Netherlands v Germany
The Oranje are missing a few first team players coming into this hotly contested fixture, not least Wesley Sneijder, whose absence will be mitigated by the return of Ibrahim Affelay to the national set-up.
Affelay’s Schalke team-mate Klass-Jan Huntelaar, who already has eight goals from 15 games in all competitions, is set to deputise for Robin van Persie, who has withdrawn from the squad with a thigh injury.
The Bayern Munich contingent - Mario Gomez, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Toni Kroos and Jérôme Boateng are unavailable for Germany - as well as Lazio’s Miroslav Klose, Real Madrid’s Mesut Özil and Marcel Schmelzer of Borussia Dortmund. Experienced Arsenal pair Lukas Podolski and Per Mertesacker are likely to get a run out. Dortmund youngsters Marco Reus and Sven Bender should also feature.
Italy v France
Talismanic Italy midfielder Danielle de Rossi has been left out of the squad after he was sent off for punching Stefano Mauri in Roma’s 3-2 loss to Lazio on Sunday. De Rossi’s Roma team-mate Alessandro Florenzi has been called up as his replacement, but the 21 year-old is likely to only feature from the bench, with Andrea Pirlo and Claudio Marchisio set to occupy the centre of the Azzurri’s midfield. Despite not featuring for Manchester City over the weekend, Mario Balotelli should start up front, partnered by Roma’s Pablo Osvaldo or Stefan El Shaarawy of AC Milan.
Arsenal’s Olivier Giroud will look to continue his recent Arsenal form in front of goal when he spearheads a front three most likely completed by Frank Ribery and Jérémy Ménez. Playmaker Yoann Gourcuff has been recalled to the side, and looks set to provide support for the forwards alongside Newcastle’s Yohan Cabaye. Premier League defensive trio Laurent Koscielny, Patrice Evra and Hugo Lloris should also start, with the former looking to build on his burgeoning partnership with Mamadou Sakho in central defence.
Panama v Spain
Vicente de Bosque has omitted the experienced Xabi Alonso, Gerard Pique, Fernando Torres and Xavi from his Spain squad, in favour of handing debuts to Barcelona right-back Martin Montoya and Athletic Bilbao forward Markel Susaeta. Juan Mata’s recent Chelsea form has been rewarded with a recall to the squad, with the midfielder set to vie with Arsenal Schemers past and present, Cesc Fàbregas and Santi Cazorla, for creative responsibilities.
The long trip across the Atlantic could take its toll on the Spanish players, not least Cazorla, who is due to line up against Spurs on Saturday lunch-time after arriving back in London on Friday morning.
Romania v Belgium
Chelsea fans may see a familiar face is this fixture as Adrian Mutu, now of French side Ajaccio, looks set to start for Romania after making his return to the side against the Netherlands last month.
Following the recent resurgence of Belgian football, a whole host of Premier League names are present in the squad for this match. Simon Mignolet (Sunderland), Vincent Kompany (Man City), Thomas Vermaelen (Arsenal) and Jan Vertonghen (Tottenham) will marshall Marc Wilmots’ defence, and a midfield of Eden Hazard (Chelsea) Marouana Fellaini and Kevin Mirallas (both Everton) will look to Supply strikers Christian Benteke (Aston Villa) and Romelu Lukaku (West Brom) with the ammunition to tame the Tricolorii.
Russia v USA
Arsenal midfielder and former captain Andrey Arshavin has been left out of Fabio Capello’s squad to face the USA, along with Reading’s Pavel Pogrebnyak and former Spurs striker Roman Pavlyuchenko. Real Madrid’s Denis Cheryshev and Fyodor Smolov of Anzhi are likely to make their debuts in place of the more experienced players.
Jurgen Klinsmann has opted for a mostly Europe-based squad for the match with the game taking place in Russia. Everton’s Tim Howard continues his run between the sticks, but Clint Dempsey is left out of the squad, possibly at the request of Spurs manager Andre Villas Boas. AZ Alkmaar striker Jozy Altidore has been recalled to the squad and will be hoping to prove that has something more than raw ability, particularly in light of his impressive haul of eight goals in nine league appearances.