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International friendlies preview: World Cup hosts square off

28 March 2011 09:48

Qatar and Russia will go head to head in an international friendly on Tuesday in a battle of the future World Cup hosts.

Russia - winner of the rights to host the 2018 Cup - will travel to Doha's Jassim Bin Hamad Stadium on Tuesday, which is not one of Qatar's 12 host stadiums at the 2022 Cup tournament.

The scheduled match between the two countries was planned within days of their respective Cup hosting rights being granted by FIFA last year.

Dick Advocaat's Russia will be keen to bounce back after being held to a scoreless draw with Armenia on Saturday, while it is Qatar's first outing since losing 3-2 in the Asian Cup quarter-finals to eventual champions Japan.

The Republic of Ireland will host Uruguay in Dublin, in the two nations' first clash since the Irish welcomed the South Americans to their capital in 1986.

Costa Rica will christen their new stadium in San Jose when they welcome an Argentina side fresh from a 1-1 draw with the United States.

Harnessing the talents of Lionel Messi will be in the forefront of the Central Americans' minds, with the Barcelona attacker instrumental in Argentina's goal against the US on Saturday.

The Estadio Nacional de Costa Rica was donated by the Chinese government as part of the two nations' diplomatic relationship, established in 2007.

Portugal can return to winning ways after two matches without victory when they host Finland at the Estadio Municipal de Aveiro.

Missing captain Cristiano Ronaldo to injury, Paulo Bento's side had a first international goal from Porto winger Silvestre Varela to thank for their 1-1 friendly draw with Chile on Saturday.

Also in action on Tuesday, China host Honduras, Jordan do battle with Korea DPR, Oman welcome Tunisia, Belarus take on Canada, Peru face off with Ecuador, Cyprus play Bulgaria, Slovakia and Denmark go head to head and Poland travel to Greece.

Australia can atone for their drubbing at the hands of Germany in the 2010 World Cup in South Africa when the two nations face off in a friendly in Moenchengladbach, while Chile-Colombia, Ukraine-Italy, France-Croatia, England-Ghana, Cuba-Panama, USA-Paraguay and Mexico-Venezuela are also in friendly action on Tuesday.

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