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Liverpool's Internationals Preview and Schedule, 09.10.13

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Previewing the second round of September's international fixtures from a Liverpool point of view, with Denmark and England providing the day's headlining matches.

Shaun Botterill

Heading into last Thursday, Denmark, Slovakia, and Uruguay were all teetering on the edge of non-qualification for the 2014 World Cup. Heading into Tuesday, things look a whole lot better for them, though for Daniel Agger and Martin Skrtel at least the right results are needed or that sudden hope could prove short lived. England, meanwhile, have what might be the most intriguing match of the round when they travel to Ukraine with first place in Group H on the line and seven of ten qualifiers already played…

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England U21 v. Finland U21
Monday, September 9th
5:00PM BST/12:00 Noon EST

Having dispatched Moldova by the score of 1-0 on Thursday, England's U21s host Finland in an early kickoff this afternoon in the second game of the Gareth Southgate era as they attempt to qualify for the 2015 European Championships. As against Moldova, captain Andre Wisdom is a lock to start but Jack Robinson will struggle to make it off the bench. Liverpool fans desperate for a second point of interest in the match might look to Derby County's Will Hughes, who makes no secret of his Liverpool loyalties and has been linked to the club—though perhaps only because of those well known loyalties—on and off for the past year.

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Armenia v. Denmark
Tuesday, September 10th
5:00PM BST/12:00 Noon EST

Tuesday's early start is one of the most important matches of the day, with Daniel Agger captaining Denmark against failed Liverpool target Henrikh Mkhitarian and both countires involved in a four-team race for second in Group B. With everybody in the group having played seven of ten matches, Bulgaria stand second on ten points while the Czechs, Danes, and Armenians all have nine. Italy is out of sight in first with 17 points, but anybody but group trailers Malta could advance to the qualification play-off as the group's number two. Elsewhere in Group B action, the Czechs travel to Italy while Malta hosts Bulgaria.

Slovakia v. Bosnia and Herzegovina
Tuesday, September 10th
7:15PM BST/2:15PM EST

The Slovaks aren't in quite as good shape as the Danes, but after heading into the international break with their World Cup hopes on life support, events on Friday have at least brought things back to where they can once again have at least something like a real hope of making it to Brazil. Bosnia and Herzegovina currently lead Group G thanks to a massive +19 goal differential but are level on points with Greece at 16, while Slovakia find themselves four points back with 12. With three games remaining, Slovakia won't be favourites to advance, but wins on Tuesday and then in October when they take on the Greeks could conceivably put them top of the group—something that seemed almost unimaginable before Thursday.

Wales v. Serbia
Tuesday, September 10th
7:45PM BST/2:45PM EST

Wales' hopes are officially done, Joe Allen won't be there anyhow, and even the most dedicated Welshman will struggle to find reason to pay attention on Tuesday evening. But the game is there. It exists. And so it's listed here.

Ukraine v. England
Tuesday, September 10th
7:45PM BST/2:45PM EST

After cruising against Moldova, England get to play in what might be the day's headlining match as a win here would put either country at the top of Group H with time winding down in UEFA qualifying. Ukraine had a similarly easy go of it on Thursday, romping 9-0 against hapless San Marino, but currently trail England by a point. The two sides are separated in the standings by upstarts Montenegro, level with England on points but with a far lesser goal differential—and Montenegro has played eight games already to England and Ukraine's seven. With Daniel Sturridge and Glen Johnson ruled out, Steven Gerrard will be expected to start while Raheem Sterling mans the bench. For fans who didn't recognise the name Andriy Yarmolenko when Liverpool was linked to him over the summer, Tuesday also brings with it the chance to watch the imposing Ukraine winger.

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Uruguay v. Colombia
Tuesday, September 10th
10:00PM BST/5:00PM EST

After Tuesday, Uruguay will have played 14 of 16 qualifying matches in CONMEBOL's round-robin qualification tournament, and increasingly it appears as though a fifth place finish and facing off against the fifth Asian side in a play-off is to be their fate. It's a long way down from the at times dominating heights of the 2010 World Cup and 2011 Copa America, but at least their qualification hopes are still alive—something that has very much been in doubt over the past year. They won't be expected to win on Tuesday against Colombia, who currently stand in second with 26 points and a +16 goal differential to Uruguay's 19 points and -2 GD, but with Venezuela two points behind Uruguay and having played a game more and Peru five points back, it probably won't matter if they don't.