The idea was raised in the Mailbox for the Premier League to ignore international football and play on in the absence of all the call-ups. Indeed, MLS did exactly that this weekend, with Seattle Sounders forced to travel to Colorado Rapids without 13 of their first-team squad. Unsurprisingly, Sounders, without six likely starters, lost 2-0.
What if the Premier League took a similar approach? It might level the playing field since this is what the Big Six might have looked like this weekend…
Diogo Dalot, Axel Tuanzebe, Phil Jones, Ashley Young
James Garner, Fred
Andreas Pereira, Juan Mata, Largie Ramazani
Both Dalot and Martial would be rushed back into action having been nursing injuries prior to the international break. The wonderfully-named Largie Ramazani is the least experienced played in a squad featuring eight players with international caps.
Neco Williams , Joel Matip, Tom Clayton, James Milner
Dal Varesonovic, Pedro Chirivella, Adam Lallana
Sadio Mane, Mo Salah, Xherdan Shaqiri
If Liverpool hadn’t been given the weekend off, they could have called upon their two biggest stars, with Salah and Mane not due to return to international action until November. Shaqiri asked to be excused Switzerland duty while Jurgen Klopp’s defence would be boosted by the availability of Milner and Matip, who would have to guide youngsters Tom Clayton and Neco Williams through their senior bows.
This is crazy. @SoundersFC Seattle will have 10 first-team players on international duty when it plays at Colorado on Saturday. Additionally, Sounders FC Assistant Coach Gonzalo Pineda is joining the U.S. U-23 MNT staff in training ahead of a match with Japan on Sept 9. @MLS
— Kevin Baxter (@kbaxter11) September 3, 2019
Ainsley Maitland-Niles, Rob Holding, Shkodran Mustafi, Calum Chambers
James Olayinka, David Luiz, Mesut Ozil
Gabriel Martinelli, Alexandre Lacazette, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang
The internet tells us that an Arsenal supporter supposedly bumped into Holding at Luton Airport during the international break when the defender said that he is ready to return, so he gets the nod to tidy up Mustafi’s mess, with David Luiz moved into a holding midfield role. Lacazette can’t get into the France squad while Aubameyang’s Gabon aren’t in action this week.
Kyle Walker, Yeboah Amankwah, Nicolas Otamendi, Angelino
Felix Nmecha, Fernandinho, David Silva,
Ian Poveda, Gabriel Jesus, Sergio Aguero
Jesus is suspended from Brazil duty while Aguero was given a breather from the Argentina squad. David Silva retired from international football, but Pep Guardiola would have to ask Otamendi to pull a Roy Carroll and play immediately upon his return to guide 18-year-old Amankwah through his senior debut. The Argentina defender was released early and excused from the friendly with Mexico but Guardiola doesn’t have enough centre-backs to be so charitable.
Reece James, Fikayo Tomori, Cesar Azpilicueta, Marcos Alonso
Tariq Uwakwe, N’Golo Kante, Mateo Kovacic
Willian, Tammy Abraham, Pedro
Frank Lampard needs three players to grit their teeth and run through the pain. The international break was seen as the ideal time to give Kante a breather following a series of knocks since the end of last season, but with the rest of Chelsea’s senior internationals away, the midfield machine will be asked to play on once again. Similarly, Kovacic reported for international duty but was excused with a knock – not serious enough to sit this one out, though. Reece James was injured prior to the break but reports suggest he should be fit by the time the Premier League returns.
Kyle Walker-Peters, Jonathan Dinzeyi, Eric Dier, Ryan Sessegnon
Tashan Oakley-Boothe, Tanguy Ndombele, Dele Alli
Shilow Tracey, Lucas Moura, Maurizio Pochettino
Spurs are down to the bare bones to the extent that Mauricio Pochettino would have had to play his family members, with son Maurizio one third of the attack. Ndombele was excused France duty but is expected to be back for the Palace game next week, so we’re sure he could have done a job. Sessegnon is still some way from full fitness but needs must so get your boots on, Ryan.