Turkey vs. Slovakia  1 - 2

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International friendlies preview: Olsen sweating on Agger

27 February 2012 17:01

Denmark coach Morten Olsen will give Daniel Agger every chance to play in their friendly with Russia, after he broke a rib in the Carling Cup Final.

Olsen has called in FC Nordsjaelland's Jores Okore as back-up but Agger will still be the first choice in central defence if he is fit.

The Liverpool defender was grimacing as he was substituted in the 87th minute against Cardiff City on Sunday but has yet to rule himself out of the match, which will be played in Copenhagen on Wednesday.

The game will be Russian captain Andrei Arshavin's first since securing a loan move from Arsenal to Zenit St Petersburg.

Arshavin heads up a very attacking Russian squad, which also includes Fulham's Pavel Pogrebnyak and former Tottenham striker Roman Pavlyuchenko.

Both Denmark and Russia will play in the European Championships in June.

Republic of Ireland and the Czech Republic will play in Dublin, with both having qualified for the European Championships.

All other teams who will play at the continental tournament in June are in action this week.

Hosts Ukraine and Poland take on Israel and qualifiers Portugal respectively.

Greece will test themselves against Belgium, while Croatia host Sweden in Zagreb.

Argentina will prepare for their next World Cup qualifier with a game against Switzerland in Bern.

The two-time world champions are currently second in South American qualifying and take on fourth-placed Ecuador on June 2.

As such, Alejandro Sabella has picked a full-strength side to play the Swiss, who have five players involved from the Basel side that beat Bayern Munich 1-0 in the Champions League recently.

This week is a busy one for national teams around the world with matches being played on both Tuesday and Wednesday.

On Tuesday, the pick of the friendlies is Bosnia-Herzegovina versus Brazil, while Armenia take on Serbia in Cyprus.

That match is one of two being played on the Mediterranean island this week, with Serbia also facing Cyprus on Wednesday.

Turkey host Slovakia, Finland travel to Austria and Slovenia are up against Scotland.

In other matches, Northern Ireland welcome Norway to Belfast, Wales take on Costa Rica and Mexico host Columbia.

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Turkey boss Avci selects fresh faces

24 February 2012 15:26

Turkey manager Abdullah Avci has phased out a number of established players, while blooding youngsters for their friendly with Slovakia.

The likes of Fenerbahce duo Volkan Demirel and Emre Belozoglu - mainstays in the national team for the best part of a decade - have not made the cut, along with both Hamit and Halil Altintop.

Promising youngsters such as Necip Uysal, Semih Kaya and Hasan-Ali Kaldirim have all been given a chance to prove their international credentials for Wednesday's clash at Antalya Ataturk Stadyumu.

Meanwhile, Germany-based players such as Olcay Sahan, Tunay Torun, Omer Toprak and Mehmet Ekici are all included in the 27-man squad.

Star man Nuri Sahin returns to the national squad after a lengthy absence through a string of injuries.

Turkey squad: Sinan Bolat, Cenk Gonen, Tolga Zengin, Serdar Aziz, Gokhan Gonul, Eren Gungor, Hasan Ali Kaldirim, Semih Kaya, Serdar Kemisal, Ismail Koybasi, Omer Toprak, Olcan Adin, Soner Aydogdu, Mehmet Ekici, Caner Erkin, Selcuk Inan, Alper Potuk, Olcay Sahan, Nuri Sahin, Mehmet Topal, Tunay Torun, Arda Turan, Necip Uysal, Umut Bulut, Mevlut Erdinc, Mustafa Pektemek, Burak Yilmaz.