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Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Chelsea Hiddink Plans And International Week

National service leaves Premier League bosses with a nervy wait and deserted training pitches

There will certainly be some empty training grounds among the Barclays Premier League clubs this week.

With players on international duty in all corners of the globe, the top-flight managers have 10 days of fretting to ensure their boys come back wrapped in cotton wool.

Manchester City have the most players on international duty (18), but United, Chelsea and Arsenal are not far behind with 16 or 17 players from each club representing their countries.

Liverpool have released half of the Spain team and there's a large French contingent leaving the Emirates, while Bolton provide the only representative from Oman and a Portsmouth player is the sole Canadian.

From Ecuador to Egypt and Switzerland to Slovakia there will be Premier League players busting a gut for their national team.

Sportsmail looks at the men who are swapping their day jobs for some international jet-setting.

Arsenal (17)

Emmanuel Adebayor (Togo)

Andrey Arshavin (Russia)

Abou Diaby (France)

Eduardo (Croatia)

Kieran Gibbs (Eng U21)

Bacary Sagna (France)

Carlos Vela (Mexico)

Nicklas Bendtner (Den)

Johann Djourou (Swi)

Lukasz Fabianski (Poland)

Samir Nasri (Fra)

Kolo Toure (Ivory Coast)

Gael Clichy (France)

Emmanuel Eboue (Ivo)

William Gallas (France)

Aaron Ramsey (Wales)

Robin Van Persie (Hol)


From Russia with love and hopefully no injuries: Gunners star Arshavin

Aston Villa (9)

G Agbonlahor (Eng U21)

Craig Gardner (Eng U21)

James Milner (Eng U21)

Gareth Barry (England)

Brad Guzan (USA)

Stiliyan Petrov (Bulgaria)

John Carew (Norway)

Emile Heskey (England)

Moustapha Salifou (Togo)

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Forward thinking: Heskey's hard work is key for England

Blackburn (10)

Keith Andrews (Ireland)

Benni McCarthy (Sth Africa)

Martin Olsson (Swe U21)

Zurab Khizanishvili (Geo)

Alan Judge (Ireland U21)

Aaron Mokoena (Sth Africa)

Andrew Ooijer (Holland)

El Hadji Diouf (Senegal)

Ryan Nelsen (N Zealand)

Morten Pedersen (Norway)

Bolton (8)

Ali Al-Habsi (Oman)

Jussi Jaaskelainen (Fin)

Euzebiusz Smolarek (Pol)

Tamir Cohen (Israel)

Fabrice Muamba (Eng U21)

Johan Elmander (Sweden)

Danny Shittu (Nigeria)

Gretar Rafn Steinsson (Ice)

Chelsea (16)

Michael Ballack (Germany)

Petr Cech (Cze)

Didier Drogba (Ivory Coast)

Michael Mancienne (Eng U21)

Frank Lampard (Eng)

Jose Bosingwa (Portugal)

Ashley Cole (England)

Michael Essien (Ghana)

Salomon Kalou (Ghana)

John Obi Mikel (Nigeria)

Rhys Taylor (Wales U21)

Ricardo Carvalho (Por)

Deco (Portugal)

Branislav Ivanovic (Serbia)

Ben Sahar (Israel)

John Terry (England)

Nicolas Anelka (France) *withdrew through injury

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john terry

Natural leaders: Ballack left) and Terry wear the armbands on international duty

Everton (11)

Leighton Baines (England)

Marouane Fellaini (Bel)

Phil Jagielka (England)

Jack Rodwell (Eng U21)

Tim Cahill (Australia)

Tim Howard (USA)

Joleon Lescott (England)

Joseph Yobo (Nigeria)

Segundo Castillo (Ecu)

Lars Jacobsen (Denmark)

Steven Pienaar (Sth Africa)

Fulham (9)

Chris Baird (Nth Ire)

Zoltan Gera (Hungary)

Toni Kallio (Finland)

Simon Davies (Wales)

Brede Hangeland (Norway)

John Pantsil (Ghana)

Clint Dempsey (USA)

Aaron Hughes (Nth Ire)

Mark Schwarzer (Australia)

Hull City (8)

Caleb Folan (Ireland)

Kevin Kilbane (Ireland)

Kamil Zayatte (Guinea)

Richard Garcia (Australia)

Boaz Myhill (Wales)

Daniel Cousin (Gabon)

Peter Halmosi (Hungary)

Sam Ricketts (Wales)

Liverpool (16)

Daniel Aggar (Denmark)

Ryan Babel (Holland)

Jonny Evans (Nth Ireland)

Steven Gerrard (England)

Jose Reina (Spain)

Fernando Torres (Spain)

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Xabi Alonso (Spain)

Yossi Benayoun (Israel)

Sami Hyypia (Finland)

Javier Mascherano (Arg)

Albert Riera (Spain)

Alvar Arbeloa (Spain)

Andrea Dossena (Italy)

Dirk Kuyt (Holland)

David N'Gog (Liv U21)

Martin Skrtel (Slovakia)


Spain gain: Torres downed Germany in the final of Euro 2008

Manchester City (18)

Craig Bellamy (Wales)

Nigel de Jong (Holland)

Ched Evans (Wales)

Joe Hart (England U21)

Nedum Onuoha (Eng U21)

Robinho (Brazil)

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Valeri Bojinov (Bulgaria)

Richard Dunne (Ireland)

Gelson Fernandes (Swi)

Vincent Kompany (Bel)

Martin Petrov (Bulgaria)

Vladimir Weiss (Slovakia)

Felipe Caicedo (Ecuador)

Elano (Brazil)

Shay Given (Ireland)

Ryan McGivern (Nth Ire)

Micah Richards (Eng U21)

Shaun Wright-Phillips (England)

robinho and elano

Samba stars: Brazil hero Kaka, a Manchester City target in January, with Eastlands regulars Elano (left) and Robinho (right)

Manchester United (16)

Anderson (Brazil)

Rio Ferdinand (England)

Darron Gibson (Ireland)

Ji-sung Park (South Korea)

Carlos Tevez (Argentina)

Danny Welbeck (Eng U21)

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Michael Carrick (England)

Darren Fletcher (Scotland)

Nani (Portugal)

Cristiano Ronaldo (Por)

Zoran Tosic (Serbia)

Dmitar Berbatov (Bulgaria) *withdrew with injury

Patrice Evra (France)

Ben Foster (England)

John O'Shea (Ireland)

Wayne Rooney (England)

Nemanja Vidic (Serbia)


Scot the lot: Fletcher has had a fine season with Manchester United

Middlesbrough (6)

Stewart Downing (England)

Tuncay Sunli (Turkey)

Adam Johnson (Eng U21)

Andrew Taylor (Eng U21)

Emanuel Pogatetz (Austria)

David Wheater (Eng U21)

Newcastle (4)

Damien Duff (Ireland)

Obafemi Martins (Nigeria)

Geremi (Cameroon)

Jonas Gutierrez (Argentina)

Portsmouth (11)

Angelos Basinas (Greece)

Martin Cranie (Eng U21)

Theofanis Gekas (Greece)

Niko Kranjcar (Croatia)

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Asmir Begović (Canada)

Peter Crouch (England)

David James (England)

Armand Traore (France U21)

Nadir Belhadj (Algeria)

Hermann Hreidarsson (Iceland)

Glen Johnson (England)

david james

Safe hands: James

Peter Crouch

Tall order: Peter Crouch

Stoke (5)

Abdoulaye Faye (Senegal)

Thomas Sorensen (Den)

Stephen Kelly (Ireland)

Glenn Whelan (Ireland)

Ryan Shawcross (England U21)

Sunderland (9)

Tal Ben Haim (Israel)

Craig Gordon (Scotland)

George McCartney (Nth Ire)

Carlos Edwards (Tri & Tob)

David Healy (Nth Ireland)

Paul McShane (Ireland)

Marton Fulop (Hungary)

Kenwyne Jones (Tri & Tob)

Teemu Tainio (Finland)

Tottenham (13)

Gareth Bale (Wales)

Chris Gunter (Wales)

Robbie Keane (Ireland)

Ledley King (England) *withdrew through injury

Roman Pavlyuchenko (Russia)

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Fraizer Campbell
(England U21)

Tom Huddlestone (England U21)

Aaron Lennon (England)

Jamie O'Hara (Eng U21)

Vedran Corluka (Croatia)

Alan Hutton (Scotland)

Luka Modric (Croatia)

Wilson Palacios (Hon)

Didier Zokora (Ivory Coast)

alan hutton

Spurred on: Hutton


By the Croat: Modric

West Brom (4)

Chris Brunt (Nth Ireland)

Carl Hoefkens (Belgium)

Marek Cech (Slovakia)

James Morrison (Scotland)

West Ham (11)

Valon Behrami (Swi)

Jack Collison (Wales)

Radoslav Kovac (Cze)

Jonathan Spector (USA)

Carlton Cole (England)

Danny Gabbidon (Wales)

Lucas Neill (Australia)

Matthew Upson (England)

James Collins (Wales)

Robert Green (England)

Mark Noble (England U21)

Wigan (8)

Lee Cattermole (Eng U21)

Jason Koumas (Wales)

Antonia Valencia (Ecuador)

Erik Edman (Sweden)

Mido (Egypt)

Amr Zaki (Egypt)

Chelsea face up to life without Hiddink as plans are made for next season


Time is running out: Blues can't wait for Hiddink

Chelsea chairman Bruce Buck insists the club have started planning for next season without Guus Hiddink because they can't afford to wait until November to see if he can become their permanent manager.

Hiddink, who is also coach of Russia, took over in February on the proviso he would only stay until the end of the season.

The 62-year-old has made a big impact at Stamford Bridge, but is determined to help Russia qualify for next year's World Cup.

He revealed last week he has a clause in his Russia contract which could see him leave in November should they fail to qualify and will meet officials in Moscow tomorrow (Wednesday) to discuss the situation.

But Buck said: 'The situation is the same as it was when he came. We are planning on that basis.'

Forget Liverpool - Hiddink is already planning a last hurrah with Chelsea in Rome Euro final

Guus Hiddink has brushed off Liverpool's Champions League challenge by insisting he expects Chelsea to overcome the Reds and reach the final in Rome.

Guus Hiddink

Final countdown: Guus Hiddink intends to be in May's Champions League final

The Dutchman admits he was heartbroken that his team lost at Tottenham and is now focusing on European glory after conceding the Barclays Premier League title appeared to be out of reach.

Hiddink reiterated the official line that he will leave Chelsea to resume full control of Russia at the end of the season, though he intends to go out on a high.

'It's true that many people have urged me to stay on at Chelsea,' he told Russian newspaper Sovetksi Sport. 'I'm tired of repeating the same thing over and over.

'But the situation has not changed; I will leave Chelsea in May. I intend that this is very late in the month - after the match in Rome.'

With Liverpool firmly embroiled in the fight for the Premier League title following Manchester United's back-to-back defeats, Chelsea hope the Reds will be distracted when they meet in the Champions League quarter-final over two legs next month.

The winners face Barcelona or Bayern Munich in the last four, but Hiddink will be able to give plenty of attention to the European assault after admitting that Saturday's 1-0 defeat at White Hart Lane had left them with little hope of winning the league.

Luka Modric

Heart-breaking: Luka Modric fires through a crowd of players to score for Tottenham against Chelsea on Saturday

'My heart is full of bitterness and sorrow,' he said of defeat to Spurs. 'Chelsea missed a great chance to catch up with Manchester United.

'Neither Liverpool nor Chelsea can now make the slightest mistake. Liverpool can take advantage and we, unfortunately, can't.'

He said the title race was continuing, but admitted: 'We still need to win all our remaining matches. As you can see, this will be quite difficult.'

Hiddink, preparing his Russia squad for World Cup qualifiers against Azerbaijan and Liechtenstein, said he would leave the national team post in the autumn if they failed to qualify for South Africa 2010.

But he insisted this did not have a bearing on his future in England. 'We will do everything - and even more - to qualify for the World Cup,' he said.

'But if not, the (Russian Football Union) will certainly want to find new strategies for the development of football in the country. And for that they need other people, not me. In that situation, I am ready to leave in November.'

Chelsea striker Nicolas Anelka an injury doubt for Champions League clashes with Liverpool

Injury concern: Nicolas Anelka could miss Chelsea's Champions League quarter-final ties against Liverpool

Injury concern: Nicolas Anelka could miss Chelsea's Champions League quarter-final ties against Liverpool

Nicolas Anelka is a major doubt for the first leg of Chelsea's Champions League quarter-final against Liverpool after aggravating his fractured big toe in the defeat against Tottenham on Saturday.

Anelka has withdrawn from the France squad for the World Cup qualification double-header against Lithuania.

A statement on the French FA website claimed Anelka would be out for three weeks, meaning Chelsea's top scorer could also miss the second leg against Liverpool.

However, Chelsea medical staff are hopeful Anelka is set for a shorter lay-off.


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