Int preview

Croatia  CROATIA – SCOTLAND  

Modric, Corluka and Lovren suspended

Scotland without 13 players: Brown, Forrest, Fox, Wallace, Caldwell, Bridcutt, Greer, D. Fletcher, S. Fletcher, Commons, Mulgrew, Adam, Miller

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PARAGUAY-CHILE

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Argentina-Colombia

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One definite absence for Argentina is Fernando Gago, who will be unable to resume his partnership with Javier Mascherano in the middle.

Lionel Messi’s presence, meanwhile, is still in doubt. The Barcelona star was included in the squad and reports from training suggest that he will be fit to take the captain’s armband against Colombia. With questions remaining over whether he is ready to play, however, coach Alejandro Sabella has refused to confirm his place in the first XI – Erik Lamela or Ezequiel Lavezzi are prime candidates to step in should he be unavailable.
Jose Pekerman is expected to make several changes from the team that was defeated last time round by Venezuela. In an attacking line-up, Cruz Azul striker Teo Gutierrez will enter for Macnelly Torres to partner Radamel Falcao up front, while Carlos Sanchez could also enter for Edwin Valencia in the middle.

Portugal – Russia

With Pepe suspended for the game at Estadio da Luz, Paulo Bento’s main concern is picking a replacement to partner Bruno Alves in the heart of the Portuguese defense, with Valencia’s Ricardo Costa expected to get the nod.

After an injury-plagued campaign which saw him miss Portugal’s last two Group F matches against Israel and Azerbaijan, winger Nani has re-joined the squad for the upcoming qualifier.

Captain Igor Denisov is expected to make his return to the Russian XI after sitting out the team’s last game against Brazil with illness, with Viktor Faizulin vying with Roman Shirokov for the other central midfield berth in Fabio Capello’s 4-2-3-1 formation.

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Jamaica – USA

Manager Theodore Whitmore’s side boasts four MLS players, including captain and goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts, midfielder JeVaughn Watson and forwards Ryan Johnson and Darren Mattocks.

he USA, playing without the likes of first-team regulars Landon Donovan, Steve Cherundolo, Timmy Chandler and Carlos Bocanegra, begins a stretch of three World Cup qualifiers in 11 days. The team’s next two matches against Panama and Honduras will be played in Seattle and Salt Lake City, respectively. Forward Herculez Gomez (knee) is an injury doubt to play Friday. Fabian Johnson (hamstring) was subbed off at halftime against Germany as a precautionary measure but is expected to be ready.

Jamaica (4-1-4-1): Ricketts; Powell, Mariappa, Woodbine, Gordon; Austin, Hue, McCleary, Elliott, Watson; Johnson

USA (4-2-3-1): Howard; Evans, Gonzalez, Besler, Beasley; Bradley, Jones; Zusi,Dempsey, F. Johnson; Altidore.

Czech Republic-Italy

Michal Bilek has no fresh injury concerns ahead of the qualifier and could field the same XI which comfortably saw off the challenge of Armenia with a 3-0 away win back in March.

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Cesare Prandelli can welcome back Andrea Barzagli and Stephan El Shaarawy after the pair missed the 4-0 friendly victory over San Marino last week and both are expected to go straight into the starting line-up.

Albania – Norway 

Norway with full squad, Albania without important defenders Cana, Curri, Lila, Vangjeli and midfielder Meha

Line ups

Albania: Berisha, Dalku, Agolli, Mavraj, Osmani, Basha, Bulku, Llullaku, Rama, Gjasula, Cani (Salihi)

Norway: Jarstein, Høgli, Wæhler, Hangeland, Ruud, Braaten, Henriksen, Nordtveit, Jenssen, Elyounoussi, Søderlund

Costa Rica – Honduras

line ups

Costa Rica: Navas, Gamboa, G. González, Acosta, J. Diaz, Barrantes, Bolanos, A. Rodriguez, Campbell, B. Ruiz, V. Nunez/Saborio

Honduras: Valladares, A. Peralta, V. Bernardez, O. Chavez, J. Garcia, B. Garcia, Espinoza, Garrido, Palacios, Costly, Bengtson

Panama – Mexico

Panama with strong home record – didnt loose at home almost 8 years

line ups

Panama: Penedo, Chen, R. Torres, Baloy, L. Henríquez, G. Gómez, A. Henríquez, Godoy, Escobar, Tejada/G. Torres, B. Pérez

Mexico: Corona, Meza, Rodriguez, Reyes, Salcido, Zavala, Guardado, Torrado, Barrera, De Nigris/Dos Santos, J. Hernandez

 Denmark – Bulgaria 

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 Turkey – Hungary 

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 Serbia – Scotland 

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 France – Spain 

France go into this crunch tie looking to open up a five-point gap at the Group I summit, which would see them all but secure the first place in the standings.

Spain, on the other hand, hope to make amends for the 1-1 draw against Finland and return to the top of the group by winning at Stade de France.

Didier Deschamps was always going to have a difficult task having taken over the reigns after yet another disappointing showing at the tournament finals.

Les Bleus, nonetheless, started the 2014 World Cup qualifiers strongly, defeating Finland and Belarus, before holding Euro 2012 champions Spain to a 1-1 draw in Madrid.

France have since recorded a comfortable win over Georgia, which saw them create a two-point advantage at the top given that Spain slipped up against Finland.

The hosts now have a great chance to make a giant step towards the tournament finals..Didier Deschamps is set to revert to 4-3-3 formation for the Spain match, which could see Olivier Giroud make way for Yohan Cabaye.

Probable starting line-up (4-3-3): Lloris – Jallet, Varane, Sakho, Clichy – Cabaye, Matuidi, Pogba – Valbuena, Benzema, Ribery.

Spain remain the team to beat after winning the last three major tournaments, but La Furia Roja have experienced some unexpected problems in the 2014 World Cup qualifiers. It all started from that match against France, when Vicente del Bosque’s side largely dominated the game and looked to be cruising to victory, that is until Olivier Giroud scored a late, late goal to earn one point for les Bleus.

Same thing happened on Friday against Finland, as La Furia Roja couldn’t hold on to a one-goal lead, but it is too early to be talking about a dip in form or something like that. Spain did make some mistakes in the two matches, but that is likely to make the players even more determined to make things right in Paris. David Villa looks set to start up front as Vicente del Bosque plans some changes to the starting line-up..

Jordi Alba and David Silva miss out through injury and suspension, but Xabi Alonso, Xavi Hernandez and Pedro return to the starting line-up.

Probable starting line-up (4-3-3): Valdes – Arbeloa, Ramos, Pique, Monreal – Xavi, Busquets, Xabi Alonso – Pedro, Villa, Iniesta.

 Wales – Croatia 

international preview

 Netherlands – Turkey Preview  

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Netherlands do not have too many injury worries ahead of Friday’s game, but will still be without a number of regulars.

Louis van Gaal already dropped Mark van Bommel and Khalid Boulahrouz after Euro 2012, and has now opted to leave out Gregory van der Wiel, Nigel de Jong, Rafael van der Vaart and Ibrahim Afellay as well as he feels they lack match practice and have been too busy with transfers in the past few weeks.

Therefore, Ajax youngster Ricardo van Rhijn is expected to start at right-back, while Twente star Leroy Fer is likely to take De Jong’s place in midfield.

Robin van Persie will probably have to settle for a spot on the bench once more as Van Gaal prefers Schalke hitman Klaas-Jan Huntelaar as his No.9.Turkey boss Abdullah Avci will have to make do without the services of first-choice goalkeeper Volkan Demirel due to injury, while back-up shot stopper Sinan Bolat is being plagued by physical problems as well.

Utility man Sabri Sarioglu is unavailable, too, and Besiktas striker Mustafa Pektemek recently sustained a serious knee injury that will keep him out of action for a while.

Galatasaray midfielder Selcuk Inan will be hoping to get the chance to prove his worth against the Dutch, but it seems as if the 27-year-old might miss out on a starting berth.

Slovenia – Switzerland  dnb 2 @ 1,83

Switzerland impresed me in last game with Croatia (tre, there is also guilty on other side, speciall new coach Stimac but..) and they have very good, young and perspective squad. Players like Shaqiri and Xaka are future and there are also Dzemaili, Behrami, barnetta..Quality side..on the other side i dont belive in Slovenia team

With first choice keeper Samir Handanovic the only notable missing, Slovenia go into this game in great spirits

Experienced keeper Jasmin Handanovic is likely to replace his cousin in goal, while Zlatan Dedic and Tim Matavz are expected to form the attacking partnership.

Probable starting line-up (4-4-2): J. Handanovic – Brecko, Suler, Cesar, Jokic – Kirm, Vrsic, Radosavljevic, Birsa – Dedic, Matavz.

The Swiss are an up and coming side with tremendous amount of potential and attacking prowess, as witnessed by the 5-3 victory over Germany and 4-2 triumph over Croatia.

Ottmar Hitzfeld has done well to get rid of senior strikers Alexander Frei and Streller, who were doing the team more harm than good, with Mario Gavranovic and Eren Derdiyok now given a chance to impress.

With the likes of Behrami, Inler, Dzemaili and Shaqiri in the centre of the park and some very experienced players at the back, the Swiss look a good bet

The visitors arrive to Slovenia at full strength and they are expected to line up in a 4-2-3-1 formation.

Probable starting line-up (4-2-3-1): Benaglio – Lichtsteiner, Von Bergen, Djourou, Rodriguez – Inler, Xhaka – Shaqiri, Dzemaili, Barnetta – Derdiyok.

Wales – Belgium  2 @ 2,0

First 11 Belgium squad is 3rd most expencive squad on world (just Brazil and Portugal more expencive)

Eden Hazard (Chelsea) and Axel Witsel (Zenit SP) are buyed for 40 mil euros each, Tottenham give 15 mil e foe Moussa Dembele from Fulham and 10 mil e for Jan Vertioghen..Vincent Kompany (35 mil e)  is Manchester City captein just like Thomas Vermaelen (18,5 mil e)  in Arsenal..

The news has come through that for Belgium Lukaku is injured, so new Villa signing Christian Benteke leads against Wales tomorrow for Belgium.

WALES manager Chris Coleman has been hit by a triple injury blow ahead of the start of their World Cup qualifying campaign against Belgium on Friday.

As well as the Swansea City left-back, Coleman will also be without striker Craig Bellamy, who has withdrawn from the squad due to a calf injury.

And Brighton midfielder Andrew Crofts will also miss out after picking up an ankle injury.

Bellamy’s Cardiff team- mate Rob Earnshaw is the only person to have been called into the squad as cover.

Coleman has already been hit hard by injury problems with Celtic’s Joe Ledley (groin), Sunderland’s David Vaughan (groin), Wolves keeper Wayne Hennessey (knee) and West Ham’s Jack Collison (knee) all absent from his initial 23-man selection.

Uncapped Crystal Palace midfielder Jonathan Williams was included in the squad, as was Leicester’s Andy King.

Wales’ squad for the upcoming World Cup qualifiers:

Goalkeepers: Jason Brown (Aberdeen), Boaz Myhill (West Bromwich Albion), Lewis Price (Crystal Palace).
Defenders: Darcy Blake (Crystal Palace), James Collins (West Ham United), Chris Gunter (Reading), Joel Lynch (Huddersfield Town), Adam Matthews (Celtic), Sam Ricketts (Bolton Wanderers), Ashley Williams (Swansea City), Ben Davies (Swansea).
Midfielders: Joe Allen (Liverpool), David Edwards (Wolverhampton Wanderers), Andy King (Leicester City), Aaron Ramsey (Arsenal, capt), Jonathan Williams (Crystal Palace).
Forwards: Gareth Bale (Tottenham Hotspur), Simon Church (Reading), Steve Morison (Norwich City), Hal Robson-Kanu (Reading), Sam Vokes (Burnley), Robert Earnshaw (Cardiff City).

Belgium probably line up

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Colombia – Uruguay  1 @ 2,3

uruguay with reserves

The airline carrying the luggage of choice ‘Uruguayan’ suffered a drawback and could not arrive in time for the match against Colombia in the sky. In this situation, Oscar Tabarez’s team would have to use the alternative uniform Junior de Barranquilla. 

Moldova – England

Johnson adds to Hodgson´s injury woes

Left-back Ashley Cole has joined the growing list of absentees for England’s first World Cup qualifier in Moldova on Friday.

Johnson and Cole joins Wayne Rooney, Andy Carroll, Ashley Young, Chris Smalling, Phil Jones and Jack Wilshere in missing the start of England’s World Cup qualification campaign.

The injuries will give some of the lesser known players in the squad the chance to shine, with Leighton Baines, Jermain Defoe and Danny Welbeck all likely to feature.

Also need to mention that striker Defoe had two family tragedy this year (father and cousain) and his mentas state is questionable

MOLDOVA

Namasco
Bulgaru, Racu, Epureanu, Armas
Gatcan, Patras
Covalciuc, Onica, Doros
Picusciac
ENGLAND
 
Hart
Walker, Cahill, Terry, Baines

Lampard, Carrick
Milner, Gerrard, Oxlade-Chamberlain
Welbeck

 

Russia – Northern Ireland

In team news, O’Neill will have to do without defender Shane Ferguson (groin) and striker Martin Paterson (hamstring), while Celtic midfielder Paddy McCourt is set to miss both this weekend’s match and next Tuesday’s clash against Luxembourg with a groin strain.

Meanwhile, new Russia boss Fabio Capello, who took over from Dick Advocaat in July, has named several changes in his squad, with Lokomotiv Moscow striker Roman Pavlyuchenko and Arsenal forward Andrey Arshavin both left out.

Reading hitman Pavel Pogrebnyak has also been overlooked, while Yuri Zhirkov and Sergei Semak both miss out through injury.

Also need to mention there are big fights in country between catholics and protestants

Bulgaria – Italy

As for Bulgaria, Dimitar Berbatov has decided against coming out of international retirement for his country’s qualifying campaign, meaning national team boss Lubo Penev must decide between Ivelin Popov and Iliyan Mitsanski, who netted the only goal of the game in last month’s friendly win over Cyprus, for the lone striking role.

BULGARIA

Mihaylov
Manolev, Bodurov, Ivanov, V. Minev
Tonev, Milanov, Gadzhev, Sarmov
Gargorov
Popov
ITALY
 
Buffon
Bonucci, Barzagli, Ogbonna
Pirlo
Maggio, De Rossi, Marchisio, Giaccherini
Giovinco, Osvaldo

Finland – France

Didier Deschamps has a lengthy injury list to contend with ahead of his first competitive game in charge of his country, with the likes of Mathieu Debuchy and Bacary Sagna yet to maintain full fitness in the 2012-13 season.

The former Marseille boss confirmed on Thursday that Olivier Giroud will not play any part in Friday’s encouter, with the possibility deemed too risky by the 43-year-old. Instead, France are likely to revert to a 4-3-3 with Karim Benzema flanked by Jeremy Menez and Franck Ribery.

Deschamps also revealed that his centre-back pairing would be Mamadou Sakho and Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa, with Laurent Koscielny still yet to start a game since the Euro 2012 exit to Spain in June.

FINLAND
 Finland
Hradecky
Toivio, Pasanen, Moisander, Arkivou

Ring, R Eremenko, Sparv, 
A Eremenko
Pukki, Kuqi
FRANCE
France
Lloris
Reveilliere, Sakho, Yanga-Mbiwa, Evra
Diaby, Cabaye, Mavuba,
Menez, Benzema, Ribery

Germany – Faroe Islands

Joachim Low will be able to welcome back several familiar faces after naming a much-changed side for their recent friendly loss to Argentina. Philipp Lahm returns, but will play at right-back as opposed to left-back, with Marcel Schmelzer keeping his place on the left-hand side of defence and Jerome Boateng dropping to the bench.

Manuel Neuer will certainly come in for Ron-Robert Zieler in goal, while Lukas Podolski is likely to reclaim his spot on the left wing, but another returning player, Per Mertesacker, will find his path to a centre-back berth blocked by Holger Badstuber and Mats Hummels, whose partnership continues to blossom.

However, there is no return for the unfit Bastian Schweinsteiger, leaving Toni Kroos to continue alongside Sami Khedira in the deep-lying midfield positions, while Miroslav Klose will retain his place up front in light of Mario Gomez’s ankle injury.

Faroe Islands, meanwhile, are expected to make a couple of changes to the side that lost 2-0 to Nordic rivals Iceland in a friendly in August..

GERMANY

Neuer
Lahm, Hummels, Badstuber, Schmelzer
Khedira, Kroos
Muller, Ozil, Podolski
Klose
FAROE ISLANDS

Nielsen
Naes, Baldvinsson, Faero, Jacobsen
Benjaminsen, Hansson
Elttor, Holst, Udsen
Edmundsson

Luxembourg – Portugal

Read Madrid duo Cristiano Ronaldo (thigh) and Pepe (ankle) should both return to the Portugal side despite missing training with slight injuries.

  Joubert
Hoffman, Blaise, Schnell,
Bettmer, Peters, Leweck, Gerson, Payal, Mutsch,Joachim

 Rui Patricio
Pereira, Coelho, Pepe, Coentrao

Moutinho, Meireles, Veloso
Ronaldo, Oliveira, Nani

Kazakhstan – Republic of Ireland

Berenek will be without the experienced midfielder Andrei Karpovich, while the Russia-based Aleksei Popov and Kazbek Geteriev are unavailable.

Ireland are without the familiar faces of Shay Given and Damien Duff, who have both taken the decision to retire from international football, while Aston Villa defender Richard Dunne is injured for the fixture.Giovanni Trapattoni hinted earlier this week that Stoke City striker Jonathan Walters would partner Robbie Keane in attack, while Simon Cox is set to start at left wing instead of Sunderland winger James McClean, who is suffering from a sore throat.
KAZAKHSTAN

Sidelnikov
Kirov, Rozhov, Mukhtarov, Schmidtgal
Ost’enko, Nurd’ov, Kony’ev, Kukeev, Engel
Gridin
REPUBLIC OF IRELAND

Westwood
O’Shea, St Ledger, O’Dea, Ward
McGeady, Whelan, McCarthy, Cox
Walters, Keane

Scotland – Serbia
Scotland manager Craig Levein has been hit by several injury problems in the build-up to their opening group match against Serbia at Hampden Park.

Phil Bardsley and Steven Whittaker (both ankle) were already unavailable after knocks ruled them out of the start of the Premier League season. Scott Brown (hip) and Darren Fletcher (bowel) were not considered for selection.

Southampton defender Danny Fox (groin) and Norwich defender Russell Martin (ankle) are also both out, and have been replaced in the squad by Huddersfield Town’s Paul Dixon and MK Dons defender Gary MacKenzie. Rangers defender Lee Wallace may have been called into the squad ahead of Dixon however he is unavailable (hamstring).

The Tartan Army will also been sweating over the fitness of goalkeeper Allan McGregor (groin) who should be fit to play whilst full-back Charlie Mulgrew is also doubtful (Achilles).

Central defender Christophe Berra has joined up with squad late following the birth of his daughter, and is in line for a start alongside Gary Caldwell.

One man who is not available is £12 million Sunderland striker Steven Fletcher who has withdrawn himself from selection for Scotland.

The Serbs will be without arguably their best known player, Manchester United’s Nemanja Vidic, after his retirement from international duty last year.

Adem Ljajic, who once was on the books at Old Trafford has not been selected after not singing the national anthem in a previous game.

SCOTLAND

McGregor
Hutton, Berra, Caldwell, Mulgrew 
Maloney, Morrison, Webster, Adam, Snodgrass
,
Miller
SERBIA

Stojkovic
Ivanovic, Subotic, Nastasic, Kolorov
Mijailovic, Ninkovic, Petrovic, Matic, Tosic,
Lekic

Spain vs Saudi Arabia


Casillas
Arbeloa, Ramos, Pique, Alba
Xavi, Xabi Alonso, Busquets
Pedro, Torres, Iniesta


SAUDI ARABIA


Abdullah
Al-Zori, Hawsawi, Al-Mousa, Al-Sharani
Al-Fraidi, Al-Jassim, Ali-Kariri, Al-Shalhoub

Al-Qahtani, Al-Shamrani

 

Argentina vs Paraguay

he only doubt for Alejandro Sabella going in to Friday’s World Cup qualifier was the system he would play, with the 11 men set to be the same whether the coach opted for a 4-2-3-1 or 4-3-3. The ex-Estudiantes man will put faith in the attacking trident that has been used to such devastating effect in his reign, with Ezequiel Lavezzi entering for the suspended Sergio Aguero alongside Messi and Higuain. Javier Mascherano’s suspension also opens the door for Estudiantes’ Rodrigo Brana to start.

ARGENTINA

Romero
Zabaleta, Garay, Fernandez, Rojo
Gago, Brana, Di Maria
Messi, Higuain, Lavezzi
PARAGUAY

Villar
Veron, Alcaraz, Da Silva, Ortiz 
Riveros, Oviedo, Caceres, Estigarribia
Fabbro, Santa Cruz

In his first competitive match for Paraguay since taking over from sacked predecessor Francisco Arce, Gerardo Pelusso has gone for a team that will defend in numbers at the back, his 4-4-2 system designed to frustrate the Albiceleste’s dangermen. The big news for the Guarani is a first competitive start for Argentina-born forward Jonny Fabbro, who became eligible for the nation in 2012 after completing the necessary five years of residency in Paraguay.

Ecuador  v  Bolivia

Usually this would be hendicep for away side when coming in Quito (Estadio Olímpico Atahualpa on 2800 meters) but Bolivians will not have problems with it (la Paz is on 3600, Potosi on 3934,  oruro on 3700..)..but Bolivia will miss some players (cardozo, Campos, Escobar..)

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FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking

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Europa league

 Mura – Arsenal Kijev preview  

Mura lost the first match in Kiev 3:0, but Uefa decided a result 3:0 for them, because Eric Matoukoua (Arsenal’s palyer which scored 3rd goal) couldnt play that game becouse of suspension..

..now Arsenal wanna convincigly won and come into next round. Rich chairman said he will give 100 000 dolars for each scored goal. Mura with full squad (very young), they are without Florescu, Khomin, Rafael, Lampi, Matoukou

Drakovič, Majer, Kramar, Cipot, E. Janža, Bohar, Maruško, Horvat, Kouter, Jelič, Fajić

Pankiv, Leandro, Simonenko, Gitchenko, Polevoy, Maksimov, Shakhov, Kovpak, Kobakhidze, Shatskikh, Mazilu

  Slaven Belupo v Athletic Bilbao preview  

The Croats missed a good chance to keep this tie alive as they were beaten 3-1 by what looked like Athletic’s second string side, so they clearly face an uphill task in the return leg.

Slaven Belupo finished last league campaign in 3rd place, just two points behind Hajduk Split and with the Croatian giants now much weaker than last term, it is team from Koprivnica that are now considered the best side in the top flight after Dinamo Zagreb.

Coach Roy Ferencina has managed to create a very homogenous unit that enjoyed a really good start to the season, with 6-0 and 4-2 Europa Leaguevictories over Portadown followed by two league wins.

The Pharmacists were beaten by Split at the weekend, and with Mario Gregurina still sidelined through injury, the hosts don’t have much to hope for before the clash with Athletic. Only good new is they will full their small stadium and Davor Vugrinec, key players (but in years now) is back for this game, he is league topscorer of all time.

Probable starting line-up (4-2-3-1): Rodic – Puric, Grgic, Bubnjic, Pilipovic – Canadjija, Kokalovic – Glavica, Rak, Delic – Busic.

Athletic Bilbao enjoyed a very promising season last term, although defeats in Europa League and Copa del Rey finals left a bad taste in the mouth.

The club chiefs somehow managed to persuade El Loco Bielsa to remain at the helm, while all key players stayed at San Mames despite heavy interest from abroad.

The Europa League clash against Slaven came at a bad time as Athletic were without several important players, but the back-ups did a great job to record a 3-1 win and make their job easier in the return leg.

Ander Herrera and Iker Muniain have since resumed training after returning from the 2012 Olympics, but Javi Martinez was allowed few more days to rest and he is out of contention for this game. Munian is doubtful for starting line up

New signing Aritz Aduriz has recovered from a hamstring injury and he could start, but Ion Aurtenetxe and Fernando Amorebieta remain sidelined. Fernando Llorente is likely to be left on the bench after expressing his desire to leave the club.

Probable starting line-up (4-3-3): Iraizoz – Iraola, Ekiza, San Jose, De Marcos – Herrera, Iturraspe, Inigo Perez – Ibai Gomez, Aduriz, Muniain.

  Aalesund – APOEL Nicozija  

Artificial    turf

  Marseille v Eskisehirspor  preview  

Marseille gained the upper hand of the tie by holding the Turkish side to1-1 draw in the first leg, but Eskisehirspor will give their best to make life difficult for their opponents in the return leg.

The French giants are coming on the back of one of the most disappointing seasons in their recent history, given that the team that had been tipped to fight for the title finished the league campaign in 10th place, 34 points behind champions Montpellier.

OM qualified for Europa League by winning the Coupe de la Ligue, but they were far from impressive in the first leg against Eskisehirspor, although they did miss several important players.

The squad have suffered virtually no changes apart from the fact that Elie Baup replaced Didier Deschamps, but the big problem is that a number of high-profile players is expected to leave this summer.

Loic Remy, Souleyman Diawara and Leyti N’Diaye remain sidelined, but Alou Diarra and Cesar Azpilicueta are back in contention.

Probable starting line-up (4-3-3): Mandanda – Azpilicueta, M’Bia, N’Kulou, Morel – Valbuena, Diarra, Cheyrou – Amalfitano, Gignac, A. Ayew.

Following the 12-year absence from Turkey’s top flight, Eskisehirspor gained promotion to the Super Lig in 2008 and they have been on the constant uptrend ever since.

The team finished last league campaign in 5th place to ensure their first ever European qualification, but were very unfortunate to be drawn alongside Marseille.

The Turks, nonetheless, played well against their more illustrious opponents and earned a 1-1 draw that leaves them some hope before the return leg in France.

Former Borussia Dortmund full-back Dede, former Fulham striker Diomansy Kamara and experienced defender Servet Cetin are expected to help their younger teammates in this high-profile clash that will be played at Stade Parsemain in Fos sur Mer since Velodrome is undergoing reconstruction work.

Sezgin Coskun misses out through injury, whereas striker Batuhan Karadeniz is out of contention after clashing with coach Ersun Yanal.

Probable starting line-up (4-3-2-1): Boffin – Veysel, Servet Cetin, Diego, Dede – Tello, Hurriyet, Alper – Erkan, Malecki – Kamara.

  PAOK – Bnei Yehuda  preview  

PAOK miss: Stafyllidis, Garcia, Jacobo, Reginaldo

Line ups: 

Glykos, Etto, Khumalo, Katsikas, Lino, Fotakis, Lazar, Robert, Georgiadis, Giannou, Athanasiadis

Aiyenugba, Azoz, Hadad, G. Cohen, Ivaškevičius, Edri, Nachum, Menashe, Marinković, Galvan, Ndlovu

Vitesse v Anzhi  

Vitesse miss: Van der Struijk (?), Büttner
Line up: Velthuizen, Yasuda, Kašija, Kalas, Van Aanholt, Van Ginkel, Van der Heijden, Cziommer, Ibarra, Bony, Reis

Anzhi miss: Traore, Žirkov
Line up: V. Gabulov – Logashov, Samba, Tagirbekov, Gadzhibekov – Boussoufa, Jucilei, G. Gabulov, Shatov – Eto’o, Smolov

 Inter  v Hajduk  

Line ups

Handanović, Jonathan, Samuel, Ranocchia, Silvestre, Zanetti, Mudingayi, Guarin, Sneijder, Milito, Palacio

Blažević, Vršajević, Milović, Maloča, Jozinović, Andrijašević, Radošević, Caktaš, Oremuš, Luštica, Vukušić

  missing   players

AIK Stocholm without: 

Milosevic

Elfsborg without:

Stefan Larsson  (DF, 9 Ap/0 Gl)
Skuli Jon Fridgeirsson (DF, 4 Ap/0 Gl)
Martin Andersson (DF, 0 Ap/0 Gl)
Marcus Rohdén  (MF, 10 Ap/0 Gl)
Amadou Jawo  (FW, 12 Ap/2 Gl)

Doubtful:
Joachim Jörgensen (MF, 15 Ap/0 Gl)

Servette without:

Christopher Mfuyi  (DF, 3 Ap/0 Gl, 225 Min)
Patrik Baumann  (DF, 0 Ap/0 Gl, 0 Min)
Issaga Diallo  (DF, 0 Ap/0 Gl, 0 Min)
Christian Schlauri  (DF, 0 Ap/0 Gl, 0 Min)
Genserix Kusunga (DF, 0 Ap/0 Gl, 0 Min)
Kevin Mbabu (DF, 0 Ap/0 Gl, 0 Min)
Geoffrey Tréand  (MF, 1 Ap/0 Gl, 90 Min)
Silva Eudi (FW, 1 Ap/0 Gl, 73 Min)
Julian Esteban (FW, 0 Ap/0 Gl, 0 Min)
Samir Ramizi (FW, 0 Ap/0 Gl, 0 Min)

Doubtful:
Christopher Routis (DF, 1 Ap/0 Gl, 90 Min)

Omonia without:

Efrem (mf 28/6)

Andrade

Kyriakou

Karipidis

Crvena Zvezda without:

Marko Dmitrović (GK)
Aleksandar Kirovski (GK, 1/0)
Veljko Simić (MF)
Marko Vešović (MF, 23/1)
Vukan Savićević (MF)
Stefan Čikić (MF)
Eduardo de Fiori Mendes Cadu (MF, 23/11)
Eli Babalj (FW)

KRC Genk without:

Grzegorz Sandomierski (GK)
Torben Joneleit (DF)
Jeroen Simaeys (DF, 29/2 last seson)
Abel Masquero (DF)
Ajub Masika (MF, 1/0, 6/0 last sea)
David Hubert (MF, 14/1 last sea)
Stef Peeters (MF)
Bennard Kumordzi (MF)
Siebe Schrijvers (FW)
Leandro Trossard (FW)
Bright Edomwonyi (FW)

Twente without:

Sander Boschker  (GK, 8 Ap/0 Gl)
Rasmus Bengtsson (DF, 13 Ap/0 Gl)
Nils Röseler (DF, 8 Ap/0 Gl)
Nicky Kuiper  (DF, 6 Ap/0 Gl)
Tim Breukers (DF)
Denny Landzaat (MF, 16 Ap/0 Gl)
Andrej Rendla (FW, 2 Ap/0 Gl)
Luc Castaignos (FW)

Rapid without: 

Prolopić

Apoel Nicozia without:

Ailton (21/4)

Champions League 31/7

 DYNAMO KIEV V FEYENOORD 

The clash between Ukrainian giants Dynamo Kiev and resurgent Feyenoord Rotterdam should bring us a lot of excitement and this could easily be the most interesting tie in the Champions League 3rd qualifying round.

Dynamo Kiev are coming on the back of a very disappointing seasonthat saw them lose all major trophies to arch rivals Shakhtar Donetsk, and the club chiefs are determined to make amends this term.

The Ukrainian giants did well to reinforce the squad with world-famous playersMiguel Veloso and Niko Kranjcar, while Admir Mehmedi and Raffael also arrived this summer.

New signings Raffael and Admir Mehmedi are unavailable for the clash against the Dutch giants, while first choice keeper Oleksandr Shovkovsky is sidelined through injury.

Probable starting line-up (4-3-2-1): Koval – Danilo, Mykhalyk, Betao, Husyev – Kranjcar, Vukojevic, Veloso – Yarmolenko, Dudu – Brown.

Feyenoord have shocked everyone by winning the second place in last year’s Eredivisie campaign, leaving the likes of PSV, AZ Alkmaar and Twente to trail in their wake.

The team from Rotterdam achieved a huge success last term, but it looks as though they won’t be able to repeat the feat any time soon.

The Eredivisie giants have stayed without key players John Guidetti, Karim El Ahmadi, Otman Bakkal and captain Ron Vlaar, while the players that were brought to replace them have yet to prove they have what it takes to play at this level.

The likes of Janmaat, Elabdellaoui, Goosens, Immers, Singh and Vormer all lack European experience, while it appears the club chiefs fail to address the main issue – the lack of a recognized striker.

Probable starting line-up (4-3-3): Mulder – Janmat, De Vrij, Martins Indi, Schenkeveld – Vormer, Immers, Clasie – Schaken, Fernandez, Cisse.

  Motherwell – Panathinaikos 

Motherwell manager Stuart McCall is missing just Steven Saunders (knee).

Fellow defenders Shaun Hutchinson and Jonathan Page have shaken off injuries, but are short of match fitness.

Former Bradford defender Simon Ramsden is set to make his competitive debut after signing last week.

Motherwell (from): Randolph, Hateley, Hammell, Ramsden, Hutchinson, Cummins, Page, Lasley, Law, Carswell, Humphrey, Daley, Murphy, Ojamaa, Higdon, McHugh, Murray, Hollis.