Germany, England face old rivals

London: Germany play France and England face Netherlands in two heavyweight clashes which highlight Wednesday`s international friendlies across Europe.

World champions Spain meet Venezuela, Italy take on the United States and Euro 2012 co-hosts Poland entertain Portugal.

England go into the game against Netherlands at Wembley under caretaker manager Stuart Pearce, taking charge of the team for the first time since the resignation of Fabio Capello.

Pearce must cope without experienced strikers Wayne Rooney and Darren Bent and will also have to name a new captain, with Liverpool`s Steven Gerrard favourite to take over from the deposed John Terry who is also injured.

Germany coach Joachim Loew has injury problems going into the game against France in Bremen, with captain Philipp Lahm and brothers Lars and Sven Bender ruled out.

Spain play their final match before naming the squad for their European Championship defence and, having dropped Chelsea forward Fernando Torres, coach Vicente del Bosque may experiment by playing without a specialist striker against Venezuela in Malaga.

Ireland play Czech Republic, Switzerland face Argentina, Denmark meet Russia and Croatia take on Sweden in other standout friendlies on Wednesday.

Bureau Report