Bummed that club football has taken a minor break?

No need to worry, the international break has plenty of tasty fixtures over the next week which will keep your football appetite satisfied.

From World Cup qualifiers, to blockbuster friendlies and integral European qualifiers between some of the continent’s heavyweights.

There is a game for everybody.

Chile vs Argentina – International Friendly – Friday 12 PM AEST

One of the biggest rivalries in South American football? Yes, please.

Lionel Scaloni will lead an Argentina side minus Lionel Messi and a plethora of big-names against the side who they knocked off in the third place playoff in the Copa America a couple months ago. Chile will be out to continue their mini resurgence and with a new-look side especially in defence with the likes of Gary Medel and Mauricio Isla not called up.

This game always promises to be a great contest and with many new-names lining up for both teams – football fans should get a glimpse of the future of these proud footballing nations.

Ireland vs Switzerland – European Qualifier – Friday 4:45 AM AEST

An important qualifier for two of Europe’s supreme battlers.

Ireland currently sit top of Group D but have played two extra games than their opponents who had their hands full with Nations League duties in the last international break. The Swiss currently sit third and need a win to jump back into the top two as they sit a point behind second placed Denmark.

The Aviva Stadium is set to be rocking as both sides look to inch closer to a spot in the Euros.

Germany vs Netherlands – European Qualifier – Saturday 4:45 AM AEST

This is going to be huge.

These two sides always dish up an absolute treat and going by their two most recent encounters – we are set to be in for fireworks. The last time they met in Germany, the Dutch came from two goals behind to steal a point in Gelsenkirchen to seal a spot in the Nations League finals. However, the Germans got their revenge earlier this year in a 3-2 win in Amsterdam thanks to a late Nico Schulz winner.

The Dutch need a win to stay in touch with the top two and another loss could be disastrous for their Euros hopes while Germany look to go on top of the group with a win.

Brazil vs Colombia – International Friendly – Saturday 11 AM AEST

Another South American showdown is on the cards as two heavyweights collide in Miami.

Brazil are fresh off Copa America success and have not lost since their World Cup exit in July last year and have been flying since. However, they take on a motivated Colombia side who are looking to wash the bad taste of an early Copa America exit out of their mouth.

With Neymar set to feature for the first-time in a few months at any level and a plethora of talent on show – this promises to be an exciting encounter.

Serbia vs Portugal – European Qualifier – Sunday 4:45 AM AEST

The Nations League and European champions return to qualifying action against a tricky opponent.

Portugal have been flying as of late but their qualifying results have been less than ideal. Draws against the Ukraine and their opponents, Serbia have them sitting second from bottom and face a crunch contest against the latter on the road. Serbia’s form has been haphazard with a drubbing at the hands of the Ukraine followed up with a big win over Lithuania showing how inconsistent they can be.

Both sides need a win as the Ukraine have raced to a hefty lead on top of the group meaning maybe only one of these sides could scrape into the top two – bring it on.

Finland vs Italy – European Qualifier – Monday 4:45 AM AEST

The Italian resurgence continues.

Roberto Mancini’s renaissance at Italy takes them north to Finland, three days after a trip to Armenia. Italy have been flawless thus far and have knocked off both Bosnia and Greece already but face a tricky task in defeating their tough Scandinavian opponents. The Azzurri have already defeated Finland once but have found some recent form which has them in second place.

Can in-form Norwich striker Teemu Puuki lead them to a historic win?

Northern Ireland vs Germany – European Qualifier – Tuesday 4:45 AM AEST

This could decide the fate of the Northern Irish.

Northern Ireland currently sit top of the group and the analogy of an elephant in a tree is the best way to describe their situation. They are in a group with Germany and the Netherlands yet find themselves in prime position to do the unthinkable. Belfast will be rocking when they welcome a German side, they have only beaten twice in 17 attempts.

Can they cause a major upset?

Kuwait vs Australia – Asian World Cup Qualifier – Wednesday 1:30 AM AEST

The Socceroos are back in action for the first time in three months as they begin their road to Qatar.

The road takes them Kuwait City, a place they played in last year and came away with a 4-0 win but will need to be cautious against their defensive opponents. The conditions are going to be hot and the Socceroos have struggled in the humidity previously, but a win is the antidote needed to get them off to the perfect start.

With a range of new faces and a rather settled squad at Graham Arnold’s disposal, a win should be rather straight-forward.

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Nick D’Urbano
nicholas.durbano9@gmail.com