Five International Games To Tickle Your Fancy

If England v Chile doesn't float your boat this weekend, why not check out one of these five mouth-watering fixtures. From Ronaldo v Zlatan to the sexiest of friendlies...

Last Updated: 15/11/13 at 10:05 Post Comment

Latest Articles

Eye On The Experts: Mark Chapman

Post comment

Chappers doesn't patronize, talks like a human, does his research and he knows enough not to embarrass himself in any discussion. On top of that, he mocks Robbie Savage...

Friday Quiz: Moyes' Man United Reign

Post comment

How much do you remember about David Moyes' Man United reign? Test yourself with 20 questions...

All Articles


Ronaldo v Zlatan
Or Portugal v Sweden, however you wish to view it. The thought of either of these two superstars sitting at home in the summer while Philippe Senderos struts his stuff in Brazil is enough to make a grown man weep, but Zlatan in particular is unfazed by the play-off test that awaits. "I think that the World Cup needs Zlatan more than Ronaldo," he said. "The excitement I can bring to the game and the goals I can score - nobody can rival me for that. I believe the fans would want to see me there above anybody." It's difficult to argue with the man after his stunning goal in Sweden's victory over England last November and his remarkable quadruple in PSG's recent Champions League win over Anderlecht, but Ronaldo, tipped by many to finally win the Ballon d'Or again this year, will certainly want to have his say. The forward has already hit 24 goals for Real Madrid this season, including another hat-trick last Saturday, and he will no doubt be relishing Friday's battle of the titans.


Iceland v Croatia
'Welcome Croatia, welcome to our frozen hell' was the rather menacing greeting from one excited Icelander in the Football365 mailbox, who brought news of temperatures around minus ten as well as howling winds. Chilly. Iceland nabbed their play-off spot by picking up seven points in the last three fixtures and they are now looking to finish the job against a Croatia side somewhat in disarray following Igor Stimac's resignation. The former Derby defender has since been replaced by Niko Kovac, who will hope for an immediate improvement on Croatia's recent form that saw them fail to win any of their final four qualifying games and lose twice to Scotland. Ouch. Iceland will be ready to capitalise on any slip-ups, however, with Gylfi Sigurdsson and in-form Eredivisie trio Kolbeinn Sigporsson, Alfred Finnbogason and Johann Gudmundsson, who scored a stunning hat-trick in a 4-4 draw with Switzerland, carrying the country's hopes of reaching a first World Cup.


Republic of Ireland v Latvia
This might not seem like the most exciting match on paper, but it should hopefully be entertaining on the pitch as Roy Keane strikes the fear of God into Ireland's players from the touchline. "I am not here to try to change anyone's opinions about me or decisions I have made," said Keane at his first press conference. Oh good, we wouldn't want it any other way. It's certainly intriguing to see how Keane and fellow former Sunderland boss Martin O'Neill change the Ireland set-up following Giovanni Trapattoni's relatively successful reign. The complaint often aimed at the Italian was that he failed to show enough adventure but, as O'Neill and Keane are set to find out, there is only so much enterprise you can grind out of Paul Green and Jonathan Walters. A home match against Latvia should see the new-look Ireland kick-off with a win and hopefully provide a hint that the old rage still burns within Keane.


Italy v Germany
It's fair to say that Italy have been Germany's nemesis in recent years, winning four and drawing two of the last six meetings between the two teams, including knock-out victories at World Cup 2006 and Euro 2012. Friday's match is therefore a crucial test for Jogi Loew's side before another tough away trip against England. Loew's squad is packed with enormous talent as usual, but there are still questions over who will lead the line in Brazil next summer with the manager expected to take the opportunity to try a number of combinations in the next two matches. Mario Balotelli is in line to start for Italy ahead of Southampton's thus-far-underwhelming summer signing Pablo Osvaldo, and Germany will remember the forward's brilliant performance that saw them crash out in Poland.


Nigeria v Ethiopia
Nigeria travel to Craven Cottage on Monday for a friendly against Italy, but before that comes the small matter of their World Cup play-off second leg against Ethiopia. Emmanuel Emenike's brace helped the Super Eagles come from behind to win the first leg 2-1 in Addis Ababa and the Fenerbahce forward will carry his nation's hopes again on Saturday. "I am glad to have played in the Nations Cup and won, but I am dreaming of playing in my first World Cup for Nigeria," Emenike told FIFA.com. "Ethiopia are very good and they will be coming here with more tricks. So, we shouldn't see the first victory as the end of road." Ethiopia have been boosted by the return of striker Getaneh Kebede, who missed the first leg with a knee injury, and, with five goals so far in qualifying, he's the man Nigeria will need to contain if they are to fulfil Emenike's dream.

Matt Stanger - follow him on Twitter.

Football365 Facebook Fan Page

The Football365 fan page is a great place to meet like minded people, have football related discussions and make new friends.

Sky Bet

    • Retrieving latest Sky Bet odds

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

W

hy don't you call in Becks as well...and we will all have a lovely tea party!

kimosabi
United: Scholes helping out

M

ourinho is just a good-looking version of Allardyce (Fit Sam?). Clearly 19th century football isn't such a big deal after all?

Ezy_Rider
Chelsea Killed The Game Instead Of Playing It

S

tay put, Pep. Timothy Sherwood has this under control.

slowgraffiti
Guardiola plans Bayern stay

Latest Photos

Footer 365

Europa League: Lima's late winner gives Benfica 2-1 victory in semi-final first-leg

Substitute Lima struck late to help Benfica to a 2-1 victory over Juventus in their Europa League semi-final first-leg.

Nicky Butt proud to be assisting Manchester United's temporary boss Ryan Giggs

Nicky Butt says he is immensely proud to be assisting Manchester United's temporary manager Ryan Giggs.

Europa League: Sevilla secure first leg lead in all-Spanish clash with Valencia

Sevilla toppled La Liga rivals Valencia in the first leg of their Europa League semi-final to claim a 2-0 advantage.

Mail Box

Guardiola Is No Better Than Moyes...

At least he wasn't in Bayern's defeat to Real Madrid, says one chap in the mailbox. Plus, more excitement over Van Gaal at Man United and thoughts on FFP...

Man United Fans Excited By Van Gaal Talk

Man United fans know who they want to replace David Moyes, with Louis van Gaal the favourite to take over at Old Trafford. Plus, thoughts on Real Madrid v Bayern Munich...

© 2014 British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media property