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Qualifiers and friendlies

Thirteen FCB men on international duty

Just seven games into the new Bundesliga season, the domestic campaign now pauses for two rounds of international matches. A majority of the FCB squad are in EURO 2012 qualifying action on either or both 8 and 12 October, with a welter of friendlies complementing the competitive fixtures. fcbayern.de reviews the challenges facing the 13 Bayern stars who have been called up by their national teams.

A mouth-watering fixture takes pride of place in EURO qualifying Group A, when Germany meet Turkey in Berlin on Friday evening. The match pits Philipp Lahm, Miroslav Klose, Mario Gomez, Thomas Müller, Holger Badstuber and Toni Kroos for the home side against the Turks, who are likely to include Hamit Altintop.

Crunch time for Dutch

The following Tuesday, Joachim Löw’s men travel to Astana for a meeting with Kazakhstan, while Altintop and Co are also on their travels against Azerbaijan in Baku. Elsewhere in Group A, Daniel van Buyten is set to represent Belgium. The Red Devils start out in Astana against the Kazakhs, before entertaining Austria in Brussels four days later.

World Cup runners-up the Netherlands and FCB skipper Mark van Bommel face a couple of challenging fixtures in their Group E qualifying campaign. The Elftal first travel to face Moldova in Chisinau, before a crunch encounter in Amsterdam four days later against chief group rivals Sweden.

Two friendlies for Ukraine

There is also a big game in Group F this week, when Croatia and their Bayern pair Ivica Olic and Danijel Pranjic meet Israel in Ramat Gan on Saturday. The East Europeans lead the section on goal difference from the Israelis. Three days later, the Croats are at home in friendly action against Norway in Zagreb.

Friendlies are also the order of the day for Anatoliy Tymoshchuk and Ukraine, whose place at the 2012 finals as co-hosts is already secure. Tymo and his men meet Canada in Kiev on 8 October, but the prestige clash of this international break takes place on 11 October, when Ukraine meet five-time world champions Brazil at Pride Park in Derby, England.

Micho in the Far East

Martin Demichelis has by far the longest distance to travel, as the 29-year-old is flying to Japan, where Argentina play the 2002 World Cup co-hosts in Saitama on Friday. The Albiceleste squad also includes former FCB man José Sosa, who switched to Serie A outfit Napoli a few weeks ago.

Of Bayern’s remaining current internationals, injury prevents Bastian Schweinsteiger, Arjen Robben, Franck Ribéry, David Alaba and Germany U-21 defender Diego Contento from joining up with their national squads. Edson Braafheid was not called up by the Netherlands on this occasion.