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BIG NIGHT FOR INTERNATIONALS

Posted on 12 September 2007  - 12:00

A number of our players face key matches in European Championship qualifying tonight (Wednesday September 12).

A number of our players face key matches in European Championship qualifying tonight (Wednesday September 12).

Paul Robinson is expected to start in goal for England against Russia at Wembley. Jermain Defoe is also in the squad as Steve McClaren's men look for the win that will put them firmly back on track in Group E. However, any other result will leave England struggling to qualify as it would put Russia four points clear in second place.

The top two in each group go through to the finals in Austria and Switzerland next summer - there are no play-offs this time around.

Robbie Keane leads the Republic of Ireland out in what now looks like a must-win game against the Czech Republic in Group D. Ireland were pegged back for a draw in the last minute against Slovakia on Saturday and travel to Prague three points behind the Czechs.

In the same group, Gareth Bale's Wales travel to Slovakia.

Teemu Tainio can go a long way to securing what he described as his dream to play in a major tournament with Finland. Results went the Fins' way on Saturday and they can overhaul Group A leaders Poland and take top spot with a win in Helsinki.

Dimitar Berbatov's Bulgaria are now playing catch up in Group G having lost to Holland at the weekend. The problem for Bulgaria and Holland is that Romania have taken the group by storm and are top having won six and drawn two of their eight games. Berba will be looking for goals when Bulgaria face point-less Luxembourg tonight.

Meanwhile, away from European qualifying, Paul Stalteri face Costa Rica in a friendly in Toronto.

UNDER-21 ACTION

Two of our players are in Under-21 action tonight. Younes Kaboul should skipper France again when they travel to Malta while Kieran McKenna's Northern Ireland are in Luxembourg. Both games are in European U21 Championship qualifying.