Tue, Oct 16, 2012 - Page 18 News List

Brazil 2012 FIFA World Cup: Europe’s big guns face potential upsets

SHOWDOWN:Spain-France tops the bill in European qualifying for the World Cup, while Italy face Denmark, Germany take on Sweden and England travel to Poland


Mario Balotelli could make his first appearance for Italy since the Euro 2012 final, after missing the game in Armenia due to flu-like symptoms.

Portugal will look to bounce back from their 1-0 loss to Russia when they host Northern Ireland in Group F, with captain Cristiano Ronaldo poised to win his 100th international cap.

Only two players have previously passed the 100-cap mark for Portugal and both are former teammates of Ronaldo’s — Fernando Couto (110 caps) and Luis Figo (127).

The Netherlands, meanwhile, made it three wins from three by crushing Andorra 3-0 in the last round of matches, but their next opponents, Romania, also have a 100 percent record in Group D.

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