Chelsea's international break preview - who is off and who is not
The season feels like it’s only just got started, and yet here comes an international break.
The Premier League was just getting into its groove and now players will be jet-setting off to meet up with their international teammates, just a couple of months after the World Cup came to an end.
So with that in mind, let’s have a look at where the internationals in the Chelsea squad will be heading off to…
The Spaniards: Kepa, Azpilicueta, Alonso and Morata
The largest foreign contingent in the Chelsea team, the Spanish squad has a strong Chelsea-tinge to it.
But they’ll have a short journey for their first game of the Luis Enrique-era, as they face England at Wembley on the 8th September.
Following the news that regular started Jordi Alba has been dropped, Marcos Alonso could be in-line to make his second appearance having started quickly this season.
Azpilicueta will probably remain at right-back, whilst Kepa and Morata may have to settle for spots on the bench.
They play at home to Croatia on the 11th, so fatigue shouldn’t play a part for the Spanish Blues.
The Italians: Jorginho, Zappacosta and Emerson
Chelsea’s midfield maestro should have a new lease of life under new manger Roberto Mancini.
Despite the clamour from fans to play him, Jorginho has only won eight caps as a member of the Azzurri.
Italy face Poland in Bologna on Friday before flying to Lisbon to face Portugal.
Whilst Jorginho is certain to start, the same cannot be said for Zappacosta and Emerson.
Although favourites of Antonio Conte, their lack of playing time will be a worry for Mancini.
The Frenchmen: Kante and Giroud
The two World-Cup winners will be linking up with the rest of the squad before two tough Nation League games against Germany in Munich on Thursday and then at home against the Netherlands on Sunday.
Despite not featuring much for Chelsea, Giroud will likely start for Les Bleus after he played such a vital role for them on the way to winning the World Cup.
As for Kante, he will be asked to play his original – and possibly preferred – position that he played at Leicester and under Conte.
The German: Rudiger
Despite their poor World Cup, Germany’s team is full of superstars.
And Antonio Rudiger may fall foul of this as he joins up with the rest of the squad for a Nation League game against France and a friendly against Peru.
Although he has started every game for Chelsea, Joachim Low may decide to go with his veteran defenders – such as Mats Hummels and Jerome Boateng – to correct Germany’s ills.
The Belgian: Hazard
Belgium’s captain has had quite the start to the season.
Eased back into the team after coming back late from the World Cup, Hazard has been involved in four goals already for Chelsea.
And with a friendly with Scotland and a Nations League game against Iceland on the horizon, Belgium will be hoping Hazard can continue his excellent form.
The Croatian: Kovacic
Coming off a World Cup final defeat, it will be tough for Croatia get back going again.
But Mateo Kovacic – on loan at Chelsea from Real Madrid – will be looking to finally crack into Croatia’s formidable midfield alongside Ivan Rakitic and Luka Mordic.
And a friendly against Portugal and a Nations League game vs Spain could offer the opportunity Kovacic needs.
The Brazilian: Willian
In-and-out of the Chelsea team, Willian has had a slow start to the season under Maurizio Sarri.
And now he will fly out to the USA where Brazil will face the United States in New Jersey and then El Salvador on the 12th September in Maryland.
Willian will have put some serious miles under his belt before Chelsea face Cardiff on the 15th…
The Dane: Christensen
Another who hasn’t had much game time.
Christensen is the rock at the back for Denmark, and will definitely play in their games against Slovakia and Wales.
And they may offer the opportunity for him to show Sarri what he’s missing out on.
The Welshman: Ampadu
Clearly not a regular at Chelsea, the Welsh fans have high hopes for Ethan Ampadu.
At only 17 years of age, he is seen as the future of the Welsh team – along with David Brooks and Harry Wilson.
But Nation League matches vs Ireland and Denmark may not be the opportunity for Ryan Giggs to give Ampadu a shot.
The English: Loftus-Cheek
Despite his lack of game time, Loftus-Cheek is still in the England squad.
Although Ross Barkley has been playing ahead of him, Gareth Southgate has more faith in Loftus-Cheek.
But a Nation League game vs Spain and a friendly against Switzerland offers Loftus-Cheek an opportunity for game time, and show Sarri what he’s missing out on.