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UEFA World Cup 2014 Qualifying: Sweden, France pull out comeback draws

After a first half in which Germany appeared to be on their own level in international football, they completely collapsed and allowed four unanswered goals to Sweden. Elsewhere, Spain's winning streak ended in a draw with France.

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27 Total Updates since October 16, 2012
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England vs. Poland: Lineups

England and Poland are both unchanged as they face each other in Warsaw.

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Portugal held to a draw by Northern Ireland

Hélder Postiga scored with 10 minutes left in the match to salvage a point against a defensively stubborn Northern Ireland who had taken the lead in the first half thanks to great goal from Niall McGinn.

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The murky waters in UEFA qualfiying begin to clear

A full recap of all of today's qualifying matches in UEFA on the road to the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

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Olivier Giroud ends Spain winning streak

Olivier Giroud netted a 94th minute equalizer to deny Spain victory in a major qualifying match for the first time since 2007.

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Ten-man Italy still breezes by Denmark

Italy played the entire second half down a man, thanks to the hot-headed actions of Pablo Osvaldo, but still managed a third goal to beat Denmark 3-1.

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Germany stunned by an amazing Swedish comeback

Trailing 4-0 early in the second half, Sweden roared back with four goals in the second half, including the equalizer in the stoppage time to earn a 4-4 draw.

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Belgium outclass lacklustre Scotland

Belgium won a 2-0 victory over Scotland after finally breaking down the Scottish defence in the second half.

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Netherlands score four in romp

The Netherlands scored four times in a relatively easy win over Romania.

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Poland vs. England: Rain stops play in Warsaw

Poland's fixture against England in Warsaw has been controversially called off due to a waterlogged pitch and will be played tomorrow instead.

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Belgium vs. Scotland, Half-time score 0-0

Scotland have Allen MacGregor to thank after they somehow emerged unscathed from a half of football played almost entirely in their own half as Belgium dominated the first 45 minutes.

The Scottish keeper was hard at work throughout the half, keeping out several Belgian efforts on goal, with a double save to keep out the lively Dries Mertens, before having to dive out to stop Nacer Chadli, as the Red Devils tore a static Scotland defence apart.

Axel Witsel was the main creative force in midfield, but it was Mertens who shone brightest, and almost created the opening goal, pulling the ball back for Christian Benteke, but the Aston Villa striker could not react quickly enough to turn the ball home.

Seconds later, Scotland almost took a shock lead - after receiving a free-kick during a rare foray into the Belgian half, Shaun Maloney curled a superb effort at the top corner. The Wigan midfielder couldn't have hit the ball any better, but the giant frame of Thibaut Courtois kept the ball out despite using his 'wrong' hand to do so.

Belgium continued to pour forward afterwards, with Chadli once again going within inches of scoring after curling a shot past the far post, before MacGregor had to be alert once again to keep out Moussa Dembele's low drive. The Scots soon had a free-kick again, with Maloney once more testing Courtois' reactions, the Belgium keeper forced to dive low to push his shot around the post.

Scotland are extremely fortunate to go in with the scores level, but must offer something else in the second half if they are to progress - only a win here will do them any good, and they have offered nothing in open play so far. For Belgium, it looks only a matter of time before they find a way through.

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Germany vs. Sweden: Lineups

Germany have no less than seven Bayern Munich players in their lineup as they host Sweden tonight.

Manuel Neuer, Jerome Boateng, Holger Badstuber, Philipp Lahm, Bastian Schwensteiger, Thomas Miller and Toni Kroos all make up the contingent from the Bavarian club, which should at least give the side a sense of fluidity. Veteran Miroslav Klose will spearhead the German attack, while Per Mertesacker partners Holger Badstuber in central defence.

Sweden have opted for a 4-4-1-1 formation, with captain Zlatan Ibrahimovic playing just behind Johan Elmander up front, and Pontus Wernbloom and Samuel Holmen given the difficult task of maintaining control of midfield against Germany's trio.

Germany (4-2-3-1): Manuel Neuer; Jerome Boateng, Per Mertesacker, Holger Badstuber, Philipp Lahm; Bastian Schweinsteiger, Toni Kroos; Thomas Muller, Mesut Ozil, Marco Reus; Miroslav Klose

Sweden (4-4-1-1): Andreas Isaksson; Mikael Lustig, Andreas Granqvist, Martin Olsson, Behrang Safari; Sebastian Larsson, Pontus Wernbloom, Samuel Holmen, Rasmus Elm; Zlatan Ibrahimovic; Johan Elmander.

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Super Mario is back for Italy against Denmark

Italy will look to open up some more space between themselves and Bulgaria as they host a disappointing Denmark side today at the San Siro in Milan.

ALl sorts of changes for Cesare Prandelli from last week's win over Armenia. With Gianluigi Buffon out, Napoli's Morgan De Sanctis takes over in goal for Italy. Mario Balotelli will make start and see his first minutes for the national team since his impressive Euro 2012 run. Christian Maggio, who left the team to attend the birth of his child, has been replaced by Ignazio Abate.

Denmark, who've started slow in qualifying, will look to build on their draw against Bulgaria. The only change to the lineup from last Friday is Simon Paulson, replacing Daniel Wass in the defense.

Italy starting lineup (4-4-2): Morgan De Sanctis, Federico Balzaretti, Andrea Barzagli, Giorgio Chiellini, Ignazio Abate, Faniele De Rossi, Andrea Pirlo, Claudio Marchisio, Riccardo Montolivo; Pablo Osvaldo, Mario Balotelli.

Denmark starting lineup (4-3-3): Stephan Andersen; Lars Jacobsen, Simon Kjær, Daniel Agger, Simon Poulsen; William Kvist, Nicolai Stokholm, Christian Eriksen; Michael Krohn-Dehli, Dennis Rommedahl, Nicklas Bendtner.

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Spain vs. France: Lineups

Santiago Cazorla has dropped to the bench as Spain start their game against France with no recognised striker on the pitch.

Cesc Fàbregas, David Silva, and Pedro will start as a front three for Spain, with Xabi Alonso, Xavi, and Andres Iniesta in midfield. Sergio Busquets is instead deployed as a centre-back - as usual, Spain's gameplan will depend on maintaining possession at all costs.

France opt for Mamadou Sakho to partner Laurent Koscielny in defence, and pick Maxime Gonalons and Blaise Matuidi to partner Yohan Cabaye in a tough midfield. The front three is as expected, with Frank Ribery and Jeremy Menez on the wings, and Karim Benzema as the lone striker.

France: Hugo Lloris; Parice Evra, Mamadou Sakho, Laurent Koscielny, Mathieu Debuchy - Maxime Gonalons, Blaise Matuidi, Yohan Cabaye - Franck Ribéry, Karim Benzema, Jeremy Ménez.

Spain: Iker Casillas; Alvaro Arbeloa, Sergio Busquets, Sergio Ramos, Jordi Alba; Xabi Alonso, Xavi, Andres Iniesta; David Silva, Pedro, Cesc Fàbregas.

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Gerrard, Cole return to England lineup

England travels to Poland hoping to increase their lead at the top of Group H.

Roy Hodgson has setup his team in teh same formation as he used against San Marino, but he's made some personnel changes. Ashley Cole returns at left back while Steven Gerrard returns from suspension to replace the injured Frank Lampard in the midfield. Michael Carrick and Jermaine Defoe are back in the lineup as well. With this being a tougher away match against a much better team (compared to San Marino) the move to name a more veteran group makes sense.

Poland will be without captain Jakub Blaszczykowski and starting goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny due to injuries.

Poland starting lineup (4-2-3-1): Przemysław Tytoń; Lukasz Piszczek, Marcin Wasilewski, Kamil Glik, Jakub Wawrzyniak; Grzegorz Krychowiak, Eugen Polanski; Pawel Wszolek, Ludovic Obraniak, Kamil Grosicki; Robert Lewandowski.

England starting lineup (4-2-3-1): Joe Hart; Glen Johnson, Phil Jagielka, Joleon Lescott, Ashley Cole; James Milner, Tom Cleverley; Michael Carrick, Steven Gerrard, Wayne Rooney; Jermaine Defoe.

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Robin van Persie back in the lineup for the Dutch

Netherlands and Romania, the two top teams in Group D, meet today at National Arena in Bucharest. Both sides currently have nine points and both will be looking to take control of first place with a victory.

Louis van Gaal has made a couple changes from his side's win over Andorra on Friday. Klaas-Jan Huntelaar and Nigel De Jong have been dropped, replaced by Luciano Narsingh and Jordy Clasie. Ruben Shacken moves aside for Robin Van Persie.

Considering this should be the toughest qualification test for the Dutch so far, it makes sense to see van Gaal's first choice lineup.

Romania starting lineup (4-2-3-1): Ciprian Tătărușanu; Dorin Goian, Gabriel Tamas, Răzvan Raț, Vlad Chiricheş; Mihai Pintilii, Alexandru Bourceanu; Gabriel Torje, Ciprian Marica, Gheorghe Grozav; Bogdan Stancu

Netherlands starting lineup (4-2-3-1): Maarten Stekelenburg; Ricardo van Rhijn, John Heitinga, Ron Vlaar, Bruno Martins Indi; Jordy Clasie, Kevin Strootman; Rafael van der Vaart; Luciano Narsingh, Robin van Persie; Jeremain Lens.

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Russia slightly lucky to beat Azerbaijan

Russia were not good on Tuesday, but did enough to defeat Azerbaijan and stay on top of their group.

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France better equipped to face Spain than at Euros

France were outplayed by Spain from wire to wire at Euro 2012. Between Spain's injuries and France's new manager, Tuesday night's match shouldn't be a repeat.

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Expect Portugal to rebound against N. Ireland

Portugal lost ground in Group F on Friday when they fell to Russia, but they should get back on track by claiming three points against Northern Ireland.

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Holland, Romania put perfect records on the line

The Netherlands will be expected to avoid defeat at the very least on Tuesday night, but Romania proved to be a very formidable foe for Turkey last week.

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Italy should have no trouble with Denmark

Italy should have absolutely no trouble with Denmark in Milan on Tuesday night, but stranger things have happened.

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Wales travel to Croatia needing three points

Wales won't be eliminated if they don't get three points against Croatia, but their hopes of making it to their first major international tournament since 1958 won't look good without them.

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Scotland up against tough task in Belgium

Scotland face a difficult task in keeping their very faint qualification hopes alive when they travel to Belgium on Tuesday night.

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Sweden should give Germany their toughest test yet

Germany came take a commanding lead at the top of Group C with a victory over Sweden.

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Spain and France battle for group supremacy

One team could potentially take a big step towards World Cup qualification as Spain and France meet in Madrid

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Russia should win big against Azerbaijan

Russia are heavy favorites on Tuesday and should comfortably defeat Azerbaijan to extend their perfect run.

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