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OFFICIAL club website of stoke city

On The Brink Of Brazil

A CLUTCH of Stoke City stars are set to represent their countries over the next few days in FIFA World Cup qualifiers.

Whilst the likes of Geoff Cameron's USA are already bound for Brazil next summer, there are still three of his City team-mates vying for a place on the plane.

Asmir Begovic and his Group G-topping Bosnia-Herzegovina team are at home to bottom-placed Liechtenstein tonight before facing Lithuania away next week in their final two qualification matches.

They are tied at the top with Greece on 19 points but have a far superior goal difference that could see them qualify automatically and avoid the lottery of the play offs.

Marko Arnautovic will be delighted if his Austria side could reach them though and they still have every chance of doing so.

The Austrians are three points behind second-placed Sweden in Group C ahead of their meeting tonight and whilst a win is desirable, a draw could still give them a chance of reaching Brazil.

They follow up the game in Stockholm with another against the point-less Faroe Islands and will be confident of a earning a victory, whilst the Swedes play runaway leaders Germany in what could turn out to be a tense final night of matches next Tuesday.

Meanwhile, Wilson Palacios is also hoping to help his Honduras side cement their place in the Finals as they host Costa Rica before travelling to Jamaica in the final CONCACAF regional qualifiers.

The top three teams go to Brazil automatically whilst a fourth enters into a play-off, with Honduras currently occupying the third position behind the already qualified USA and Costa Rica.

Cameron could help out Palacios & Honduras as he's in the US squad who face their rivals Jamaica at home and Panama away.

The States will be keen to maintain their unbeaten home record in qualification and top the group ahead of the Costa Ricans.

Elsewhere in the region, Kenwyne Jones will captain Trinidad & Tobago for their friendly with New Zealand at home on Tuesday evening.

The Kiwis will play the fourth place team in the two-legged play off next month so are looking for similar opposition ahead of that showdown.

Back closer to home and some Potters players will be hoping to see encouragement for the future knowing that their chances of qualifying have already slipped away.

The Republic of Ireland have a daunting away game against Germany tonight before finishing off against Kazakhstan next week and it is not yet known which of City's trio of Irish internationals will feature in those games following the departure of manager Giovanni Trapattoni.

Scotland complete their Group A fixture list by hosting Croatia on Tuesday and Charlie Adam is in the squad for the Hampden Park clash.

Finally, at Under-21 level, Jack Butland skippered England to a 4-0 win away at San Marino last night.

They now host Lithuania at Portman Road next Tuesday as they bid for Euro 2015 qualification.

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