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All of Chelsea's African players have a chance to qualify for the World Cup

Ian Walton

Except maybe Demba Ba, for he is the only non-injury absentee as the CAF region gets ready for their third qualifying round, which consists of a home-and-away two-legged elimination playoff between the ten group winners from the second round of World Cup qualifying.

Chelsea have representation in five African nations, all five of whom won their group in the second round and by sheer luck avoided each other in the third round.  Thus, should they prevail, they would all get to head to Brazil next summer.  At this point, all but Demba are pretty much automatic choices for their nations, even youngsters Kenneth Omeruo (who misses the first leg next week due to his continuing recovery from shoulder surgery) and Bertrand Traoré (who still has not signed his Chelsea contract as far as I can tell, although he did make an appearance on Omeruo's Instagram).

So as Senegal hope to upset ex-Chelsea-rich Ivory Coast (Drogba, Kalou), Nigeria (Mikel, Moses) battle surprising Ethiopia, Cameroon and apparently not retired Samuel Eto'o entertain World Cup veterans Tunisia (three in a row between 1998-2006), Ghana (Essien, Atsu) clash with fellow powerhouse Egypt, and Burkina Faso and young Traoré take on Algeria.  The first legs are set to be played October 12-15, with the second legs to follow a month later.

Should be fun.

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