England’s Premier League has had a big hand in Belgium’s qualification for Brazil 2014, with many of Les Diables Rouges’ leading lights having taken their game to the next level across the Channel.
Belgium, Germany, Russia and Switzerland could all qualify for Brazil 2014 on Friday as the penultimate round of qualifiers takes place across Europe, with England and Montenegro also battling it out for supremacy at the top of Group H.
Germany and Arsenal forward Lukas Podolski is set for several months out after picking up a hamstring injury in his side's 2-0 win over Fenerbahce, which saw the Gunners into the group stages of the UEFA Champions League.
Russia's trip to face an under-pressure Portugal side is arguably the highlight of an intriguing programme of European Zone qualifiers on Friday, which also includes Belgium-Serbia, Czech Republic-Italy and Austria-Sweden.
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has praised goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny, saying that the young goalkeeper has achieved something "fantastic" by reaching a century of first team appearances.
Arsene Wenger warned English football to take heed of a "massive wake-up call" after Arsenal's exit from the UEFA Champions League left no Premier League representatives in the quarter-finals for the first time in 17 years.