Friendlies mark start of World Cup countdown
As the Word Cup draws near, the teams who will be taking part are entering the final phases of their preparations.
Reigning champions, Spain will take on Bolivia on Friday.
They have not yet submitted their his final 23-man squad, but are expected to do so after the their friendly on Friday, AFP reported.
Coach Vincete Del Bosque will take only 19 players for the Bolivia game, this game being the last chance saloon for fringe players like Barcelona's Marc Bartra and Arsenal's' Nacho Monreal.
Last chance saloon: (R) Marc Bartra and (L) Nacho Monreal
Dark horses Belgium, in their first appearance in the tournament in 12 years, smashed international minnows Luxembourg 5-1 yesterday.
They will face a harder test on Sunday when they take on Sweden this Sunday.
Brazil has two friendlies lined up next week, one against Panama and another Serbia before their opening match on June 12 against Croatia. Their preparations hit a snag after their bus was attacked by protestors.
Germany will face up against fellow World Cup finalist, Cameroon on Sunday.
The team are currently in Italy on a 10-day training camp with big name players, Manuel Neuer, Philipp Lahm and Bastian Schweinsteiger still feeling their way back to full fitness.
“Some are still injured and cannot fully train with the team but they are all training individually and I am very confident that it will work out,” Germany boss Joachim Loew told reporters in the Italian Alps
2010 runners-up the Netherlands will face Ghana on Saturday in Rotterdam. This will be the last big tournament for coach Louis Van Gaal before he takes over the Manchester United hot seat after the World Cup.
Four-time champion Italy have lined up an exhibition match against the Republic of Ireland in London on Friday. Coach Cesare Prandalli has yet to make his final 23 known so the world awaits news on who will wear the Italian jersey in Brazil.
Uruguay are seating over star player Luis Suarez's knee after he went for an arthroscopic knee surgery last week. They play Northern Ireland on Saturday.
Argentina’s players convened for a training camp just outside Buenos Aires on Monday. Lionel Messi and his teammates have friendlies scheduled against Trinidad and Tobago (June 5) and Honduras (June 7).
Source: AFP, Reuters