INTERNATIONAL SELECTIONS

Posted on: Thu 11 Oct 2012

It promises to be another week of busy action for Chelsea's internationals, with players at all levels on duty for their countries either in Europe or Africa.

Petr Cech will be hoping for two clean sheets at home when his Czech Republic side host Malta on Friday and Bulgaria on Tuesday. The first game takes place in Cech's home town of Plzen, the second in Prague.

Branislav Ivanovic will be expecting a tough time when Belgium visit Serbia in Belgrade on Friday, the defender, who captains his country, could well be marking one Eden Hazard. The Belgian squad also contains the on-loan Kevin De Bruyne and Thibaut Courtois, and they entertain Scotland in Brussels next Tuesday after the Serbian test. Serbia travel to Macedonia.

The English contingent of Gary Cahill, Ashley Cole, Frank Lampard and Ryan Bertrand, the latter being added to the squad on Monday, have two qualifiers, at home to San Marino on Friday, and away to Poland on Tuesday. If selected for both games, Cole will reach the 100-cap mark, while Lampard, if fit, could captain the side on Friday with Steven Gerrard suspended.

In Africa, there is an important Cup of Nations qualifier for John Mikel Obi and Victor Moses of Nigeria. They meet Liberia in Calabar on Saturday, needing a win after drawing the first leg away from home last month, 2-2.

World champions Spain do not need to qualify for Brazil 2014, and so have two friendlies to occupy them. Fernando Torres is the only Chelsea man involved as they travel to Belarus on Friday and host France in Madrid on Tuesday.

As well as the Spanish, the hosts also qualify automatically, and Brazil's recent roadshow continues with games against Iraq in Sweden on Thursday and Japan in Poland on Tuesday. David Luiz, Ramires and Oscar are all in contention.

Conor Clifford, has been called into the senior Republic of Ireland squad for qualifiers against Germany and the Faroe Islands. Ireland have been hit by four withdrawals due to injury.

At Under-21 level, Oriol Romeu will represent Spain in their European Championship play-offs against Denmark. Games in Burgos and Aalborg will decide which country makes next summer's Finals in Israel.

Josh McEachran, currently with Middlesbrough in the Championship, is in the England Under-21 group that meets Serbia in Norwich on Friday before Tuesday's return leg.

For Thorgan Hazard and Lamisha Musonda's Belgium, there are friendlies away in Greece and Israel on Friday and Sunday.

In the Under-19s bracket, Dutchman Nathan Ake is in Euro qualifying action in Poland, facing Malta, San Marino and the Poles in a mini group. The winners progress to the next round of qualifying.

Alex Davey and Islam Feruz are in the Scottish squad who will be on home soil for their tournament, facing Armenia, Romania and Switzerland between today and Sunday.

For Belgium, Tika Musonda faces Belarus, Albania and Italy, while Wales could feature Chike Kandi when they face Sweden, Slovenia and Russia.

Finally at Under-17, there are four Chelsea youngsters in the England squad that meets Estonia, Wales and Northern Ireland for European Championship qualifying. They are first-year scholars Alex Kiwomya and Ruben Loftus-Cheek and schoolboys Charlie Colkett and Ola Aina.