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The last international break in 2016 is upon us, and the eyes of the world turn to World Cup qualifying efforts across the globe at the end of the week and into the start of the next week. This is creating a bit of a lull in the middle of the week as the United States gets ready to elect its next president, but whether you're a Republican or a Democrat, you're going to be mindful of the United States Men's Soccer team playing against Mexico in the most thrilling of the matches in the week ahead.
England vs. Scotland, Friday, 2:45 p.m. ET ( FOX Sports 1 )
There are 10 matches to be played in Group F in UEFA World Cup qualifying, and it would be a big disappointment to England's fans if it didn't manage at least 24 or so in that span. The team has already dropped a couple of those points against Slovenia on the road, and it's fully expected to get back to its winning ways in the fourth match day of qualifying.
Scotland though, has arguably its best team in the last decade and a half or more, and it has to believe that this is a fixture in which it can get something. That said, the last time we saw the Tartan Army, they were getting beaten 3-0 by Slovakia. If Scotland is going to qualify for its first World Cup since 1998, taking advantage of an England team now on its third manager over the course of the last six months might end up being a must.
France vs. Sweden, Friday, 2:45 p.m. ET ( beIN Sports )
France and Sweden were drawn together in Group A in UEFA World Cup qualifying, and it would be a real shock if these two didn't finish first and second in the group respectively. That said, with the Dutch lurking around the corner, there's still an opportunity for both to fall flat.
Both teams though, have identical marks thus far with a 2-1-0 record and a 5-1 goal difference heading into this massive match against the other.
The French have been flying high just about every time they've been on the pitch short of the epic shootout loss in the Euro 2016 final against Portugal. The team has gone 12-3-0 in its matches in 90 minutes, and that includes two victories against the Netherlands, one against Italy and one against Germany.
Sweden though, isn't going to be intimidated going into the Saint-Denis even though it had a tough time in France in the Euros earlier this year. In the last two qualifying matches, the Swedes have scored convincing wins over Luxembourg and Bulgaria, and that's taken them a long way. Can they get over the hump and snare at least a share of the spoils in France? It would go a long way to getting them back into the World Cup for sure.
USA vs. Mexico, Friday, 8 p.m. ET ( FOX Sports 1 )
When the United States won its group in the second to last round of World Cup qualifying, it knew what it was about to be up against. The first match of the Hexagonal, the final round of World Cup qualifying, was to come at home against rival Mexico.
Obviously, these two teams have a bit of a history with one another, the latest chapter of which was in the Confederations Cup playoff in LA, a match won in extra time at virtually the last minute by Mexico.
The stakes aren't quite as high this time around with nine matches still to play in this group, but if the Americans want to qualify, they need to get off to a good start. Considering the fact that they've never won in Costa Rica, the place they're headed to on Tuesday in the second match day of qualifying, three points here is basically a necessity.
For Mexico, this match is really a free roll. There are easier matches for sure back at the fortress known as Estadio Azteca, and anything that is gotten here on American soil is all the better.
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