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The first round of matches for Liverpool's eleven senior internationals is almost upon us, including a mouth-watering tie between Uruguay and Argentina.
Liverpool may be struggling in the Premier League, and the club may have been out of the Champions League since the 2009-10 season, yet they still manage to send players out on international duty as though they were a top four side. This time around, eleven players are heading out to see action with their senior national sides. And on top of that Andre Wisdom, Raheem Sterling, Jordan Henderson, and Jack Robinson are off with the U21s facing Serbia in a home-and-home playoff, while elsewhere Samid Yesil is competing with the German U19 side and promising right back Ryan McLaughlin is involved with the Northern Ireland U19s.
Armenia v. Italy - Friday, October 12th - 6PM BST/1PM EST
Fabio Borini is once again in the Italy squad, though once again it's unlikely that he will see any action in Italy's two qualifiers. If he does, Friday when the Italians travel to Yerevan to face Armenia seems the more likely match than Tuesday's big game against Denmark.
Turkey v. Romania - Friday, October 12th - 6:30PM BST/1:30PM EST
With most expecting the Netherlands to finish first, advancing to the second-place playoffs should still be Turkey's goal in Group D, and Nuri Sahin can expect to be one of the first names off the bench when they host Romania on Friday. Romania may be on six points top of the group on goal differential right now, but after facing Estonia and Andorra in the opening two games Turkey represents a significant step up for the presumptive underdogs.
Denmark v. Bulgaria - Friday, October 12th - 7PM BST/2PM GMT
Before they face Italy, Daniel Agger and Denmark will be looking to improve on a nil-nil draw in their opening qualifying match when they face Bulgaria on Friday. As for their opponents, after drawing Italy in their opening match and then defeating minnows Armenia, the Bulgarians could pose a stiffer test for the Danes than many might expect.
Belarus v. Spain - Friday, October 12th - 7PM BST/2PM EST
Pepe Reina will man the bench on Friday when Spain head to Belarus in their second Group I qualifying match. They'll probably win after taking a really long time to score their first goal. And Reina will probably jump around in celebration when they do.
Wales v. Scotland - Friday, October 12th - 7:45PM BST/2:45PM EST
Already adrift at the very bottom of Group A with zero points after their first two games, Joe Allen and Wales will need a minor miracle to keep their faint World Cup hopes alive as they face off against Charlie Adam and Scotland. Scotland, though, aren't doing all that much better, having managed draws against Serbia and Macedonia in their opening games and.
England v. San Marino - Friday, October 12th - 8PM GMT/3PM EST
With Stewart Downing increasingly out of favour at Liverpool and Andy Carroll on loan at West Ham United, the pool of potential Liverpool players to be called up to Roy Hodgson's England squad has shrunk a little this year. Still, there's always Steven Gerrard and Glen Johnson, both locks to start most games for England though this time around Gerrard will miss out against lightweights San Marino on Friday due to suspension (HT: Suarez from the Car Park). There's also the potential for a senior debut for Jonjo Shelvey, and given that San Marino's experience in Group H so far amounts to a 6-0 hammering at the hands of Montenegro there's a chance Hodgson might decide to rest a number of his regulars in favour of a less experienced starting eleven including Shelvey.
Argentina v. Uruguay - Friday, October 12th - 1AM BST (Sat.)/8PM EST
Luis Suarez and Sebastian Coates have both made the expected trip home, joining up with the Uruguayan national team as the Copa America champions prepare for the most anticipated match of the international break. After becoming the darlings of the last World Cup and appearing nearly unbeatable in a stretch that lasted through the Copa America, Uruguay have struggled to find top form for much of 2012, heading home early from the Olympics and only managing a win and two draws to go along with a heavy loss to Colombia in World Cup qualification this year.
Morocco v. Mozambique - Saturday, October 13th - 10PM BST/5PM EST
After losing 2-0 in the first leg of their final-round playoff for the Africa Cup of Nations, Oussama Assaidi and Morocco will have a fight on their hands when Mozambique head to Marrakech for the second leg on Saturday. Morocco had been considered fairly comfortable favourites heading into the tie, but if the hosts cannot overcome the deficit they will find themselves on the outside looking in come January and February.