Top five matches to look out for in the international break
Written by: Waseem Zaidi
The second international break of the season has arrived with exciting clashes to look forward to, especially in the UEFA Nations League.
It's that time in the season when club football takes the backseat and international football takes the centre stage. A time where fans of a nation forget about club rivalries and unite as a country to spur their national players on to victory.
Therefore, the same can be anticipated from the upcoming fixtures during the break. Hence, we have compiled a list of top-five fixtures in the international break that one must not miss.
China PR v India
An International friendly on paper, but ask any fan from either of the two nations, the stakes are always high. This meeting on the football field will be a welcome change from the diplomatic tensions that these neighbouring nations find themselves in from time to time. As per the latest data, an approximate total of 270.26 crore people live in these two countries. This will be one of the rare occasions when the 22 players on the field will represent 36.3% of the total population on Earth.
In what will be the first-ever visit to China for the senior national team, a massive percentage of the country's population will unite, takeover and support the Blue Tigers in full force.
India coach, Stephen Constantine has marked this fixture as vital for the preparation for the upcoming AFC Asian Cup in 2019. The fixture is slated to be played on October 12, 2018, at the Suzhou Olympic Sports Centre.
Brazil vs Argentina
Perhaps the biggest fixture outside of European glare, this meeting between the two giants of South American football is anything but a friendly. It is one of those rivalries whose result can affect the mood of a whole nation.
Brazil and Argentina are two countries that are overflowing with immense talent and the clashes between these two are always high on drama, entertainment, controversy, and above all else, quality football.
When these South American giants last met, this happened
One of the highest rated international rivalries will be rekindled on Tuesday, October 16, 2018. A match featuring stars like Lionel Messi, Paulo Dybala and Sergio Aguero on one side; Neymar, Philippe Coutinho and Marcelo, on the other hand, will surely attract eyeballs from across the globe.
- ISL GW 2 Talking Points: Ahmed Jahouh stars for Goa, NorthEast United biggest underdogs
- European Football Roundup: Ronaldo scores despite accusations, Barcelona, Real and Bayern drop crucial points
- We are playing to improve as a team- Sandesh Jhingan
The Netherlands vs Germany
This UEFA Nations League match-up between these two European powerhouses will be the second outing in the competition for both the respective nations. Where Germany drew their first match against France, Netherlands lost to the Les Bleus, 2-1, in their first match.
Hungry for a victory, both nations will look at this fixture as an opportunity to finally kickstart their Nations League campaign. The match is to be played on October 13, 2018.
The Netherlands will be banking on their striker, Memphis Depay, who has been in hot form at club level. As for Germany, their collective unit looks short on confidence but not on talent, with likes of Toni kroos, Timo Werner, and Joshua Kimmich taking the field for them.
Spain vs England
Spain and England encountered each other in their first UEFA Nations League fixture that went in favour of the Spaniards thanks to two goals from Saul and Rodrigo in the first half after Marcus Rashford had shot the English side into an early lead.
Spain are coming off from their emphatic win against Croatia
Since then, Spain has brutally thrashed FIFA World Cup 2018 runner-ups, Croatia, by a margin of 6 goals in their second match of the campaign. The Three Lions also play Croatia in the run-up to this fixture and the outcome will probably decide which team looks favourite to come out on top.
Will Luis Enrique's men triumph over the Englishmen yet again, or, will Gareth Southgate's men take revenge for the last defeat? The answer is set to arrive on October 15, 2018, when England makes the trip to the land of La Roja.
France vs Germany
One of the most anticipated fixtures of this international break, similar to the last one, will be contested by the last two recent FIFA World Cup winners, France and Germany.
The reverse fixture in the UEFA Nations league had ended in a stalemate where Alphonse Areola of France shone with a decent performance, keeping the German attackers at bay.
The opener featured a French team visibly fatigued from their World Cup triumph and a German team still recovering from their own debacle in Russia. Both nations will meet again on October 16, 2018 to go one step better than last time.
The former World Champions and the current Champions played an exciting draw in the UEFA Nation's League opener
There we have it, a mouth-watering lineup to satiate the thirst of every football fan around the world.
Published: Tue Oct 09, 2018 09:39 PM IST