Preview: The USMNT and Mexico renew their rivalry in Arizona
The heated and historic rivalry between Mexico and the USA will continue on Wednesday night in Arizona. When this friendly fixture was announced, it was looked at as an opportunity to make money.
But from how it looks now, both squads will use this friendly to take a look at some players who have still not cemented their place in the World Cup squad.
Mexican club Peubla have earned themselves some negative attention surrounding Wednesday’s friendly. Since this match is not being played on a designated international day, Puebla have not allowed DeMarcus Beasley and Michael Orozco to take part in this historic rivalry.
Preview: Costa Rica hoping to return to winning ways
La Sele have lost all of their last three matches and will be hoping to round off their preparations for the World Cup on a winning note with a positive performance against Paraguay. Costa Rica have failed to score in any of their last three defeats, with their previous encounter against South Korea ending in a 1-0 loss. Their other defeats include a 4-0 hammering at the hands of Chile as well as a 1-0 to Australia who have also successfully qualified for this year’s World Cup to be held in Brazil.
Preview: English players will be fighting for a spot in Brazil
Wednesday's match against Denmark will be one of two chances for England's players to prove that they deserve a spot at the World Cup. They will take on Peru at the end of May, with Hodgson making his final 23-man selection on June 2nd.
One new face for the hosts will be Luke Shaw, who will go head-to-head with Ashley Cole for a spot in the squad, alongside Leighton Baines of Everton.
The young Southampton left-back has been impressive over the last two years and could be finally set to enter the big stage at the age of 18. With Ashley Cole's role at the club level becoming a question mark, it could be time for Luke Shaw to shine.
Preview: Socceroos to take field without captain Lucas Neill
Despite of signing a short term contract with English side Watford, the 34 year old has failed to make it to Ange Postecoglou’s 23 man squad to face Ecuador. The former Everton man had been without a club after Japanese side Omiya Ardija refused to offer him a contract extension, with incoming manager Ange Postecoglou making his intentions of only including players who feature regularly for their clubs loud and clear.
Apart from the veteran who was axed from the squad, there were some surprise inclusions with all of Curtis Good (Dundee United), Chris Herd (Aston Villa), Massimo Luongo (Swindon Town) and Ben Halloran (Fortuna Dusseldorf) in contention to make their international debuts.
Preview: A lot of new faces, but neither side will want to lose
Carson, California will be the setting for an international friendly between the USA and Korea. The StubHub Center will welcome Korean coach Hong Myung-Bo for the first time, since he announced his retirement in 2004.
Neither side will have their usual lot of players available for this match.
The visitors arrive with a number of players who are employed in the domestic South Korean K-League. Myung-Bo has also called on three players who play in the Japanese J-League, and one other player who represents Chinese club Beijing Guoan.
Preview: Gordon Strachan is still trying to find the right balance
Since taking over in January, Gordon Strachan has done a good job working with what he has at his disposal. He walked into the Scottish National Team with a tough task of qualifying for the World Cup, something his country has not done since 1998, but unfortunately they fell just short.
One positive for the Scotland fans will be their countries two victories to end their qualification campaign.
They defeated Macedonia, but the confidence boosting victory will have been their 2-0 triumph over Croatia. Now Scotland will turn their attention to a USA squad that will be present in next year's World Cup.
Preview: Portuguese and Brazilian fans will fill Gillete Stadium to see their idols
When you hear of a meeting between Portugal and Brazil, you would instantly think of a battle between two football superstars. Whether you are a fan of Cristiano Ronaldo, Neymar, or both, they have both earned their spot at the top of world football's list of great stars.
On Tuesday night, both countries will meet at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Ma. Due to the large amount of Portuguese and Brazilian fans living in the surrounding areas, this match is expected to have a near full to capacity attendance.
One frustration for Portugal fans will be the exclusion of Ronaldo from the team due to injury, after the Real Madrid star netted a hattrick against Northern Ireland on Friday.
Preview: Old rivalry will take center stage, with two key figures missing out
Italy and Argentina used to be a big rivalry, but considering they have not locked horns in over a decade, that flame may have burned out. Their last meeting came in a friendly in 1991 when the Albiceleste defeated Italy 2-1. Having been eliminated by Argentina a year earlier at the 1990 World Cup, the Azzurri can now try to seek revenge.
Much to the disappointment of the spectators, Lionel Messi and Mario Balotelli will likely miss this match. Missing these two in a match like this was like missing Maradona, but regardless of their absence, this match should be one of the more interesting matches to be played on Wednesday.
Croatia will meet in Switzerland on Monday, after both teams earned two very different results in their previous match on Friday. Igor Stimac's men were stunned at home 0-1 by a goal from Snodgrass in the first half. The Croats realistically only have themselves to blame after having 19 shots, with only two hitting the target.
Paulo Bento's side comes in fresh off a confidence lifting victory over Russia, leapfrogging them and Israel in the Group F standings, although that could be temporary. Fabio Capello's side has two matches in hand and only trail the Portuguese by two points, while Israel can pull even with Portugal if they are to win their game in hand.
Monday's match will give both managers a chance to give some of their players a rest, and the opportunity to test some other options.
Miami Beach, Florida (March 20, 2013) – The eyes of the world will be at the Stade de Geneve in Switzerland when five-time World Cup champions Brazil and Euro 2012 runners-up Italy will engage in a friendly on Thursday, March 21, 2013. Several countries from Africa, Asia and Europe have been listed in the live stream and TV schedule database of LiveSoccerTV.com (@LiveSoccerTV) for this headline match.
Nothing can spice up this international friendly match between Italy and Brazil more than the impact of two of world football’s most controversial players – Mario Balotelli of Milan and Neymar of Santos. These two strikers are much talked about in the headlines for everything they do – on the pitch, off the pitch and in press rooms.
Miami Beach, Florida (March 20, 2013) – Ecuador have set plans to reverse the 2-1 defeat they suffered against Paraguay in November 2011 in the 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifiers. Ahead of next week’s battle against Los Guaranies, La Tri have scheduled a friendly match against CONCACAF’s El Salvador on Thursday, March 21, 2013. This international fixture will receive huge coverage from some of the world’s biggest sports networks. LiveSoccerTV.com (@LiveSoccerTV) gives you live streaming and TV listing details.
Ecuador have been doing so well lately that even Lionel Messi’s rampant Argentina can feel La Tri’s breath. In the CONMEBOL World Cup qualifiers, the Ecuadorians are only three points behind the Albiceleste.
Ecuador entertain El Salvador in a 2014 World Cup qualifying preparation game at the Olimpico Atahualpa stadium on Thursday.
The Ecuadorians are currently in second place of the South American World Cup qualifying group, with 17 points from nine games, three points behind group leaders Argentina, with 20 points.
Ecuador, who are on track to qualify for…
Both Spain and Uruguay will take the high-profile international friendly as preparation for next month's Brazil 2014 World Cup qualifiers.
Spain, the world and European champions come into the fixture as the favourites, not only due to the number of titles won in recent years, but also because they are unbeaten in their last 17 games, including recent victories…
Argentina, who currently lead the South American World Cup qualifying group, will be hoping to extend their eight-game unbeaten run in official matches against the improving Swedes.
Los Albicelestes have not tasted defeat since falling to an unexpected 1-0 defeat at the hands of Venezuela in a World Cup qualifier back in 2011, and come into the clash with…
Portugal and Ecuador will go head to head on Wednesday for the first time ever. The Portuguese are ranked 7th in the latest FIFA ranking while Ecuador is 12th, the highest ranking they have ever had in their history.
Not only is Ecuador's 12th position shocking, but the fact that they are second in South America only behind Argentina who is ranked third is very impressive. They have managed to surpass countries like Brazil and Uruguay who have had a serious impact in world football over the years.
Ecuador's manager Reinaldo Rueda expects to see a well played match between two great teams.
International friendly matches - Soccer TV listings printable guide
Club football action pauses for some time to give way to some enthralling international friendly action this Wednesday. USA are still in the running to reach the 2014 FIFA World Cup finals. They will be warming up for tougher challenges with a match against Russia. The Russians suffered the surprise of the tournament at Euro 2012. They started off brightly but could not maintain the tempo as Greece knocked them out in the group stage.
This miserable adventure seems to be well buried, though. Now, Russia are in poll position to clinch automatic World Cup qualification in the UEFA zone. USA and Russia will both gain good experience from this fixture, which is set to kick off at 10:00am EST.
Lionel Messi’s Argentina are expected to maul Saudi Arabia while Luis Suarez’s Uruguay will try to get back their winning form against Poland. The Copa America champions moved four places down to the 11th position in the latest FIFA World Ranking.