The international break is coming (scary music plays)…
At this time of year some of us twiddle our thumbs, listen to crickets and wait for our respective regular seasons to continue.
It’s hard for a lot of football fans to get excited about the international break. However, there is a lot to be excited about with these upcoming fixtures, notwithstanding our very own Socceroos getting their first hit out with new manager Graham Arnold at the helm.
It’s causing a lot of angst amongst Australian fans.
Also, the new UEFA Nations League continues and there’s a whole tonne of European international fixtures in the mix. Tuesday 16th of October is poised to be one of the most exciting days during this break with several international derbies set to produce some memorable football.
Derbies like Argentina vs Brazil, Belgium vs The Netherlands and USA vs Colombia are worth salivating over. These matches do get heated and I’m sure neither country will consider it’s friendly when competing for the ball.
Break the budget, invite your mates over for some cold beverages, pizza and try to enjoy the international break.
Can the Socceroo produce against Kuwait?
With most football fans’ eyes on the Socceroos, a lot of questions are being asked of Graham Arnold and his men.
Can we qualify for Qatar? What’s our squad going to look like?
Was Kuwait the right opponent to test the Socceroos? Is Graham Arnold the right man for the job?
All will be revealed on the 16th of October. Nobody is assured, which is troubling. No, disrespect to Kuwait, but, Australia fans shouldn’t be having this anxiety, against an outfit like Kuwait.
Fans should be excited and relaxed about this fixture.
Will the UEFA Nations League work?
The purists argue it will detract from the European Cup. Supporters say it will give lower-ranked European teams a chance to compete for a major tournament they normally wouldn’t be able to compete in.
However, I still don’t understand how France, Germany, Italy, Holland, England, Spain and co still won’t dominate this tournament like they do the Euros.
However, some of the upcoming Nations Leagues matches look a real treat like Poland vs Portugal on Friday the 12th October, Croatia vs England, Belgium vs Switzerland on Saturday the 13th of October. Even some of the lower-ranked groups like Estonia vs Finland derby might be worth a watch.
Other notable mentions
So if you’re bored during the week and you can feel your synapsis compelling you to look for some football too watch, here are some notable games to keep your brain from driving you batty.
France vs Iceland – Thursday 11th October
France became World Champions just over two months ago. Iceland’s heroic and fierce form in recent European and World Cups has been stunning.
This clash proves to be a real test for both teams. Iceland wants to continue to prove their form isn’t a fluke and France need to certify their position as champions.
Korea Republic vs Uruguay – Friday 12th of October
With Korea’s slump in form they will want to put in an impressive showing against Uruguay, with Uruguay’s Lucas Torreira current form bossing Arsenal around the park.
Plus, Edinson Cavani and Luis Suarez wanting to make up for lost ground in the last World Cup. This match has the potential to be a very exciting and open game.
Mexico vs Costa Rica – Friday 12th October
After Mexico’s impressive world cup campaign, they will want to continue their form against Costa Rica, a side who has the ability and courage to upset the best teams in the world.
If Mexico is not careful this could turn into a very close and dramatic encounter.
Peru vs Chile – Saturday 13th October
Celebrated South American underdog Peru need to get off to good a start. If Peru wants to qualify for Qatar, a win against Chile would send a reminder to their South American compatriots, that qualifying for Russia wasn’t an accident.
A win here could see the Peruvians qualify in consecutive World Cups as they build up confidence towards their World Cup qualifying group.
However, Alexis Sanchez and his Chilean countrymen will want to send a message of their own. They will want to make sure Chile doesn’t miss out on yet another World Cup.
Japan vs Uruguay Tuesday 16th of October
Can Japan continue their form and beat yet another South American team? They were the first Asian team to do it and they will want to continue to impress the rest of the world. However, I’m sure Uruguay will be a tough and physical opponent and will want to stop these rising suns climb to glory.
Netherlands vs Belgium Tuesday 16th of October
This old rivalry goes way back, it the past the Netherlands have dominated this fixture, but with Belgium’s golden generation sitting in the lurk, I’m sure they will want to remind the Netherlands on why they didn’t qualify for the World Cup in Russia.
Mexico vs Chile 17th of October
The last competitive day before the return of regular football season, what a way to end a rough International break with a mid-week South American blockbuster.
The Speed and agility of Mexico against the flamboyant Chileans, crack open some bliz or Pap. Get some chorizos on the BBQ or some Guzman y Gomez, chow down and enjoy this fiesta.