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Internationals Preview: Tuesday's European Qualifiers

bellamy wales

Serbia is set to face the Faroe Islands in Group C action, while Kazakhstan heads to Azerbaijan in an exciting match-up of countries that can't qualify for next summer's European Championships. Plus there might be a couple of games that you'll be vaguely interested in because hey, it's football, which is better than nothing. Unless a Liverpool player ends up injured, in which case it really isn't.

First things first: Wrapping up the Brazil v. Ghana match played Monday evening in London. Lucas anchored Brazil's midfield for the full 90 in a 1-0 win over Ghana at Craven Cottage, though it probably should have been more with Ghana being down to ten men for more than a half. After Chile v. Spain ratcheted up the intensity on Friday, this was another friendly that was far more intensively competitive than the vast majority of international fixtures that are supposed to actually mean something.

Getting back to the qualifiers, for those whose local options don't give them access to the game of their choice, ATDHE, StopStream, and First Row Sports should have things covered...

Finland v. Netherlands 6PM GMT/1:00PM EST

The Dutch have first place in Group E wrapped up completely while Finland needs a win to keep their hopes of participating in next summer's Euros anything more than mathematically alive. Hopefully, in a game that doesn't matter to the Dutch in any way, Bert van Marwijk takes it as a chance to rest some of his key players after failing to do so against San Marino on Friday.

Slovakia v. Armenia 7:15PM GMT/2:15PM EST

With both sides still fighting to qualify in either first or second in Group B, Martin Skrtel's Slovakia can go a long way towards ensuring advancement while Armenia get the chance to prove they're the real deal.

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

After taking off last Friday's round of games, Denmark hosts Norway in a hugely important Group H contest, and Daniel Agger is expected to start. Currently Norway and Portugal stand in first and second in the group with thirteen points after six games out of eight played, while Denmark is third with ten points but have only played five matches. A Danish win, then, would put them in a very strong position to at least advance to the playoff round from second, while a loss would nearly put them out of contention.

England v. Wales 7:45PM GMT/2:45PM EST

For those interested in watching as many Liverpool players as possible play on Tuesday, Stewart Downing versus new boy Craig Bellamy on the flanks at Wembley offers by far the best entertainmentis likely all you'll get when England takes on Wales since I'm an idiot who didn't notice Bellamy was out on accumulated yellow cards. Then again, it's an international match and most would rather if the Liverpool duo spent it clipping their nails on the bench or sat in the stands like Craig Bellamy will in fact be doing and it's kind of embarrassing now that I used him for the header image. In any case, Andy Carroll seems unlikely to start given Fabio Capello's current insistence on picking in form players instead of just the big names, which makes complete sense from an England point of view after years of watching Frank Lampard start in midfield to little effect. More negatively, Capello also used the Bulgaria post-match to offer his opinion on Andy Carroll's lifestyle choices: In short, he's not a fan.

Scotland v. Lithuania 8:00PM GMT/3:00PM EST

In the immediate aftermath of Saturday's draw against the Czechs, talk was that Adam being substituted after 79 minutes was a precautionary move. Later, however, it came out that he had picked up a slight but unidentified knock earlier in the match and would miss out against Lithuania because of it. By most accounts, this mystery injury isn't an especially serious one, and so far at least there's been no suggestion that he's likely to miss Liverpool's trip to Stoke on the weekend as a result. As for Danny Wilson, after coming off the bench to concede the penalty that dealt a major blow to Scotland's chances of qualification, it seems unlikely that the Liverpool youngster will be any less a spectator than Adam in what should be a winnable match.

Spain v. Liechtenstein 9:00PM GMT/4:00PM EST

Elsewhere in Group I, Pepe Reina will continue the trend of Liverpool players starting on the bench as the group leaders set out for a likely mauling of the group trailers. If you enjoy goals, passing, and brawls, though, it should make for decent viewing, with the added benefit of not having to worry about the fitness of the Liverpool player nominally involved.

We'll be back later on with any breaking news on the Liverpool front and a look at Molde, Liverpool's next opponent in the U19 Champions League, the NextGen Series. In the meantime, try to get whatever joy you can out of Tuesday's qualifiers. And enjoy crossing your fingers.

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