17.11.2013 12:05 - in: Other competitions S

      The Bianconeri’s next international challenges

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      It’s friendlies for the Italians, Mauricio Isla and Fernando Llorente, while Kwadwo Asamoah, Martin Caceres and Paul Pogba will be looking to book their tickets to Brazil in play-off second legs

      With Fernando Llorente’s 45-minute outing in Spain’s 2-1 success over Equatorial Guinea bringing the first set of the Bianconeri’s international fixtures to an end last night, those currently away on international duty now turn their attentions to the second round of encounters.

      Since Andrea Barzagli has returned to Turin due to a pectineus muscle strain picked up in Italy’s game against Germany, 10 of Antonio Conte’s men will be involved over the coming days.

      The Azzurri play their second friendly of the international break today, Monday 18 November, on the neutral territory of Fulham’s Craven Cottage. Their opponents, Nigeria, will be in ebullient spirits having just become the first African side to qualify for the Brazil finals with a 2-0 victory over Ethiopia, so it will be an interesting challenge for Cesare Prandelli’s men.

      Mauricio Isla also faces a stern test, with Chile taking on Brazil on Tuesday 19 November. La Roja will battle it out with this summer’s Confederations Cup winners in Toronto, Canada.

      That same day, Llorente’s Spain face another friendly in quick succession after their 2-1 away victory against Equatorial Guinea on Saturday. South Africa will be their opponents this time at Johannesburg’s FNB Stadium, where they will be returning for the first time since lifting the World Cup trophy there in 2010.

      Concluding the Bianconeri international action are the three World Cup qualifying play-off clashes.

      Kwadwo Asamoah and Martin Caceres’ tickets to Brazil look almost guaranteed thanks to the resounding wins they achieved in the first legs (6-1 for Ghana against Egypt and 5-0 for Uruguay against Jordan).

      But Paul Pogba’s France, on the other hand, have a difficult hill to climb after losing 2-0 in the away leg against Ukraine. They will have a packed Stade de France behind them, though, as they look to pull off a comeback.

      The full details of the Bianconeri’s latest international fixtures are as follows:

      Leonardo Bonucci, Gigi Buffon, Claudio Marchisio, Angelo Ogbonna, Andrea Pirlo
      Monday 18 November, 20.45 CET
      Italy v Nigeria (friendly)

      Fernando Llorente
      Tuesday 19 November, 21.00 CET
      South Africa v Spain (friendly)

      Kwadwo Asamoah
      Tuesday 19 November, 17.00 CET
      Egypt v Ghana (1-6 in the first leg)

      Paul Pogba
      Tuesday 19 November, 21.00 CET
      France v Ukraine (0-2 in the first leg)

      Mauricio Isla
      Tuesday 19 November, 02.00 CET
      Chile v Brazil (friendly)

      Martin Caceres
      Wednesday 20 November, 00.00 CET
      Uruguay v Jordan (5-0 in the first leg)

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