The international break is wreaking havoc with the Premier League as always.
The two forms of the game may seem like separate entities on the face of it, but what happens over the next ten days or so always has a huge bearing on domestic football.
Chelsea, Tottenham, and Arsenal are all set to suffer, as all the major London clubs have already lost players to injuries in training for their respective countries.
Diego Costa – Chelsea
Costa was favourite with Paddy Power to open the scoring at 4/5 against Middlesbrough next weekend. Even if he passes a fitness test, you might want to re-evaluate putting money on that one, as he won’t be at his best carrying a thigh strain. Spain confirmed his injury was worse than first feared.
Alexis Sanchez – Arsenal
Sanchez is going to be a huge loss for Arsenal, especially if he misses their all-important trip to Manchester United. Jose Mourinho will be praying he doesn’t recover from the slight muscle tear he sustained with Chile in time for the trip to Old Trafford.
Mousa Dembele – Tottenham
Dembele’s Man of the Match performance in the North London derby showed just how crucial he is for Spurs. The Belgian’s been carrying knocks all season, though it remains to be seen how serious this one is.
Claudio Bravo – Manchester City
Willy Caballero is getting way more games than he would have anticipated this season. Pep Guardiola’s decision to replace Joe Hart with Bravo was always questionable, and now it looks like his new stopper is out anyway. That doesn’t really change City’s odds, however, as he’s been inconsistent since arriving this summer.
Hector Bellerin – Arsenal
What’s most frustrating for Arsene Wenger is that his star right-back wasn’t even playing for Spain’s senior side, but the under-21s. He’ll now miss their crucial November fixtures.