The international break is finally over for another couple of months and the Chelsea players will be returning to Cobham with Tottenham Hotspur taking their focus on Sunday, a side that have not been able to beat the Blues at Stamford Bridge in 28 years.
Antonio Conte will have been pleased by the news that none of the club’s players was injured during the second half of fixtures over the past long weekend, although he may be concerned with the performances of some of them.
We catch up with the senior Blues after their second game in four days and look at how they got on as they prepare for their respective World Cup campaigns with their countries.
Olivier Giroud and N’Golo Kante
Having both featured for France during their shock defeat to Colombia on Friday, both Giroud and Kante were used in different roles for Les Bleus on Tuesday night. One of the tournament’s favourites, France travelled to the competition hosts Russia and secured a 3-1 victory as they prepare in a positive fashion.
Kante started the match but came off after 66 minutes, whilst Giroud was given another 20 minutes on the field as a replacement for Ousmane Dembele.
Wing-back Victor Moses, who scored the penalty he won controversially against Poland, had no luck on Tuesday evening when Nigeria travelled to Serbia. Moses was substituted at half-time and saw the Super Eagles go on to lose 2-0.
Having continuously impressed for Chelsea over the past few months, Willian continued that form with his country. He starred during Brazil’s victory against Russia and shone again when they faced reigning world champions Germany.
The winger assisted the only goal of the game to give Brazil a confidence boost heading into the finals, as they defeated one of the competition’s most feared nations, whilst going some way to eradicate the 7-1 drubbing at the last World Cup.
Having sat on the bench the whole game against Serbia, German central defender Antonio Rudiger played the full 90 minutes against Brazil. Rudiger was ever-present for the World Champions and Die Mannschaft will be hoping he can continue to play that way through this summer’s finals.
Wing-back Davide Zappacosta was given the full 90 minutes when Italy visited Wembley Stadium to face England and looked stable at the back. His attacking performance was left to be desired, however, as he failed to offer the Azzurri anything promising.
The Chelsea superstar was given an hour on the field when Belgium hosted Saudi Arabia and looked in good form ahead of their contest with Tottenham at the weekend. He assisted Romelu Lukaku for Belgium’s second goal of the night before being replaced by Michy Batshuayi, who is at Borussia Dortmund on loan.
Chelsea’s Argentine goalkeeper Willy Caballero had a night to forget against Spain on Tuesday after he came on inside the first 20 minutes of the match as a replacement for Sergio Romero. The shot-stopper would have been in a buoyant mood ahead of the game, but the Spaniards would have sent that mood crashing as they put five past him with five shots on target. Romero had conceded the first at the same time as he was injured, meaning Spain scored six with six attempts on target.
Marcos Alonso and Cesar Azpilicueta
Chelsea defenders Marcos Alonso and Cesar Azpilicueta were brought on towards the end of Spain’s drubbing of Argentina, but it would have meant more to Alonso. The former Fiorentina man was making his debut for his country, following in the footsteps of his father and grandfather, becoming the seventh third-generation international player in history.