By CARL SETTERLUND
It’s a busy day for international fixtures, but one game clearly stands above the rest, as Germany and Argentina meet for an anticipated rematch of this summer’s World Cup final at 2:45 p.m. in Düsseldorf.
There are 12 international games in all today — nine of them friendlies, and three games in the opening day of the Copa Centroamericana, which is taking place in the United States.
Nearly two months after the Germans’ 1-0 extra time victory at the Maracanã Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Argentina will have a chance for a bit of revenge if they can overcome the reigning World Cup champions on home soil.
Temper your expectations slightly, though. With only pride on the line, several top national team players will miss the friendly, including Lionel Messi.
Argentina should still have plenty of attacking prowess, however, with Gonzalo Higuain and Angel di Maria both expected to take part.
The Germans — who recently named Bastian Schweinsteiger their new captain — will be without Sami Khedira after the Real Madrid midfielder suffered a torn muscle in his left thigh. Also missing due to injury will be midfielder Mesut Ozil and defenders Mats Hummels and Jerome Boateng, while Philipp Lahm, Miroslav Klose and Per Mertesacker, who have all recently retired from international soccer.
Along with a youthful United States squad playing the Czech Republic, another highlight of the day’s friendlies will be revamped England and newly-appointed captain Wayne Rooney opposing Norway at Wembley Stadium. England will have a chance for a bit of redemption after finishing in last place in its group at the World Cup.
In Copa Centroamericana action Group A will kick off a triple-header starting at 5:30 p.m. at RFK Stadium. Costa Rica will face Nicaragua in the tournament opener, followed by Honduras against Belize, and then Guatemala versus El Salvador.
The Copa Centroamericana serves as a qualifier for next year’s CONCACAF Gold Cup.
Here’s a list of all the action going on today (home teams listed first):
Russia vs. Azerbaijan — 11 a.m.
Lithuania vs. United Arab Emirates — 12:30 p.m.
Latvia vs. Armenia — 1:45 p.m.
Denmark vs. Turkey — 2 p.m.
Czech Republic vs. United States — 2:15 p.m. (NBC Sports/Univision Deportes)
Republic of Ireland vs. Oman — 2:45 p.m.
Germany vs. Argentina — 2:45 p.m. (ESPN News/ESPN Deportes)
England vs. Norway — 3 p.m. (Fox Sports 2)
Morocco vs. Qatar — 3 p.m.
Costa Rica vs. Nicaragua – 5:30 p.m.
Honduras vs. Belize — 7:30 p.m.
Guatemala vs. El Salvador — 9:30 p.m.
What are your expectations from the Germany-Argentina rematch? Do you expect La Albiceleste to treat it as more than just a friendly? Any other games you’re looking forward to?
Share your thoughts below.