STOP! Pajamatime! - Mike Hewitt
Welcome to the Exception.
You know how we generally don't like midweek internationals for being generally annoying and generally useless and generally just a great chance for players to get hurt in generally meaningless matches generally pretty flippin' far away from where they generally play, generally involving plenty of generally leg-squishing air travel? Well not today, baby! Today is a good day.
Welcome to the Exception!
All those general things above still apply of course, but at least this Wednesday (unlike the previous five) will not inflict further injury to already-wounded heart. Some personal success achieved by Chelsea players may even comfort in these dark times. Specifically, I'm looking to John Obi Mikel (best senior tournament ever for his country?), Victor Moses (can't spell victory without Victor!), and Kenneth Omeruo as they contest today's only truly meaningful match in the semifinals of the Africa Cup of Nations (10 A.M. EST).
Graham posted a full rundown of all the Chelsea players potentially partaking in further injury-avoidance exercises. I've seen confirmed starts for Ashley Cole (his 100th appearance for England - just the 7th player to reach said milestone, and the first sure to still be booed by the unwashed horde) and all of Chelsea's Brazilian trio opposite him. In fact, there could be six total Chelsea players on the "pitch" at Wembley at some point, kicking it with the likes of Neymar and Ronaldinho and all the other fun ones.
The other match that will probably see plenty of Chelsea representation will be Belgium vs. Slovakia (ALL THE BELGIANS!) while ties such as France vs. Germany, Netherlands vs. Italy, or Spain vs. Uruguay should be about as good as international friendlies could possibly get as well. Oh, and of course Azerbaijan vs. Liechtenstein, marking the - oddly high for such two random sides - fifth time the two countries have battled gloriously at games of
swarmball pub football.
And if that's not enough, the final round of CONCACAF qualifiers for the World Cup begins as well, with the USA ready to hilariously Klinsy themselves in Honduras (4 P.M. EST). I'm not sure what that means but I'm sure it won't be pretty.