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International preview: Host of Villans in World Cup qualifying
Christian Benteke and Ron Vlaar among those in action
15th Oct 2012
International preview: Host of Villans in World Cup qualifying


International report by Paul Brown

There's a host of Villa stars in international action this week as they lead their nations in World Cup qualifying clashes.

Christian Benteke squares off against Alan Hutton in Brussels as Belgium host Scotland in Group A.

Belgium are joint-top with Croatia with seven points from three games while Scotland are fifth - second from bottom - with two points from three games.

Andreas Weimann is with Austria for a home clash in Vienna against Kazakhstan in Group C.

Ciaran Clark travels to Torshavn in the Faroe Islands with the Republic of Ireland, also in Group C.

Republic of Ireland are third in the six-team group with three points from two games while Austria are fourth with one point from two games. Germany are top with a maximum nine points from three matches. Sweden are second with six points from two games.

Ron Vlaar makes his way to Bucharest in Romania with the Netherlands for their Group D encounter.

Both teams are joint-top with a maximum nine points from three matches.

In the European section of World Cup qualifying, the top team in each group progresses to the finals. The second placed side from each group will contest round two of qualifying.

The teams will be paired into four home-and-away ties. The matches will likely be played between November 15 and 19, 2013 and the winners also make it through to Brazil.

Brett Holman is off to Iraq as Australia continue their Asia Section Group B qualifying campaign.

Australia are joint third with Iraq with two points from three matches. Japan lead the way with ten points from four games and Jordan second with four points from three matches.

This is classed as round four of the Asian section of World Cup qualifying.

The top team from both groups in this section progresses through to the finals. The two third-place teams from the two groups will contest round five.

The teams will play one home-and-away play-off. The matches will likely be played between September 6 and 10, 2013.

The winner advances to the intercontinental play-off. The intercontinental play-offs will be played between the round winner of Asia and the fifth-placed team of South America.

These matches are expected to be played on November 15 and 19, 2013. The winner makes it through to Brazil.

Brad Guzan is at home with USA as they face Guatemala in North, Central America and Caribbean Section Group A.

USA and Guatemala are joint-top with ten points from five games.

The top two teams from each of the three groups in this round three of qualifying from the North, Central American and Caribbean Zone will meet in the region's traditional 'hexagonal' stage.

These six teams will meet in a home-and-away format between February 6 and October 15, 2013 with the top three sides qualifying directly for the tournament in Brazil.

Meanwhile, Nathan Delfouneso travels to Serbia with England U21s for their Euro 2013 play-off second leg.

The Three Lions hold a slender 1-0 advantage from the first leg in Norwich.

Benjamin Siegrist does the same for Switzerland U21s as they host Germany U21s.

Switzerland and Germany played out a 1-1 draw in the first leg in Leverkusen.

The eight winners in each game go through to the finals in Israel.

The final tournament consists of two groups of four, with the top two from each progressing to the semi-finals where it becomes a knockout competition. It will be held between June 5 to 18, 2013.

Jack Grealish and Michael Drennan are representing Republic of Ireland U19s in a home clash with Germany U19s in the Euro 2013 qualifying round.

Both teams are joint-top of group five.

The autumn qualifying round is made up of twelve groups of four teams playing round-robin fixtures at one venue. The top two progress alongside the third-placed team with the best record against the top pair in their section.

In the elite round, played in the spring, the qualifiers and three teams given byes compete in seven mini-tournament groups of four, with the winners joining the hosts in the finals.

The final tournament consists of two groups of four, with the top two from each progressing to the semi-finals where it becomes a knockout competition. The finals will be played in Lithuania between July 20 and August 1, 2013.

World Cup Qualifying

Tuesday

Brett Holman - Iraq v Australia - World Cup Qualifier Asia Section Group B - Doha KO 3.15pm
Christian Benteke/Alan Hutton - Belgium v Scotland - World Cup Qualifier Group A - Brussels KO 7.45pm
Andreas Weimann - Austria v Kazakhstan - World Cup Qualifier Group C - Vienna KO 7.35pm
Ciaran Clark - Faroe Islands v Republic of Ireland - World Cup Qualifier Group C - Torshavn KO 7pm
Ron Vlaar - Romania v Netherlands - World Cup Qualifier Group D - Bucharest KO 8pm

Wednesday

Brad Guzan - USA v Guatemala - World Cup Qualifier North, Central America and Caribbean Group A - Kansas City KO 12.15am

U21 Euro 2013 Qualifying

Tuesday

Nathan Delfouneso - Serbia U21 v England U21 - Euro 2013 play-off second leg - Krusevac KO 5pm
Benjamin Siegrist - Switzerland U21 v Germany U21 - Euro 2013 play-off second leg - Lucerne 4.30pm

U19 Euro 2013 Qualifying

Jack Grealish/Michael Drennan - Rep of Ireland U19 v Germany U19 - Euro Championship qualifying round - Luxembourg KO 6pm

**All times above are GMT.

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