It is finally time for the last international break of the year. Chelsea has players all over they need just survive a few days before returning.
International breaks can be interesting but the last few for Chelsea have been disastrous. The Blues seem to catch the injury bug whenever someone leaves for their nation. The good news is that this is the last break of the year. The bad news is it has not even really begun and the hardest part of the season follows. Where did everyone go to try to avoid injury this time?
England: Fikayo Tomori, Mason Mount, Callum Hudson-Odoi, Tammy Abraham, Montenegro (Euro qualifying, 14 November) and Kosovo (Euro qualifying, 17 November)
The English contingent is Chelsea’s largest and would have been even bigger had Ross Barkley recovered in time. Instead, it is just the kids as they look to make their mark on Gareth Southgate’s national team. England leads their group by three points so they are very close to getting over the line. They should beat both Montenegro and Kosovo and that may offer chances for all of Chelsea’s kids (including Tomori who is still free to play for other nations if England does not give him a competitive appearance).
France: Kurt Zouma, N’Golo Kante, and Olivier Giroud, Moldova (Euro qualifying, 14 November) and Albania (Euro qualifying, 17 November)
Zouma is called up yet again but, yet again, it would be surprising to see him play. He is mostly there for numbers. Giroud is a major part of the French team still and they have been pushing for him to find a club where the same is true. And Kante has been out nearly every game since the last break where France decided to hold on to him, while injured, rather than send him home. Kante does look fit again and could do with match reps, but his fitness will be a worry till he comes home.
Italy: Emerson and Jorginho, Bosnia and Herzegovina (Euro qualifying, 15 November) and Armenia (Euro qualifying, 18 November)
Emerson, like Kante, is returning from injury and going right back into the international team. He could also do with the match reps but it is also another one to keep a worried eye on. Jorginho obviously returns to the Italian team where he is taking his new found freedom at Chelsea and looking to bring it to the national team. Italy has already qualified for the Euros so they can afford to play around, but at least for Bosnia and Herzegovina they will probably go with a strong XI.