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An Arsenal guide to the international break

Helping you get your Arsenal fix during the cold winter that is the World Cup Qualifiers

Germany v Argentina: 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Final
Will any Gunners raise the World Cup next summer?
Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images

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

Mohamed Elneny, Egypt: the Pharaohs are first in their qualification group and can secure their first World Cup spot since 1990 if they win and Uganda does not beat Ghana.

vs. Congo, October 8th, 1 PM, no U.S. broadcast

Alex Iwobi, Nigeria: the Super Eagles can punch their ticket to the World Cup with a win over Zambia. A draw against Zambia and a draw next month against Algeria would also guarantee qualification.

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:

England-Slovenia, October 5th, 2:45 PM, (a win sends England to the World Cup)

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)

Netherlands-Sweden, October 10th, 2:45 PM, ESPN Deportes/ESPN3 (will most likely determine which of those two reaches the playoff round)

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.

The USA cannot miss the World Cup

Missing out on the World Cup would be disastrous for U.S. Soccer

Posted by Stars and Stripes FC on Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Come hang out with us in the World Cup Qualifier Open Thread!

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