The Premier League is on break until October 14th, but have no fear, The Short Fuse has you covered for all your Arsenal-related soccer needs. Twelve Arsenal players have been called into their respective national teams for the upcoming round of World Cup Qualifiers. All times listed are Eastern Time.
David Ospina, Colombia: Los Cafeteros are in a good position to qualify for the World Cup. They can punch their ticket with a win over Paraguay and either a draw between Argentina and Peru or if Chile does not beat Ecuador.
vs. Paraguay, October 5th, 7:30 PM, beIN Sports
@ Peru, October 10th, 7:30, beIN Sports Connect
Laurent Koscielny, Alexandre Lacazette, Olivier Giroud, France: Les Bleus faltered in the most recent round of qualifiers, drawing 0-0 at home to Luxembourg. They are still top of Group A, however, and can guarantee qualification with two wins.
@ Bulgaria, October 7th, 2:45 PM, ESPN3
vs. Belarus, October 10th, 2:45 PM, FS2
Nacho Monreal, Spain: La Furia Roja technically need four points to be guaranteed of winning Group G, however three points should suffice. I don’t think that Italy will make up the 17 goal-difference gap between the sides.
vs. Albania, October 6th, 2:45 PM, ESPN Deportes/ESPN3
@ Israel, October 9th, 2:45 PM, ESPN Deportes/ESPN3
Shkodran Mustafi, Germany: Die Mannschaft need a point from their remaining two games to secure qualification. Mesut Özil was not named to the roster because he continues to recuperate from a knee injury.
@ Northern Ireland, October 5th, 2:45 PM, FoxSports+
vs. Azerbaijan, October 8th, 2:45, FoxSports2
Sead Kolašinac, Bosnia & Herzegovina: the Zmajevi (dragons) are looking to hold onto second place in the group. They are currently one point ahead of Greece but face a tough match against group-winner Belgium. They may need to win both games to avoid being the worst runner-up and missing out on the playoffs.
vs. Belgium, October 7th, 12 PM, ESPN News
@ Estonia, October 10th, 2:45 PM, ESPN3
Aaron Ramsey, Wales: Y Dreigiau (dragons) will be without injured star Gareth Bale for their upcoming set of matches. They can guarantee themselves a spot in the playoff with two wins, while dropping points puts them in real danger of being the worst runner-up. Depending on results from the first matchday, their game against the Republic of Ireland could be a win-or-go-home for both sides.
@ Georgia, October 6th, 12 PM Fox Deportes/Fox Sports Go
vs. Republic of Ireland, October 9th, 2:45 PM FoxSports 2
Granit Xhaka, Switzerland: La Nati sit atop Group B but because of goal difference, must win against Hungary and avoid losing in Portugal to hold onto guaranteed qualification. If they slip up, they have at least secured a spot in the playoff round. Unsurprising note: Xhaka was sent off for two yellows the last time he played Portugal.
vs. Hungary, October 7th, 2:45 PM, Fox Sports Plus
@ Portugal, October 10th, 2:45 PM, Fox Sports
vs. Congo, October 8th, 1 PM, no U.S. broadcast
vs. Zambia, October 7th, 12 PM, beIN Sports
Alexis Sánchez, Chile: La Roja have lost three of their last four qualifiers and find themselves on the outside looking in. Two wins guarantees at least playoff spot, but with a match in Brazil, they have their work cut out for them.
vs. Ecuador, October 5th, 7:30 PM, beIN Sports Connect
@ Brazil, October 10th, 7:30 PM, beIN Sports Connect
Other interesting matches:
Turkey-Iceland, October 6th, 2:45 PM, Fox Soccer Plus (Iceland are tied for first in Group I, Turkey are just two points behind them)
Of course, as an American soccer fan, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the U.S.-Panama match on Friday at 7:35 PM in Orlando. It may be the most important non-World Cup match in men’s national team history, certainly since the “shot heard ‘round the world” in 1989. Our friends over at Stars and Stripes F.C. put together a video on just how big the match is.
Come hang out with us in the World Cup Qualifier Open Thread!
As always, check out livesoccer.tv for all your non-U.S. television and streaming needs. Please do not discuss or share links to illegal streams here.