It’s amazing that a lot of the world is in lockdown while meaningless international friendlies are still going on, but we know that FIFA and UEFA won’t pass up on any opportunity to make money where they can.
It’s led to a pretty farcical situation for many clubs where their players are just coming back from international duty later today, yet most of them will have games to play within a couple of days.
Chelsea find themselves in that situation with a lunchtime kick-off against Newcastle on Saturday, so Frank Lampard didn’t sound that positive about his selection updates in his press conference today:
Lampard gives an update on the squad before a trip to St. James' Park.
Did Pulisic make it?
Has Havertz recovered from COVID?
Will T. Silva be back from internationals in time?
— CaughtOffside (@caughtoffside) November 19, 2020
It’s clear that Pulisic is injured so he will need some more time off, while Lampard has spoken about looking after Thiago Silva’s playing time this season so he’s likely to miss the game after his long journey from Brazil.
There is some hope that Kai Havertz could play a part after Lampard confirmed he’s back in training and trying to get his fitness up, but that also suggests that he’s more likely to make the bench rather than start the game.
Thankfully that does put an end to the international breaks for a while, but it’s still a nonsense to pack them in to a condensed season unless it’s to play proper competitive fixtures.