Chelsea players on international duty: how & when to watch tomorrow

Clive Rose

Less than a week to go until real football returns! Until then, here's another round of national team fixtures to keep an eye on.

Japan vs. GHANA

Who: Christian Atsu (18)
When: Tuesday, September 10, 2013, 11:20 BST; 6:20am EDT
Where: International Stadium Yokohama, Yokohama, Japan
How: TV Asahi (JPN)

Why: As a reward for winning their match and second round qualifying group, Ghana travel to Japan to play a friendly.  Most of their European stars however have opted to travel back to their respective teams however, so the only possible Chelsea involvement in this one will be Christian Atsu who was brought on in the 55th minute alongside Essien on Friday.

Nigeria vs. BURKINA FASO

Who: Bertrand Traoré (8)
When: Tuesday, September 10, 2013, 16:00 BST; 11am EDT
Where: Ahmadu Bello Stadium, Kaduna, Nigeria
How: N/A

Why: On Saturday, both countries advanced to the final playoff round of World Cup qualification in Africa, so this one's just a bit of calm before the storm (they could conceivably get drawn against each other to determine one of Africa's five representatives in the World Cup).  It's not often that Nigeria line up without any Chelsea representatives, but with both Victor Moses and John Obi Mikel allowed to fly back to England early, our only involvement in this one may be the youngster Bertrand Traoré.  No, I still haven't heard any updates regarding his contract situation.

Italy vs. CZECH REPUBLIC

Who: Petr Cech (102)
When: Tuesday, September 10, 2013, 19:45 BST; 2:45pm EDT
Where: Juventus Stadium, Turin, Italy
How: Univision Deportes (USA), RAI Uno (ITA)

Why: Following another terrible home performance, the Czechs are in trouble.  Only three matches, all away, remain for them to climb back over Bulgaria - who have the easier schedule - and into second place behind Italy.  They cannot afford any more dropped points, which seems an almost impossible proposition.

Wales vs. SERBIA

Who: Branislav Ivanovic (63)
When: Tuesday, September 10, 2013, 19:45 BST; 2:45pm EDT
Where: Cardiff City Stadium, Cardiff, Wales
How: Sky Sports 1 (UK)

Why: Both countries are out of the running for the World Cup, so this one's just for funsies and maybe another round of "Which Serbian is Mourinho scouting today?"  Matic?  Sharkovic Markovic?  Mitrovic?  Falsonombre-ovic?  Take your pick.

Faroe Islands vs. GERMANY

Who: André Schürrle (25)
When: Tuesday, September 10, 2013, 19:45 BST; 2:45pm EDT
Where: Tórsvøllur, Tórshavn, Faroe Islands
How: ARD 1 (GER)

Why: Germany's qualification is all but assured at this point, and it's not like this fixture would ever cause problems for them anyway.  The only question here is just how many they will be able to put past whichever unfortunate human will man the Faroese goal.  Schürrle was an unused substitute on Friday; he will no doubt hope to get a few minutes to fill his boots in this one.

Ukraine vs. ENGLAND

Who: Ashley Cole (104), Frank Lampard (99), Gary Cahill (17)
When: Tuesday, September 10, 2013, 19:45 BST; 2:45pm EDT
Where: Olympic Stadium, Kiev, Ukraine
How: ITV 1 (UK), Gol TV (USA)

Why: This is the big one.  Thanks to Montenegro dropping points away to Poland on Friday, If England win, they are back firmly in control of the group.  A draw is ok, too.  But if they lose, Ukraine suddenly jump ahead of both England and Montenegro and things would only get more complicated from there in the final two qualifying matches (especially if Poland get back into the reckoning as well).  Better make that 100th international cap count, Frankie!

BRAZIL vs. Portugal

Who: Ramires (35), David Luiz (29), Oscar (23)
When: Tuesday, September 10, 2013, 9pm EDT; 01:00 BST (next day)
Where: Gillette Stadium, Foxborough, MA, USA
How: BT Sport 1 (UK);  beIN Sport Play (USA)

Why: Brazil's spate of friendlies continues, this time on US soil versus a Cristiano Ronaldo-less Portugal.  Ramires made a triumphant return to the national side on Saturday, earning Scolari's praise and hopefully a renewed challenge to be one of Brazil's starters in next summer's main event.  Oscar is likely to miss out again as he rests his ankle, even though he claimed that if it had been a competitive fixture on Saturday, he could've played.  Rest up, young man!

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