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Countdown continues with a feast of friendlies

Published: Monday 7 November 2011, 10.03CET
With qualification for UEFA EURO 2012 already assured, several nations continue their preparations for next summer's final tournament in a raft of friendly matches this weekend.
Countdown continues with a feast of friendlies
David Silva will be on familiar turf when Spain take on England at Wembley Stadium ©Getty Images
 
Published: Monday 7 November 2011, 10.03CET

Countdown continues with a feast of friendlies

With qualification for UEFA EURO 2012 already assured, several nations continue their preparations for next summer's final tournament in a raft of friendly matches this weekend.

Amid a backdrop of UEFA EURO 2012 play-off ties, several qualified nations continue their preparations for next summer's final tournament with testing friendly matches this weekend.

World and European champions Spain travel to Wembley Stadium on Saturday to take on England in the pick of the games. Vicente del Bosque's side will be buoyed by a perfect qualifying campaign and an excellent recent record against their opponents. Spain have lost to England just twice since 1987 – and one of those was in a penalty shoot-out at EURO '96 – while Del Bosque's charges ran out 2-0 winners when the teams last met in 2009 in Seville.

Fabio Capello has left out Wayne Rooney, who is suspended for the opening three matches of the final tournament, as he considers his options up front without the Manchester United FC forward. Spain, meanwhile, have a wealth of attackers at their disposal with David Villa, David Silva and Juan Mata all in fine form for their clubs.

On Friday there is a Scandinavian derby as Sweden, who qualified automatically as the best runners-up, visit Copenhagen to face Morten Olsen's Denmark. The Swedes were the third highest scorers in qualifying and will be looking to end a run of three games without a goal against their neighbours.

On the same day UEFA EURO 2012 co-hosts Poland play their first match in the recently opened Municipal Stadium Wroclaw against Italy. The stadium was inaugurated on 29 October in front of a sell-out crowd that watched WKS Śląsk Wroclaw beat KS Lechia Gdańsk; the venue will stage three group games next summer. Fellow co-hosts Ukraine welcome Germany to Kyiv with Joachim Löw's side aiming to continue the impressive form that produced ten wins out of ten on their way to topping UEFA EURO 2012 qualifying Group A.

The only other match featuring two teams that have stamped their finals ticket sees Greece go head-to-head with Russia in Piraeus. Also on Friday the Netherlands tackle Switzerland for only the fourth time in just over 30 years and France, having pipped Bosnia and Herzegovina to first place in Group D, entertain the United States.

Last updated: 11/11/11 16.01CET

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