International friendlies preview: Russia gear up for USA, Brazil meet Colombia
By Football News
Fabio Capello's Russia will take on USA for the first time in 12 years on Wednesday in a friendly in Krasnodar without Andrei Arshavin.
The former captain was left out of Capello's 26-man squad with under-21 regulars Denis Cheryshev (Russia) and Fyodor Smolov (loaned to Anzhi Makhachkala) given first call-ups.
Reading's Pavel Pogrebnyak and former Tottenham striker Roman Pavlyuchenko have also been frozen out for the clash against Juergen Klinsmann's USA side, who have only defeated Russia once.
Russia have started their 2014 World Cup qualifying campaign perfectly with four wins from as many games.
Two of the world's most sought after strikers, Neymar and Radamel Falcao, will go head to head when Brazil hosts Colombia in America.
Colombia have won their past four matches and are now three spots above Brazil in the world rankings in eighth place.
Real Madrid striker Gonzalo Higuain will miss Argentina's friendly with Saudi Arabia in Riyadh with former Barcelona boss, now coach of the Arab nation, Frank Rijkaard set to reunite with Lionel Messi for the clash.
Resurgent Belgium take on Romania in Bucharest having moved up to 20th in the world with the best record in Group A of their World Cup qualifying campaign.
Holger Osieck's Australia take on South Korea in Hwaseong with both sides still with plenty of work to do to qualify for Brazil.
Portugal head to oil-rich Gabon while Scotland, under caretaker coach Billy Stark, travel to play Luxembourg.
Chile's clash with Serbia holds plenty of intrigue as does Uruguay's trip to face Poland and Turkey versus Denmark.
Bulgaria welcome bordering Ukraine to the capital of Sofia, under-fire Ireland boss Giovanni Trapattoni takes charge for their clash in Dublin with Greece and the Czech Republic play Slovakia.
Tunisia take on Switzerland, Hungary play Norway, Austria welcome the Ivory Coast, who will be without Arsenal winger Gervinho, and Algeria play Bosnia.
In other clashes, South Africa host Zambia, Albania take on Cameroon, Puerto Rico tackle Paraguay, Honduras entertain Peru and Nigeria head to Venezuela.