September International Break Preview

Article: September International Break Preview

My Football Facts ⇒ Articles

By Jonathan Lewis | 1st SEP 2021

Club football goes into a two-week hiatus as national teams prepare to battle it out for 2022 World Cup spots, with some of the best betting sites in the UK offering remarkable sign up offers to entice new customers on the back of England’s stellar Euro 2020 campaign.

It is a near-certainty that international football cannot be compared to club football in terms of action, intensity, vibe and luster.

However, some of the most attractive names plying their trades in top clubs across Europe will try to buy their countries tickets for the upcoming World Cup finals.

Reaching the world’s biggest stage is a serious piece of business as we take a look at some of the best national teams to compete during September’s international window.

Belgium

An underwhelming quarter-final exit at Euro 2020 has left a bitter taste in the Belgian’s mouths as they look to respond against lowly Estonia on Thursday.

Bottom and pointless after their opening two World Cup Qualification Group E fixtures, the Estonians are unlikely to put enough resistance against star-studded Roberto Martinez’s side.

The Czech Republic and Belarus could prove more challenging opponents, but Belgium seem likely to negotiate their third World Cup qualifying campaign in a row.

Even without Manchester City star playmaker Kevin De Bruyne, the Red Devils should make light work of their international fixtures this month.

England

2022 World Cup Group I pacesetters England will be desperate to erase the traumatic memory of a penalty shoot-out defeat to Italy in the Euro 2020 grand final.

Gareth Southgate’s men will go up against the likes of minnows Andorra and Euro 2020 participants Hungary and Poland in a crunch set of fixtures that could propel them to the World Cup finals.

England’s international window gets underway at the Puskas Arena on Thursday as they take on a Hungary side they have outplayed in four consecutive meetings across all competitions.

The Three Lions have been relentless at the beginning of the ongoing qualifying campaign, winning their opening three matches by an aggregate score of 9-1.

If everything goes according to plan, the Euro 2020 runners-up could secure a berth in the upcoming World Cup tournament already in September.

Italy 

Fresh from conquering Euro 2020, Italy return to international action in September, as they meet Bulgaria, Switzerland and Lithuania in the 2022 World Cup qualifiers.

After failing to qualify for the 2018 World Cup, Gli Azzurri have hit the ground running under current boss Roberto Mancini and are enjoying a 34-match unbeaten streak.

The Italians have won each of their inaugural three qualifying fixtures by the identical 2-0 scoreline and are hot favourties to maintain a perfect start to their 2022 World Cup qualifying campaign.

Unless some unexpected developments over the next fortnight, Italy’s form trajectory should remain on the upward curve.

France

As a top-seeded team in Group D, France will seek redemption for a nightmarish Euro 2020 last-16 exit to outsider Switzerland.

A demoralising loss to the Swiss side threatens to undermine Les Bleus’ attempts to reach their seventh consecutive World Cup finals.

But Bosnia & Herzegovina, Ukraine and Finland should be powerless against Didier Deschamps’ team, especially after France’s back-to-back wins without reply in the ongoing qualifying campaign.

The reigning world champions will have the opportunity to prove to the world there are no altercations in the dressing room on Thursday against Bosnia on home soil.

Since they are already atop Group D, Paul Pogba, Kylian Mbappe and co should be under no pressure against the Bosnians at the Stade de la Meinau in Strasbourg.

Germany

Hans-Dieter Flick’s German debut pits his side against European minnows Liechtenstein at Kybunpark on Thursday.

The new manager will be looking to get the Germans’ World Cup qualifying campaign back on track following a horrendous 2-1 home defeat to North Macedonia last time out.

An unexpected reverse at Schauinsland-Reisen-Arena should prove to be a minor setback in Germany’s efforts to maintain their 100% World Cup qualification record.

Die Mannschaft have reached the World Cup tournament whenever they were eligible since 1934, so a potential failure in the ongoing qualifying series would represent a disaster of epic proportions.

Luckily for Germany, they will take on low-ranked opponents in the shape of Armenia and Iceland in their subsequent two qualifying duels this month.

Spain

Iberian giants Spain proved their doubters wrong at Euro 2020, reaching the competition’s semi-finals at long odds despite missing some key components, including long-serving stalwart Sergio Ramos.

La Furia Roja replied to a 1-1 home draw against Greece on Matchday 1 with back-to-back wins ‘to one’ as they sit atop Group B ahead of their trip to Sweden on Wednesday.

A game at Friends Arena will be Spain’s toughest challenge in September, given they should have no problems overcoming Georgia and Kosovo in their remaining two matches during this international window.

Luis Enrique’s men are hot favourites to beat Sweden as they managed to prevent the Nordic team from producing a single shot on target in their most recent competitive encounter.

Notably, the Spaniards have found the net in 38 consecutive World Cup qualifiers, giving their fans plenty of reason to look forward to their upcoming three fixtures.

Superclasico

Brazil head into the international break as the only South American nation to have won each of their opening six World Cup qualifying matches so far.

The Selecao’s trip to underperforming Chile on Friday will serve as a warm-up fixture ahead of their blockbuster meeting with arch-rivals Argentina a couple of days later.

It will also be an opportunity for Tite’s side to inflict swift revenge on the Argentineans for a disappointing 1-0 defeat in the Copa America 2021 grand final on their own turf.

On the other hand, La Albiceleste will be aiming to build upon their long-awaited continental success as they hope to maintain an unbeaten start to their World Cup qualifying campaign.

Lionel Scaloni’s men have won 50% of their six qualifiers, drawing the other three.

But after winning both previous encounters against Brazil, Argentina will be confident of snatching the three points away from Recife.

Jonathan Lewis is an MFF sports writer

September International Break Preview

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