Cobham will be quieter than usual for a period since it is the first international break of the season; the September 2018 World Cup Qualifiers are amongst us. International duty is a period for new signings as well as a youngsters to demonstrate their qualities to Conte. Chelsea are well represented – players featured in Europe, South America and Africa.
Belgium: Thibaut Courtois and Eden Hazard started for Belgium against minnows Gibraltar in Liege. Belgium thumped Gibraltar 9-0. Courtois kept a clean sheet and Eden played his first senior minutes of the season. He successfully remained injury-free, playing 77 minutes, scoring and assisting Thomas Meunier who scored Belgium’s seventh.
Thibaut Courtois made his 50th appearance for Belgium in a 2-1 win away to Greece at the Karaiskasis, home to Olympiakos. Hazard replaced Moussa Dembele after 74 minutes. Goals from Vertonghen and ex Chelsea striker, Romelu Lukaku were enough to ensure the Red Devil’s qualification for Russia 2018.
Belgium U-21: Charly Musonda withdrew himself before meeting up with the squad.
Denmark: Andreas Christensen was an unused substitute in both Denmark’s 4-0 win over Poland in Copenhagen and also in Denmark’s 4-1 victory in Armenia.
England: The England squad only had one member of the Chelsea first-team squad – Gary Cahill. Cahill completed 90 minutes in a 4-0 victory away to Malta. He looked comfortable albeit against poor opposition.
Cahill, again, played the full 90 minutes of England’s 2-1 victory against Slovakia. Cahill wasn’t as convincing as he could have been – he was particularly at fault for an incident which almost saw Kyle Walker sent off. Gary struggled with Slovakia’s high pressing, particularly in the first half.
England U-21: Tammy Abraham and Kasey Palmer featured as substitutes in England’s 1-1 draw away to the Netherlands. Palmer replaced Solanke and Abraham featured for 13 minutes, replacing goal-scorer Calvert Lewin. Both didn’t have a major impact.
Tammy Abraham and Kasey Palmer both started and scored England’s 3-0 win over Latvia with Tammy in particular looking a handful.
France: N’Golo Kante played the full 90 minutes of France’s emphatic 4-0 victory in Paris against the Netherlands. As per usual, he controlled the game which allowed Paul Pogba to be more of an attacking presence in France’s midfield duo. Kurt Zouma, on loan at Stoke, was an unused substitute. N’Golo played the full 90 minutes in the 0-0 humiliating draw at home to Luxembourg in Toulouse whereas loanee, Kurt Zouma was not included in the squad.
Germany: Antonio Rudiger was a substitute in Germany’s 2-1 victory in Prague against the Czech Republic, a game which was overshadowed by Nazi chanting. Rudiger replaced Julian Brandt after an hour but failed to shore up a fragile German defence as the World Champions were reliant on an 89th minute Mats Hummels winner.
Rudiger played the full 90 minutes in Germany’s emphatic 6-0 victory against Norway in Stuttgart. It was a much more assured performance by the 24-year-old compared to his cameo in Prague. Hummels and Rudiger restricted Norway to two shots on target.
Spain: Cesar Azpilicueta, Alvaro Morata and Pedro were all substitutes for the fixture against Italy at the Bernabeu. Morata replaced Iniesta after 72 minutes and scored just 5 minutes after, making it 3-0 to Spain. It was a composed finish by Alvaro who slotted in a perfectly weighted Sergio Ramos low cross.
Pedro and Morata both started Spain’s 8-0 demolition away to Liechtenstein. Morata had another outstanding game, scoring a brace and assisting Spain’s third for Isco. Morata is in a rich vein of form of club and country so will be hoping to carry on for Chelsea’s away trip to Leicester
Italy: Following Italy’s 3-0 defeat at the Bernabeu, deadline day Chelsea signing, Davide Zappacosta was called up ahead of the Azzurri’s match with Israel. Zappacosta replaced A.C Milan new signing Conti after 49 minutes in Italy’s narrow 1-0 victory over Israel.
Nigeria: Victor Moses had an excellent game for the Super Eagles, significantly contributing to their 4-0 victory over rivals Cameroon in Uyo. Moses provided the assist for a John Obi Mikel goal (Remember him?!). Victor scored Nigeria’s third goal and his 10th for the Super Eagles after intricate play between himself and Moses Simon. Moses had a much quieter game during the 1-1 draw in Cameroon between the two sides on Monday.
Brazil: David Luiz missed out on selection so Willian was the only Brazilian from Chelsea’s squad. The Selecao secured top spot in their qualifying group following a 2-0 victory over Ecuador in Porto Alegre. Willian assisted Brazil’s first, a corner hammered home by Paulinho Willian was replaced by Luan in stoppage time.
Willian played the full 90 minutes in Brazil’s 1-1 draw against Columbia in Barranquilla. Willian volleyed home Brazil’s opener after a ball was chested-down by Neymar.