row Sports, ATDHE, etc.—if your local television options don't have the match you want covered. And this, then, is what you've got to look forward to, plus what went down in last week's fixtures…


Monday Friendlies

Brazil v. Egypt 5PM GMT/12PM EST

Lucas didn't play in a 2-0 victory against Gabon last Thursday, rested by Brazil due to "muscle fatigue" in an attempt to insure the long-term fitness of a player who has been a near constant for club and country over the past 18 months. But with Egypt expected to be a tougher opponent—and with the match taking place in Doha on a better pitch than the crime against football in Libreville—Lucas and a number of other Brazilian regulars given last week off are likely to feature.

Tuesday Friendlies

Denmark v. Finland 7:15PM GMT/2:15PM EST

After beating Sweden 2-0 last week, Denmark continues the Scandinavian tour by hosting Finland on Tuesday. And after Daniel Agger came out of the lat match unscathed, it's one more chance for Liverpool fans to nervously hold their breath. As Ed pointed out last week, for most a Danish friendly is a chance to wait for Daniel Agger to pick up an injury while Chrisitian Poulsen occasionally appears on screen, and no matter how things end up, getting from A to B is sure to be bad for your blood pressure.

Italy v. Uruguay 7:45PM GMT/2:45PM EST

After almost single-handedly beating Chile 4-0, Luis Suarez and Uruguay head across the Atlantic for an oddly timed prestige friendly against Italy at Rome's Stadio Olimpico. Hoping for Suarez to sit after the boost he gave to Uruguay's World Cup qualifying campaign—and after picking up a slight back injury—last week is probably too much to hope for, with the striker declaring himself ready to face Italy, but at least being back in Europe a week early should help prevent any timezone jet-lag fun come the weekend and Liverpool's match against Chelsea. Also, since Alberto Aquilani has firmly established himself in Prandelli's Italy side, those looking to continue last week's theme of self-harm might find the opportunity to do so should the not-really-a-Liverpool-player-in-anything-but-a-technical-sense player do something noteworthy.

Germany v. Netherlands 7:45PM GMT/2:45PM EST

Kicking off at the same time as Italy and Uruguay, the week's other big draw sees the Dutch heading to Hamburg in a match between what many would consider to be two of Europe's top three sides. Dirk Kuyt started last week in a dull 0-0 draw against Switzerland, and chances are he'll start again on Tuesday for one of the aforementioned top three sides in Europe. Meanwhile, at least Jordan Henderson is a regular starter for England's U21 side. And as much as Kuyt's been unfailingly professional at club level, it's difficult to see him starting every match for the Netherlands while sitting on the bench most weeks at Liverpool and imagine a world where he'll be at the club next year—or perhaps even past January.

England v. Sweden 8PM GMT/3PM EST

After winning the most important, monumental, poppytacular international friendly in the history of international friendlies against Spain at Wembley, England is set to host Sweden. As in the last match, Glen Johnson and Stewart Downing are likely to feature at some point for England, with Johnson in particular having made an impression as one of the best players on the pitch with a near perfect defensive performance against the world and European champions. Downing was decidedly less impressive when he came on to play the second half, though in the end England won the match and so everything's puppies and sunshine. Unless they get whipped by Sweden now.

Wrapping things up with a player who doesn't have a second match to play this international break, Craig Bellamy has returned to Liverpool after scoring to help Wales cruise to a 4-1 victory over Norway. Early goals from Bale and Bellamy allowed the Welsh to sit back and counter a side that never looked like a threat to get back into the match until well into the second half, though when Norway finally did get on the scoreboard, two late goals by Wales' Sam Vokes put the game to bed. Elsewhere, Scotland also doesn't have a second match, but neither Charlie Adam nor Danny Wilson took part in last week's victory over Cyprus, and had there been a second game it's unlikely either would have featured in any case.