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Abraham, Mount, Werner, Havertz, Rüdiger, Christensen called up for poorly timed international matches

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Preseason prep interrupted

Chelsea Pre-Season Training Photo by Darren Walsh/Chelsea FC via Getty Images

In all their earthly wisdom, FIFA have decided to keep the usual early-September international break on the schedule, which means a week before the new season starts, some players will be busy playing some useless Nations League matches instead of training and preparing with the rest of their club teammates.

FIFA did shift games for non-UEFA nations, but kept the calendar the same otherwise, so from August 31 to September 8, they will conduct two rounds of Nations League games. The Tuesday before the first matchday of the season, a solid portion of the squad will be away from the team.

Those will include some of our best and most important players, including Mason Mount and Tammy Abraham (England), Antonio Rüdiger and Timo Werner (and Havertz, too; Germany), and Andreas Christensen (Denmark). France have yet to release their squad, but it wouldn’t surprise me if N’Golo Kanté and Olivier Giroud both were included. And if Spain knew what’s good for them, they’d probably call up César Azpilicueta. UPDATE: Instead they just called up Kepa Arrizabalaga.

So that’s not ideal, but at least they’ll be gaining some fitness? Trying to look on the bright side here. (Hope no one gets injured or catches COVID because of this nonsense!)