BARSINGHAUSEN, GERMANY - SEPTEMBER 06: Head coach Joachim Loew (2nd L) of Germany looks on during a training session ahead of their FIFA World Cup Brazil 2014 qualifier against the Faroe Islands on September 6, 2012.
Germany vs. Faroe Islands is the Bayern-centric match of the day, but there are literally dozens of matches from around the planet going on today. So here's one viewing / chat thread for all. First, a quick look at who's hitting the pitch:
Germany vs. Faroe Islands
As we learned earlier this week, Die Mannschaft may undergo a little line-up juggling, with Marcel Schmelzer likely to start at LB, Mario Gomez slowly returning to match fitness but not in time for this match, and a match against a relatively lower-level squad on tap. Yahoo! Sports reports that Kroos and Khedira will start in midfield, with Klose up top.
The Faroese (?) will be hoping for a point from the match, and will be relying on GK Gunnar Nielsen, who has a brief bit of experience in England, to keep Germany out of the net. Germany's first-stage group is not so tough, but you never know - drop points today, and the alarm bells will be ringing.
Netherlands vs. Turkey
One of the few matches today between two teams whose hopes with respect to the World Cup go beyond just "making it there." We all know the Dutch performed poorly in Poland / Ukraine, but you can't deny the level of talent. They'll be playing at home, and going all out for the 3 points. Rafa van der Vaart has been left off the roster, and ESPN says that the Dutch will be using a 4-3-3. This could be a fun, free-flowing match.
Slovenia vs. Switzerland
I meant to write something up about the Swiss team this week, but didn't get around to it. I at least want to lay down a marker, though: these kids are going to shock a lot of people over the next few years - up to and including the summer of 2014.
Russia vs. Northern Ireland
Not necessarily a marquee matchup, just listing this one because it starts soon (11 AM Eastern USA time, I think that would be 7 PM local time).
United States vs. Jamaica
USA and Jamaica are level atop their qualifying group after 2 matches, so this one will hopefully lead to some separation. Klinsmann's boys have been hit-or-miss over the past few months, but a win here will put USA in good shape to advance to the final qualifying round.
Actually, they should probably make it either way, but a win would make it almost a sure thing.
Colombia vs. Uruguay
I like the way CONMEBOL does the qualifiers - no groups, no stages, just everyone-playing-everyone a few times. Colombia-Uruguay is probably the biggest match of the day. Uruguay has better talent top to bottom, but Colombia has Radamel Falcao, they're playing at home, and they really need a win.
Other possible interesting matches include Finland vs. France, Argentina vs. Paraguay, and Canada vs. Panama (a win for either side probably puts them through to the final qualifying round, a loss would put either side in danger of getting knocked out).
Germany - Faroe Islands kicks off at 2:45 PM Eastern USA time, 11:45 AM Pacific, 8:45 PM local time. The match, and many of these other matches, will be carried live on ESPN 3. Check in below if you're watching and/or if you have anything to add about today's full slate of games. Thanks for reading.