The international break is sometimes viewed as an annoyance, an unnecessary distraction from the weekly narrative that club football offers.
However, this could not be further from the truth this month. In each confederation 2022 World Cup qualifying is reaching its climax and there is plenty to play for across the continents.
With so many exciting games coming thick and fast you may be struggling to decide what to watch. Never fear though, 90min is here to help…
Wales vs Austria (19:45)
Gareth Bale may have been ‘too ill’ to play in El Clasico but we’d be shocked if he does not will himself back to full fitness for Wales’ crucial World Cup playoff.
This one-legged affair will be played in front of a sell-out crowd at the Principality Stadium and Austria will be looking to spoil their hosts’ evening by reaching the next, and final, stage of the playoffs.
How to watch Wales vs Austria on TV/live stream: Sky Sports Main Event (UK), ESPN+ (US)
Portugal vs Turkey (19:45)
In another mouth-watering World Cup qualification game, everyone’s Euro 2020 dark horse Turkey take on Cristiano Ronaldo’s Portugal.
Fernando Santos’ charges were plunged into the playoffs in dramatic circumstances on the final group-stage matchday, but they cannot afford to feel sorry for themselves if they are to beat a dangerous Turkish side.
How to watch Portugal vs Turkey on TV/live stream: Sky Sports Premier League (UK), ESPN 2 (US)
Mexico vs USA (2:00)
Fierce rivals Mexico and the USMNT square off at the Azteca on Friday as Concacaf World Cup qualification comes to a close.
Although both teams are looking good for automatic progression to Qatar, there are still bragging rights to play for here. Mexico will be particularly desperate to win as they have lost three straight games to the United States in all competitions.
How to watch Mexico vs USA on TV/live stream: Not televised in UK, Paramount+ (US)
Cameroon vs Algeria (17:00)
Algeria will be looking to make up for their disastrous AFCON campaign by beating Cameroon over two legs to book their place at the World Cup.
Riyad Mahrez will be key to their chances of course, but no one has scored more goals in African World Cup qualifying then Islam Slimani this cycle.
How to watch Cameroon vs Algeria on TV/live stream: Not televised in UK, ESPN+ (US)
Egypt vs Senegal (19:30)
A repeat of the AFCON final just a few weeks on for a place in the World Cup? Sign us up please.
There will be no love lost between these two African giants on Friday night, with the return fixture of this two-legged playoff scheduled for Tuesday. Both games promise to be crackers.
How to watch Egypt vs Senegal on TV/live stream: Not televised in UK, ESPN+ (US)
Ghana vs Nigeria (19:30)
Completing a trio of eminently watchable World Cup qualification playoffs is Ghana vs Nigeria. Only one of these heavyweights can make it to Qatar and the atmosphere will be feverish in both legs.
Nigeria are favourites due to Ghana’s embarrassing AFCON collapse but never rule the Black Stars out when the pressure is on.
How to watch Ghana vs Nigeria on TV/live stream: Not televised in UK, ESPN+ (US)
Netherlands vs Denmark
The standout European friendly of the international break sees the Netherlands take on Euro 2020 semi-finalists Denmark.
Both teams have already booked their place at the World Cup and it will be interesting to see how these two outside bets to win the competition are progressing.
How to watch Netherlands vs Denmark on TV/live stream: Sky Sports Premier League (UK), EPSN+ (US)
Portugal/Turkey vs Italy/North Macedonia (19:45)
This could be a biggie. As soon as the playoff paths were drawn, most people wrote off Turkey and North Macedonia and pencled in a 90-minute shootout between Portugal and Italy for a spot in the World Cup.
Conventional wisdom suggests that will probably be the game being played in this slot, but you never know. Regardless of the outcomes in the previous round, the stakes will be extremely high.