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Liverpool's November Internationals, 15th to 16th: Preview and Ways to Watch

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Keeping an eye on Liverpool's players off on international duty over the next few days gives us England, Slovakia, and a qualifying match between Belgium and Wales.

Gareth Copley

November's international break is an odd one for the Liverpool-centric viewer, with most of the involved countries and players having just one match of note and having those matches fall over the weekend. There are a pile of friendlies to dread/look forward to on Tuesday, but for the most part, this time around, everything that matters happens on Saturday or Sunday…

England v. Slovenia
Saturday, November 15th
5:00PM BST/12:00PM EST
Television Listings



Daniel Sturridge is back at Anfield and targeting a return against Crystal Palace, and Glen Johnson has been passed over in favour of Nathaniel Clyne, but there's still a strong Liverpool contingent off on England duty. Jordan Henderson will start in midfield, likely in the shuttler role with Roy Hodgson expected to stick to the 4-4-2 diamond formation he has adopted in large part thanks to Liverpool's success with it last season and which has played a role in England already running away at the top of Group E.

That will give Sterling the chance to move back inside and play at the tip of the diamond behind Wayne Rooney and Danny Welbeck. Adam Lallana could also be involved, either coming on late to replace Sterling at the tip or maybe even starting across from Henderson in a shuttling role. Rickie Lambert is also in the squad but unlikely to see action in a match that most will expect an England side that might currently be more fun to watch than Liverpool to roll to victory in, though unheralded Slovenia currently sit second and will be happy to knock off England if they're overconfident.

Macedonia v. Slovakia
Saturday, November 15th
7:45PM BST/2:45PM EST
Television Listings



Thanks to their upset of Spain and victory over Ukraine, by most accounts second favourites to advance from Group C, Slovakia find themselves clear at the top and facing an unusual situation for them: if they can beat the group's three also-rans, Belarus, Luxembourg, and Macedonia in their six home and away matches against, they will be heavy favourites to qualify automatically by finishing in the top two. It would mean their first trip to the European Championship since Czechoslovakia split.

Belarus has already been taken care of, and Martin Skrtel will captain them in Skopje against Macedonia tonight. If Slovakia can hold their nerve—and both on form and the strength of their squad relative minnows Macedonia they should—they'll end 2014 top of one of Europe's tougher qualifying groups.

Belgium v. Wales
Sunday, November 16th
5:00PM BST/12:00PM EST
Television Listings



Separately, Belgium or Wales would make the b-roll for Liverpool fans. Together, and there's just enough interest to make it a match worth seeking out. Joe Allen is back in the fold for Wales after missing the last international break through injury, while for Belgium, speculation about Divock Origi making an early move to Liverpool mean there should be more for fans to focus on when it comes to Belgium than occasional shots of Simon Mignolet on the bench.

Wales are currently first in the group, in part thanks to having played one more game than the second and third place countries, and have seven points thanks to victories over Cyprus and Andorra and a draw with Bosnia-Herzegovina. Belgium, favoured by most to top a group that also includes Israel, have a victory over Andorra and draw with Bosnia-Herzegovina to their credit, and despite not quite living up to the Golden Generation hype at the past World Cup, they will be strong favourites at home against the Welsh.

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Elsewhere this weekend, Italy host Croatia on Sunday at 7:45PM GMT/2:45PM EST, and while Mario Balotelli is back in the squad, he is not expected to head straight back into the starting lineup. Addendum: And now Balotelli's gone and picked up an injury so things and stuff.