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International preview: Villa stars look to edge closer to Brazil

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International preview: Villa stars look to edge closer to Brazil


It is a huge night for several Villa players as the race to qualify for next summer's World Cup finals hots up.

There is massive claret and blue interest in qualification Group B, where Aleksandar Tonev, Nicklas Helenius and Libor Kozak all have their eyes on second spot.

Tonev's Bulgaria are currently in pole position to grab the play-off place and a win over Armenia in Yerevan would edge them a step closer.

Helenius and his Denmark team-mates are a point behind, although they face a tough encounter against group winners Italy in Copenhagen this evening.

Kozak's Czech Republic side - who are travel to bottom-of-the-table Malta - need a victory to keep their hopes alive going in to Tuesday's finale against Tonev's Bulgaria in Sofia.

In Group C, Andreas Weimann faces a crunch clash for Austria against Sweden in Stockholm.

Austria are three points behind the second-placed Swedes but have a better goal difference, so a victory would put them in the driving seat for the play-offs going in to their final qualifier against the Faroe Islands.

Meanwhile, in the same group Ciaran Clark is in action for the Republic of Ireland as they kick off the post-Giovanni Trapattoni era in Cologne against group winners Germany.

Christian Benteke is in the Belgium squad to face Croatia in Zagreb, despite still nursing a hip flexor injury.

A point from tonight's encounter would see the Belgians qualify for the World Cup as Group A winners.

Although the Netherlands have already booked their spot in Brazil, Ron Vlaar will be hoping his nation can complete the qualification phase unbeaten.

The Dutch take on Hungary in Amsterdam tonight before travelling to Istanbul for their final game against Turkey on Tuesday.

Brad Guzan is in the USA squad for their game against Jamaica in Kansas City, but Jurgen Klinsmann's team have already qualified for next summer's showpiece.

Snap up match tickets for Villa v Tottenham.

AVFC Official
By @AVFCOfficial 11th October 2013
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