This past week, we have witnessed the international break, where countries have been playing each other all over the word to qualify for various competitions or have organized international friendlies to have a look at their players and team in general.
The international break brings about mixed feeling and reactions among fans and managers. Some fans welcome it as a period where they can support and catch up with their national teams, while some other fans feel it is an unnecessary and unwelcome distraction from club football which they prefer.
Managers on the other hand do not particularly embrace the international break due to the fact that they fear their players will come back fatigued and in some cases injured. One manager who will not be happy right now is Chelsea’s manager Jose Mourinho.
Earlier this week reports had it that Chelsea forward Eden Hazard is considered a doubt for the weekend match against Crystal palace, courtesy of a badly bruised toe he picked up during the international break. Still dealing and coming to terms with the news of hazard injury, reports also surfaced that Andre Schurrle is also a major doubt for the match against Crystal palace. Schurrle could miss the match due to a bout of flu.
The news of Andre Schurrle and Eden hazard been major doubt for the palace game will come as bad news to Chelsea as both have played integral parts for Chelsea so far this season.
Hazard has started well for Chelsea this season, though his still far from his best, he has shown us glimpses of his brilliance this season. He has struck up some level of understanding with Deigo Costa and has improved on his defensive side of the game which we saw in the games against Everton and Manchester city earlier on this season. This would be an advantage for Chelsea who face a Crystal palace side who can be tough to beat at home.
Schurrle on his own part has also contributed to Chelsea topping the league table right now. Schurrle has carried over his confidence from a successful world cup where he helped Germany lift the trophy. He has not started all games for Chelsea this season, but each time his called upon he has performed well. A good example is when he came on in the match against Manchester city and scored. Schurrle may not be a regular starter at Chelsea but his contribution is not in doubt, especially when there is a need to rotate the team or different approach to a game is needed Schurrle has not been found wanting.
Chelsea will go into the game against palace with bad memories from last season. Chelsea lost the game to Crystal palace 1-0 courtesy of a John Terry own goal. Many point to that game as been the one where Chelsea lost the league title or at least where the title started slipping away from Chelsea.
I hope Schurrle can recover in time to play against palace, and if not he should try not to spread the flu round the team, Chelsea certainly will not like that.