With only Jordan Henderson left amongst Liverpool’s England contingent and just one Euros 2016 qualifying match, there isn’t a great deal to get excited about in the second half of the March international break. Still, if you’re desperate for a bit of football—or simply find yourself with nothing better to do for a couple of hours—there are a few games to choose from.
Italy v. England
Tuesday, March 31st
7:45PM BST/2:45PM EST
With injuries to Daniel Sturridge and Adam Lallana, and with Raheem Sterling expected to be rested, Liverpool’s only involvement in Tueday’s prestige friendly will be Jordan Henderson. Still, it looks an interesting match on paper, and with Roy Hodgson’s England looking a surprisingly attacking side in recent months it might even make for a solid spot of entertainment.
England are currently dominating Group E in qualification, having taken 15 points from their first five games while scoring 15 goals and only conceding once. It hasn’t been an all-out attacking campaign, but the embrace of the 4-3-3 and 4-4-2 diamond by the England manager, as well as a focus on pressing high up the pitch, has led to both results and some surprisingly watchable football.
Italy, meanwhile, come into the match as the side with doubts. They only managed a 2-2 draw with Bulgaria on Saturday, looking surprisingly shaky at the back, and third-place Norway are nipping at their heels in Group H qualification, where they sit second with 11 points after five games. ITV 1 has coverage of Tuesday’s friendly in the UK, while those in the United States can watch on ESPN3.
Slovakia v. Czech Republic
Tuesday, March 31st
7:30PM BST/2:30PM EST
For those looking for something a little different than another England match, Martin Skrtel will lead Slovakia against the Czech Republic in their international derby friendly on Tuesday. After hammering Luxembourg 3-0 on Friday, the Slovaks sit top of Group C with 15 points, putting them ahead of Spain and Ukraine in one of the stronger qualifying brackets. The Czechs also top their group—Group A—with 13 points, putting them ahead of Netherlands and Turkey.
Elsewhere, Belgium play the only match that matters, facing Israel in Group B qualifying. Divock Origi may be involved, but Simon Mignolet isn’t likely to make it off the bench. The match kicks off at 7:45PM BST/2:45PM EST on Tuesday, with Sky Sports 5 providing coverage in the UK and Fox Sports 1 broadcasting the match in the USA.
Other potentially interesting matches include the United States facing Switzerland at noon EST/5PM BST, and Netherlands hosting Spain in a friendly at 7:45PM BST/2:45PM EST.
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