The 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia is just six months away and some teams are still battling to be part of the draw, which will be held at the beginning of December.
South America’s Peru will be involved in a two legged play-off with Oceania’s New Zealand.
Meanwhile, world champions Germany will face old rivals England in a friendly match at London’s Wembley Stadium on Friday.
Both sides have already qualified for next year’s football spectacle.
The first leg of the Peru-New Zealand clash will be held in Auckland on Saturday.
FIFA has provisionally suspended Peruvian captain, Paolo Guerrero, for failing a doping test as his country is looking to qualify for the world showpiece for the first time in 35 years.
The 33-year-old, Peru’s all-time top scorer, netted six goals in the qualifying stage to lead his country to the intercontinental playoffs.
Midfielder Renato Tapia says the players are fully behind Guerrero.
“We support him in all the things that he says and everything. He is our captain and he is always going to be and yeah, we just need to be calm and be focused on those games that we need so much, we just need to stay focused.”
Tapia adds that they will keep the same spirit for the upcoming matches.
“It’s going to be tough. New Zealand is a really strong team, but they also have to go to Peru, so if it’s going to be more tough in Peru. So yeah you never know what is going to happen.”
The return leg will be in Peru’s capital, Lima, next week Wednesday.
In another inter-continental play-off this weekend, Honduras will play against Australia.
Continental powerhouses Egypt and Nigeria have qualified from Africa so far, with another three spots still up for grabs.
Salomon Kalou says the Ivory Coast are confident ahead of their must-win African Group C qualifier against Morocco in Abidjan on Saturday.
The Elephants, who are just a point behind Morocco, are looking to qualify for their fourth consecutive World Cup finals.
Kalou says as a team, they are ready to perform in the final group match which will be played in front of their own fans. “We knew from the beginning that the first place will be between Morocco and Ivory Coast, therefore it’s lucky that we will play the final match in front of our supporters, so we are motivated to make a good match and to win.”
Tunisia are battling the DRC for top spot in Group B, while all four teams in South Africa’s group, can mathematically still make it to Russia.
In Europe, nine teams are through and another four will qualify through the two legged play-offs this weekend.
Germany, who were crowned world champions in Brazil in 2014, after beating Argentina, will go to Russia as one of the favourites.
That might put pressure on the side that humiliated Brazil in front of their own fans in Belo Horizonte, beating them 7-1 in the semi-final of the 2014 event.
Germany has already unveiled their official 2018 World Cup jersey and coach Joachim Loew couldn’t be happier:
“I like it very much because it has certain parallels to the 1990 jersey and it’s a nice design: Grey-white , it works well together. I hope it will be as successful like it was in the 1990 World Cup.
The players will wear the new jersey for the first time at London’s Wembley Stadium on Friday where Germany meets England in a friendly.
Meanwhile, veteran Spanish goalkeeper, Iker Casillas, was awarded the international 2017 Golden Foot Award in Monaco on Tuesday night.
The 36-year-old beat other world class stars such as Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi, Thiago Silva and Manuel Neuer to the award.
The award honours the best active footballer, aged 28 and above.
Iker Casillas says on winning the award. “Well honestly, I’ve had a lot of luck in the soccer world since I started as a youngster. I am thankful to this sport which has given me a lot of joy and also some grief, but I’ll stick with the happy moments, because I think on a personal level, it is always noteworthy to do well.”