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Liverpool's Internationals Preview and Schedule, 10.15.13

Belgium are in; Slovakia and Wales are out. Everybody else still, at least technically and tenuously and mathematically, has something to play for when it comes to Liverpool's representatives and the final round of UEFA and CONMEBOL group play.

Denis Doyle

It's almost over. World Cup qualification is almost over. Break out the celebratory Scotch and vuvuzelas. At least until half of Liverpool's players end up in qualification playoffs that see them called away for the November break. That's almost certainly where Luis Suarez is headed, and if results fall the right way there's a chance Steven Gerrard and Daniel Agger could be joining him.

Denmark v. Malta
Tuesday, October 15th
7:15PM BST/2:15 PM EST


Denmark are probably out no matter what happens, but Daniel Agger will captain a side that's mathematically still alive in a game they simply have to win. Combined with a loss by Bulgaria to the Czechs, Denmark would go second in Group B. However, it probably still wouldn't matter, as from the nine UEFA qualification groups only the top eight second place finishers make it to the playoff, and as of today whoever finishes second in Group B would be the odd country out. Their only chance? Group D, where Romania losing to Estonia by any score and Turkey losing by four goals to the Netherlands would put Denmark through. At least if Denmark win and the Bulgarians don't.

England v. Poland
Tuesday, October 15th

One of the more meaningful matches of the final round of UEFA group play pits England against Poland. England have already assured themselves of at least a playoff spot, but only a point up on Ukraine—and with Ukraine facing pointless San Marino—anything but a win likely means being beaten to top spot. Poland can't qualify no matter what else happens on Tuesday, but they could certainly make things a touch miserable for Roy Hodgson and send the always volatile English media into a mild, crisis-stoking frenzy. After a pair of solid performances on Friday, Steven Gerrard and Daniel Sturridge will both be expected to start for England.

France v. Finland
Tuesday, October 15th

For the first time as a Liverpool fan, welcome to Group I and France, as summer signing Mamadou Sakho's recall to the national team gives us a new landscape to explore. France have already assured themselves of a playoff spot along with group leaders Spain, but an unlikely Spanish loss to Georgia on Tuesday along with a French win could put Les Blues top. It seems almost certain, though, that France are destined for November's playoffs.

Uruguay v. Argentina
Tuesday, October 15th
12:30AM (Wed.) BST/7:30PM EST


If you squint just right, Uruguay hosting Argentina looks a headlining match. Just ignore the part where CONMEBOL qualification is pretty much set, Argentina have locked up top spot, and Uruguay haven't looked especially convincing in two years. As far as Suarez and Uruguay are concerned, they can't fall lower than fifth and an international playoff against Jordan to decide who heads to the World Cup next summer, but moving up into fourth and gaining automatic qualification is highly unlikely. Ecuador and Chile are both within reach on points—and face each other on Tuesday—but goal differential is a problem for Uruguay, where they're four and six back of each country respectively. Chile losing at home, Uruguay winning, and a five goal swing to make up for the fact Uruguay trail even more heavily in goals scored is about the most likely way they avoid playing Jordan.

Odds & Ends

Elsewhere in the matches that don't matter, already qualified Belgium will host Wales (8PM BST/3PM EST) in a game that could have some small interest to Liverpool fans if Simon Mignolet is given the start ahead of regular starter Thibaut Courtois, while Martin Skrtel and Slovakia visit Latvia (7:10PM BST/2:10PM EST) in a match between two sides out of the running. Those looking for a bit of early football can consider Brazil's friendly against Zambia (12:45PM BST/7:45AM EST), where Lucas will be hoping to see more than the 20 minutes off the bench he did against South Korea on Saturday.

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