My dislike of these international games seems to be growing in unison with Chelsea’s injury list this season as each game brings with it more bad news.
This time round, we already knew John Terry and Joe Cole were unlikely to recover for England although we lost Ashley Cole along the way with a hamstring injury. The news on these three being fit to face Middlesbrough isn’t yet clear.
Fingers crossed the crunching foul Lampard was on the end of last night won’t have any lasting effects on him though and Michael Ballack came through a late fitness test for Germany’s game against Wales having sat out training with a calf-strain, so hopefully our central midfield should be ok this weekend.
Defence could be another matter though because Petr Cech was ruled out of the Czech Republic’s game with thigh strain and is a major doubt for us, along with Jose Bosingwa who missed Portugal’s game with a knee injury picked up in training on Tuesday. So with our first choice keeper, centre-back, right and left-backs all uncertain right now (and Carvalho still absent), it’s little wonder some of us are feeling a lot more worried than others after this round of qualifiers.
No doubt Southgate went to bed smiling last night.