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Liverpool's Internationals Preview and Matchday: England and France Headline

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With World Cup qualification done for almost everybody, it's time for the worst sort of international break—the sort mostly filled with meaningless friendlies.

Shaun Botterill

As fans of club football first, it can be difficult to get excited for internationals at the best of times. Major tournament football may be worth tuning in for, but the interminable qualification process that comes first inevitably leaves one feeling numb. This time around, it's even worse. This time around, with a scant few exceptions, the games don't even matter, as with World Cup qualification almost completely sorted we're on to the terror and boredom of international friendlies.

Ukraine v. France
Friday, November 15th
7:45PM GMT/2:45PM EST


UEFA


One game, though, does matter today, and for the neutral it's the clear headliner of UEFA's final round qualification playoffs that pit the second place group stage finishers off against each other. Sure, Portugal v. Sweden may have Zlatan and Ronaldo in a battle to decide just who is football's least likeable superstar, but on paper at least Portugal seem clear favourites. Meanwhile, both France and Ukraine impressed in their groups but fell just short of automatic qualification despite pushing Spain and England hard. Mamadou Sakho is expected to start on the bench but could be the first name off it if a central defender is needed.

Denmark v. Norway
Friday, October 11th
6PM GMT/1PM EST


FRIENDLIES


Having found himself out of the starting eleven more than normal despite being fit, Daniel Agger will look to regain match fitness ahead of the Merseyside derby as he once again captain's Denmark. After failing to advance to the UEFA qualification playoffs due to finishing as the worst second place side, few will be expecting much out of today's pairing of Scandinavian also-rans.

Poland v. Slovakia
Friday, October 11th
7:45PM GMT/2:45 PM EST






On the back of a strong run of club form, Martin Skrtel will captain Slovakia as they take on Poland. As with Denmark and Norway, though, there isn't much potential for excitement in another pairing of UEFA nations that couldn't make the cut and will get to watch next summer's World Cup at home like the rest of us. It is being held in Gibraltar, though, so at least the weather should be nice.

England v. Chile
Friday, October 11th
8PM GMT/3PM EST






It may be another meaningless international friendly, but at least it pits two sides from different confederations against each other. Moreover, both have qualified for the World Cup already, and Chile's high energy game could force a bit of excitement onto the Wembley pitch if the South Americans are up for it. So. Excitement. At least relative to Denmark and Slovakia. For Liverpool fans, though, regular England starters Steven Gerrard and Daniel Sturridge won't play. However, Glen Johnson is expected to start and Jordan Henderson could see time off the bench.

Belgium 0, Colombia 2

Colombia Falcao 51', Ibarbo 66'


RESULTS


In a bit of Thursday action we blame Sepp Blatter for sneaking in on an unusual day, despite being beaten 2-0 by Colombia, Simon Mignolet put in a solid performance and might have been Belgium's best on the night. Radamel Falcao opened the scoring on 51 minutes, and 15 minutes later Segundo Ibarbo took care of any doubts. Though the Belgians looked competitive for much of the night, Colombia had the clear edge, and Mignolet stopped six of eight shots on goal in a rare chance to start. Belgium only managed to put one effort on target.