This week’s international break was an exuberating one full of encounters that decided the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification fate of many countries.

A number of Chelsea’s first team squad secured their nations’ places in next summer’s spectacle in Russia; however one of them departed their national team duties early after sustaining an injury.

One of Chelsea’s future stars took to social media this week to express his current feelings at the club.

The 2017 Ballon d’Or 30-man shortlist was announced this week, which included two Blues stars.

Speaking of awards, a Chelsea forward may be in line to win a duo of Premier League awards following a string of impressive performances throughout September.

Blues fan and Football Journalism student Jonty Colman looks at the five major talking points from around the club this week.

Blues stars off to Russia

More matches in the qualification stage for next summer’s FIFA World Cup in Russia took place this week.

Prior to this international break, only eight teams had qualified for the world footballing spectacle next summer but 23 nations have now confirmed their places in the tournament.

Amongst them are the likes of Germany, England, Spain, Nigeria and France whose squads all featured Chelsea players.

First team stars Antonio Rudiger, Gary Cahill, Pedro, Victor Moses and N’Golo Kante all guided their respective nations into the group stage of the competition.

It is vital that these players continue to perform at club level in order to earn the right to represent their countries next year.

Ballon d’Or nominations

Midfield duo N’Golo Kante and Eden Hazard were vastly impressive during 2017 and the pair have been recognised for their performances.

The duo guided Chelsea to their fifth English Premier League title last season and they have both made the 30-man shortlist to win the 2017 Ballon d’Or.

The winner of the award will be announced in December.

Key man suffers injury

It has been a busy week for Kante, and it did not end in the way that either he or any Chelsea fan would have wanted.

After being nominated for the World Player of the Year prize and whilst aiding his native France towards FIFA World Cup qualification, the two-time English Premier League winner sustained a hamstring injury during France’s 1-0 away against Bulgaria.

It is unclear how long Kante will be injured for, but it is almost certain that he will be unavailable for Saturday’s London derby against Crystal Palace.

Musonda’s rant

Blues academy starlet Charly Musonda has this week taken to Instagram to discuss his current feelings at the club.

He made his full debut for the club and scored during last month’s 5-1 victory over Nottingham Forest in the Carabao Cup.

His message said the following:

“You sacrifice, you work hard, harder, you give more than what’s expected, and often more than you can because you love what you do and clearly more than you should.

“And what do you get back? Literally nothing… Done.

“However, with this being said I will continue with same dedication and commitment to this great game.”

Personally, I feel that this will either give Antonio Conte a reminder of what he has to offer, or the more likely option is that he may be shipped out on loan or sold in January.

Double award nomination for Morata

Club-record signing Alvaro Morata could take a clean sweep at September’s English Premier League awards.

The Spaniard scored four league goals in as many games during September and in one of those matches, he was forced off injured during the first half.

Morata has made the shortlist for both the Player of the Month and the Goal of the Month awards; his second goal during The Blues’ 4-0 win away at Stoke City is the strike that has been nominated for the goal award.

The 24-year-old faces tricky competition for both prizes; for the Player of the Month award, Sergio Aguero (Manchester City), Harry Kane (Tottenham Hostpur), Pascal Gross (Brighton and Hove Albion), Romelu Lukaku (Manchester United), Jamaal Lascelles (Newcastle United) and Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City) stand in his way.

The challengers contending against Morata for the Goal of the Month prize are Andrew Surman (AFC Bournemouth), Antonio Valencia (Manchester United), Leroy Sane (Manchester City), Fabian Delph (Manchester City), Phillipe Coutinho (Liverpool), Harry Kane (Tottenham Hotspur) and Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City).

Join us again next week for more from the Stamford Roar!

About Author

I am Dan Pentland and I am a York City season ticket holder and volunteer for men's health charity Prostate Cancer UK. In May 2015, I completed my childhood dream of visiting all 92 Football League grounds. Follow me on Twitter @DanPentlandpcuk and Facebook

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