Chelsea’s Premier League season kicks off this Sunday at Stamford Bridge against Hull City Tigers (or whatever they’re calling themselves) but just before then there’s a round of international friendlies to negotiate.
Frank Lampard hopes to win his 98th cap against Scotland against Wembley and add to the 29 goals he’s scored at international level. Both Gary Cahill and Ashley Cole have also been called up to the Three Lions squad whilst Blues target Wayne Rooney is fit for country but not for his club, funnily enough.
Nigerian trio Victor Moses, Kenneth Omeruo and John Obi Mikel have been called up to the Super Eagles’ squad to take on South Africa in Durban.
Romelu Lukaku, Eden Hazard, Kevin De Bruyne and Thibaut Courtois (on loan at Atletico Madrid) are part of a Belgium squad bursting with young talent at the moment and it’ll be interesting to see how this generation does on the big stage. The Red Devils play France in Brussels on Wednesday night.
Neither Fernando Torres or Juan Mata were selected for the Spain squad but Cesar Azpilicueta will travel to Ecuador, whilst David Luiz, Petr Cech, Andre Schurrle, Branislav Ivanovic and Marco van Ginkel are all part of their respective international squads.
The timing of these matches have been heavily criticised by fans as they feel it interrupts clubs’ plans as they enter into a new season but for those that haven’t been able to get a lot of minutes on the pitch during the summer, like Lampard, it represents an opportunity to regain some match sharpness.
Personally, I’m looking forward to seeing a bit of football even if it isn’t a competitive match, especially as it was quite difficult to follow Chelsea’s pre-season tours due to the timezones they were in for the majority of their games. I just hope that we do not suffer any injuries.