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International call-ups: Who is away

The first international break of the new campaign is upon us, with a number of our players off representing their respective nations. Here, the official Chelsea website brings you up to date with who is where over the coming week…
 

The World Cup may still be fresh in the memory but the attention of many international players must now turn to major continental tournaments, with qualification beginning for Euro 2016 and the group stage of qualifying for the next Africa Cup of Nations commencing.

Several countries are in warm-up game action as early as tonight (Wednesday), including England.

Gary Cahill is our sole representative in Roy Hodgson’s squad to face Norway at Wembley in a friendly, before heading to Basel to play the manager’s former employers Switzerland in the opening Euro 2016 qualifier next Monday.

Germany play their first matches since winning the World Cup in July. First tonight they play a friendly against Argentina in a rapid repeat of the final in Brazil, before taking on Scotland in a Euro 2016 qualifier on Sunday in Dortmund. Unsurprisingly, having made such an impression during their triumphant World Cup campaign, Andre Schurrle is part of the squad.

Petr Cech has been named in the Czech Republic squad as they face two of the sides who impressed at the World Cup, USA and Netherlands. Both matches take place in Prague, the first a friendly today, with the game against the Dutch a qualifier. That is on Tuesday.

Brazil are back in action for the first time since losing the third-place play off at the World Cup, playing two friendlies in the USA. Colombia are their opponents on Friday in Miami, with a game against Ecuador in New Jersey to follow next Tuesday. RamiresOscar and Willian, who were involved at the World Cup, have all been named in new manager Dunga’s squad, while there is also a call-up for Filipe Luis, his first since the 2013 Confederations Cup.

In Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers, holders Nigeria, for whom John Mikel Obi and Kenneth Omeruo are part of the squad, face matches against Congo on Saturday and South Africa next Wednesday. Victor Moses is not selected.

Mohamed Salah, an unused substitute in Saturday’s 6-3 win at Everton, is likely to be involved as Egypt face qualifiers against Senegal on Friday and Tunisia next Wednesday.

On-loan Christian Atsu is in the Ghana squad to play at home to Uganda on Friday and away to Togo next Wednesday. Bertrand Traore has been selected by Burkina Faso for their matches against Lesotho on Saturday and Angolo on Wednesday.

The six group matches will be completed by November with the Africa Cup of Nations tournament kicking off in January. Morocco are hosts.  

Back in Europe, Diego Costa, Cesc Fabregas and Cesar Azpilicueta could come up against our latest acquisition Loic Remy [pictured below] when Spain meet France in a friendly on Thursday. That game precedes a Euro 2016 qualifier for the Spanish against Macedonia next Monday.

France meet a Serbia side which could contain Branislav Ivanovic and Nemanja Matic in Belgrade on Sunday.

Thibaut Courtois is part of the Belgium squad for their friendly against Australia on Thursday, where he will be joined by Thorgan Hazard who has replaced his older brother. The Belgian Football Federation have announced Eden will not take part in the Australia game. Belgium were also due to play a qualifier away to Israel on Tuesday, but that game has now been rescheduled for 31 March 2015.

Our summer signing, Mario Pasalic, who has been loaned to Spanish side Elche, is one of several new call-ups to Croatia’s senior squad. The 19-year-old midfielder could make his debut in a friendly versus Cyprus on Thursday or a qualifier at home to Malta on Tuesday. 

Away from the senior action, we have plenty of players involved in internationals across the younger age groups.

Among those selected is Kurt Zouma for France Under-21s as they take on Kazakhstan and Iceland in 2015 European Under-21 Championship qualifying.

Netherlands Under-21s, who currently top their qualifying group, play Georgia on Thursday and Slovakia on Monday, with their captain Marco van Ginkel and Nathan Ake part of the squad for those games.

Andreas Christensen is in the Denmark Under-21 squad as they prepare for matches against Russia and Bulgaria. The Danes currently lead Russia by one point at the top of the group.

Nathaniel Chalobah and Jamal Blackman are in Gareth Southgate’s England Under-21 squad for qualifiers in Vilnius and Tiraspol.

Lewis Baker, John Swift and Fankaty Dabo have been named in the England Under-20 squad for their game against Romania at Telford FC on Friday and Izzy Brown, Ola Aina, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Charlie Colkett and Alex Kiwomya are in the Under-19 party for a game away to Germany on Monday.

Back home, an England Under-17 group containing Chelsea Academy schoolboy Jacob Maddox and first-year scholar Jay Dasilva finished second in a four-team FA International Tournament.

Both players started England’s opening game, a 1-1 draw against Czech Republic, while Maddox and Dasilva came on as substitutes in their second match, a 2-1 defeat against eventual winners Portugal.

England secured second place with a thrilling 4-3 victory over Italy in their final game at the weekend, with Maddox starting and Dasilva coming off the bench.

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