Juventus' Andrea Pirlo (R) challenges AS Roma's Francesco Totti during their Italian Serie A soccer match at the Juventus stadium in Turin October 5, 2014. REUTERS/Alessandro Garofalo
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The first "Week of Football" in qualifying for the 2016 European Championship could be a feast of goals for the continent's major powers.Maestro returns: Midfield maestro Andrea Pirlo could return to Italy's team for the first time since reversing his decision to retire from international football, ahead of matches against Azerbaijan away and Malta at home.Pirlo said before the World Cup he would quit the national side, but changed his mind when former Juventus coach Antonio Conte was confirmed as Italy's new coach.Conte has won both of his opening matches in charge 2-0, one of which was against Norway in Group H.Tests for Germany: Germany coach Joachim Loew considers the matches against Poland and Ireland as "key games" against the only two opponents that have a realistic chance of challenging the world champions for first place in Group D.Loew's squad includes 15 World Cup winners and one newcomer, Karim Bellarabi, an attacking midfielder from Bayer Leverkusen.The top two teams in each group and the best third-place finishers qualify automatically.
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