Tuesday could prove to be an action-packed evening for six of Fulham’s First Team, as Qualifiers for the 2014 FIFA World Cup reach a critical stage for the nations vying for a spot in Brazil.
Following his influential captain’s performance against the United States on Friday, Bryan Ruiz will be hoping to replicate that display in Kingston as Costa Rica face bottom-of-the-table Jamaica in CONCACAF Qualifying knowing that victory would all but guarantee their place in the Finals.
A win would keep Los Ticos top of the group with 17 points, meaning that Mexico would need to win all their remaining matches – and perform a significant Goal Difference swing – in order to deny Bryan and co their World Cup chance.
Meanwhile, back in Europe, two powerful Fulham defenders go head-to-head when Norway host Switzerland in Group E. Philippe Senderos will hope to feature for the currently unbeaten Swiss, while Brede Hangeland will captain the home side. Victory for the Scandinavians would move them to within a point of the visitors at the top of the table, with two qualifiers remaining.
Greece continue their battle at the summit of Group G when they welcome Latvia to Piraeus. Giorgos Karagounis and his teammates are currently level on points with Bosnia-Herzegovina at the top of the group, but Bosnia’s overwhelming Goal Difference means that the Greeks will have to pip them on points to guarantee their presence in Brazil next year.
Although Germany look set to clinch qualification as winners of Group C, second place is still very much up for grabs, with Sweden currently the favourites to reach the Play-Offs. They play host to closest rivals Austria and if Alexander Kačaniklić can help his side obtain three points, they will be virtually assured of the runners-up spot.
A win for Venezuela in the South American qualifying section would keep alive their faint hopes of reaching the World Cup in their home continent. They play host to Peru knowing that a win could move them level on points with fifth-placed Uruguay, who currently occupy the solitary Play-Off spot. Fernando Amorebieta is in the squad for the home side.
In the Under-21 European Championship Qualifiers, Pajtim Kasami will be looking to replicate his recent form when Switzerland play Liechtenstein in Vaduz on Monday, while Jesse Joronen is likely to keep goal for Finland U21s as England visit Tampere in what will be Gareth Southgate’s first away match as U21s Manager.
Finally, Lasse Vigen Christensen could feature for Denmark U21s in their fixture with Slovenia on Tuesday.