International Football: Cristiano Ronaldo to join 100 club; Jack Rodwell out for England; Miroslav Klose turns over new leaf
Tuesday 16 October 2012
Portugal v Northern Ireland
Cristiano Ronaldo is poised to win his 100th cap in the World Cup qualifier tonight. The Real Madrid forward will become the third Portugal player to collect 100 caps, after Luis Figo (127) and Fernando Couto (110). He will be the first to reach the milestone before the age of 30. The 27-year-old made his debut in 2003 when he was 18. He has scored 37 international goals, bettered only by Pauleta (47) and Eusebio (41).
For Northern Ireland, having lost in Russia and suffered the ignominy of a 1-1 home draw against Luxembourg, a result in the Dragao Stadium is essential to preserve a chance of qualifying.
The England Under-21s play the second leg of their European Championship play-off against Serbia tonight, in which an aggregate win will see them qualify for next summer's tournament. The Young Lions are sitting on a precarious 1-0 lead following a victorious first leg at Carrow Road on Friday, and will be hoping for a repeat performance in Krusevac.
England look much stronger on paper, boasting such Premier League talent as Raheem Sterling and Jordan Henderson of Liverpool, however Manchester City's Jack Rodwell is missing with a hamstring injury.
Germany v Sweden
Germany's striker Miroslav Klose is to put a stop to his trademark somersault goal celebration. The 34-year-old is cutting out the mid-air flip in an effort to stay fit for the 2014 World Cup.
"The somersault... I think I can still do it but I honestly do not want to risk it because I want to still be around in 2014," he said ahead of Germany's qualifier against Sweden in Berlin tonight.
Germany top Group C with nine points from three games.
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