Germany: Antonio Rudiger, Kai Havertz, Timo Werner
It will be an interesting break for Germany as it is the first since Joachim Low announced his departure would follow the Euros. In all honestly, it has been a long time coming with Germany falling further and further behind its lofty lead as World Champions in 2014. Still, Low has been the German manager since 2006 and his resignation was always going to cause waves.
There is an easy enough run of fixtures for Germany this break with Iceland, Romania, and North Macedonia on the 25, 28, and 31 respectively. Germany’s got a very deep squad so all of Chelsea’s players could get a game while also getting enough rest. Rudiger is the only one of the three who might play every match, especially if Germany goes three at the back.
Havertz and Werner could also use the break to refresh their form. Havertz has come back fantastically in recent weeks but even he would likely admit he has more to give. Werner needs to find the back of the net, consistently, and these opponents give him that chance. Furthermore, Low could use their budding partnership at Chelsea for his national team and vice versa before the Euros.
France: Kurt Zouma, N’Golo Kante, Olivier Giroud
The delay of the Euros probably hurt France the most overall, if only because it gets them further away from their World Cup winning team and closer to the hard decisions that come with the World Cup after that.
These are the decisions that affect Olivier Giroud the most. He was on the fence about staying at Chelsea last season because of his Euro spot. A year on, his Euro spot seems fairly secure but, this close to the World Cup, he might also have an eye towards that. After all, what is one more year for a striker whose style ages like wine?
N’Golo Kante and Kurt Zouma join him with vastly different prospects for Ukraine (24 March), Kazakhstan (28 March), and Bosnia and Herzegovina (31 March). Kante could easily start all three matches and he is nearly guaranteed to make the World Cup next year. Zouma is trickier. Last break, it looked as though he might have a shout at starting for France but he has fallen out of the pecking order at the Club level and France never gave him much of a look when he was in form as it is. It will be a big break for him, should he play.