Watch out for some tactical yellow cards! Harry Kane is one of 11 Premier League stars who are one booking away from missing the final weekend before the World Cup… meaning they can avoid injury and put their feet up before flying out to Qatar
- There are 11 players who could miss the final weekend before the World Cup
- The likes of Harry Kane, Gabriel Jesus and Diogo Dalot are one yellow from a ban
- Their international managers would be relieved given concerns over injuries
- Click here for all the latest World Cup 2022 news and updates
Watch out for some tactical yellow cards this weekend… there are no fewer than 11 Premier League players with World Cup aspirations who are one booking away from a one-game suspension.
That would mean sitting out the final round of fixtures before the tournament kicks off, and so protecting them from the heartache of an 11th-hour injury.
The list includes England captain Harry Kane. Given Gareth Southgate’s reliance on his star striker, the Three Lions boss would no doubt welcome a Kane caution when Spurs entertain Liverpool on Sunday.
Harry Kane is among a number of World Cup hopefuls who are one booking away from a ban which would see them miss the final match before breaking away for the tournament in Qatar
Southgate already has a number of players who could miss out on the World Cup – including Chelsea duo Ben Chilwell and Reece James – as well as Manchester City pair Kyle Walker and Kalvin Phillips.
The Three Lions boss would not want to lose his captain and main striker to an injury and it would be particularly painful if it were to happen when they face Leeds in the final game before Qatar next weekend.
Another player to watch out for in Tottenham’s clash with Liverpool, is Uruguayan midfielder Rodrigo Bentancur.
Gareth Southgate wouldn’t complain too much if Kane missed next week’s match with Leeds given the concerns over players picking up a last-minute injury before the World Cup starts
Rodrigo Bentancur (left) like Kane could miss the last game before the break if booked against Liverpool
The 25-year-old has received a booking in a third of Spurs’ games across all competitions this season, and in what promises to be a fierce battle in the middle of the park against Jurgen Klopp’s side, it would be no surprise to see him pick up a yellow.
Also on Sunday, Manchester United travel to the West Midlands to play Unai Emery’s Aston Villa.
United full-back Diogo Dalot is one booking away from a one-match ban, and a yellow card would see him miss next week’s match with Fulham.
Portuguese international Diogo Dalot will be hoping to get through the next games unscathed
Arsenal pair William Saliba and Gabriel Jesus could get a ban if they get a yellow vs Chelsea
While Dalot has often played second-fiddle to Joao Cancelo in Portugal’s starting 11, he has been one of the star performers for United under Ten Hag and will be a certainty to make the squad, if fit, to go to Qatar.
League leaders Arsenal have a huge clash against London rivals Chelsea on Sunday, but they also have two players who are one card away from a ban.
Brazil forward Gabriel Jesus and French international William Saliba will miss next weekend’s trip to Wolves if they are booked against the Blues.
Brazil are one of the favourites to win the World Cup this winter, and Jesus will be desperate to help his country lift the trophy for the first time since the 2002 tournament in Japan and South Korea.
Saliba broke into the French international team this year and would want to avoid any late injury so that he can play in his first World Cup, as his country looks to defend the trophy they clinched in Russia four years ago.
German international Thilo Kehrer is one booking away from a ban after a yellow last week
Fabian Schar was concerned after hurting his hamstring against Aston Villa, but he is fit to play and is just one yellow card away from receiving a one-match ban for in-form Newcastle
Elsewhere, West Ham’s Thilo Kehrer will be one to watch when the German plays against Crystal Palace on Sunday.
The 26-year-old was booked last time out against Manchester United and one more would see him miss their clash against Leicester at the London Stadium in the final game before the break.
Fabian Schar has been one of the most in-form defenders in the Premier League this season for Newcastle, and he will hope not to pick up a last-minute injury before he travels with the Switzerland squad for the World Cup.
There was a slight worry after Newcastle’s last game, after he felt some pain with his hamstring in their 4-0 victory over Aston Villa.
On Friday, Eddie Howe offered some reassurance to any Switzerland fans when he said Schar was fit to play against Southampton on Sunday.
Meanwhile, there are four players to watch out for on Saturday including Fulham’s Aleksandar Mitrovic.
Aleksandar Mitrovic picked up a yellow against Everton and now has four for the season
The fiery Serbian international was booked last time out against Everton for a late challenge, and another yellow card away at Manchester City would see him miss their game at Old Trafford against Man United next week.
Brighton’s Alexis Mac Allister is another player with World Cup aspirations.
His impressive displays have seen him win his place back in the international fold this year for Argentina – having gone several years without an appearance beforehand.
Mac Allister and Brighton travel to Wolves and if he were to get a booking he would miss their game with Aston Villa next week.
Chris Mepham is expected to be part of the Welsh squad for their first World Cup appearance since 1958.
Alexis Mac Allister could miss the final game before the break with a booking this weekend
Chris Mepham is hoping to be part of the Wales squad in their first World Cup squad since 1958
Amadou Onana could receive a call-up for Belgium after receiving his first cap this year
A booking away at Leeds for the Bournemouth player would see him miss next week’s clash with Everton.
Finally Everton’s Amadou Onana, who made his international debut for Belgium in June, could miss the last game before the World Cup break if he is booked against Leicester.
There will be big concerns among Premier League players with World Cup aspirations that they’ll pick up an injury in the final games before the tournament starts.
While the summer tournaments have a few weeks between the end of the domestic season and the World Cup, there is just a week one gap before this year’s competition in Qatar.
Liverpool legend Jamie Carragher was particularly vocal on the subject while speaking on CBS Sports as part of their Champions League coverage.
THE 11 PLAYERS ON THE BRINK
Harry Kane (Tottenham and England)
Rodrigo Bentancur (Tottenham and Uruguay)
Diogo Dalot (Manchester United and Portugal)
Gabriel Jesus (Arsenal and Brazil)
William Saliba (Arsenal and France)
Thilo Kehrer (West Ham and Germany)
Fabian Schar (Newcastle and Switzerland)
Aleksandar Mitrovic (Fulham and Serbia)
Alexis Mac Allister (Brighton and Argentina)
Chris Mepham (Bournemouth and Wales)
Amadou Onana (West Ham and Belgium)
Jamie Carragher has been one of the most vocal figures in football to voice their concerns over players receiving injuries in the final games before the tournament gets underway in Qatar
He said: ‘I think it’s an absolute disgrace that the World Cup is in the position it’s in, for lots of reasons.
‘It was corrupt that Qatar were given the World Cup, we knew that at the time.
‘They campaigned on having it in the summer, it is impossible there to have a World Cup in the summer with the temperature, it gets moved to the situation where it is now in the middle of the season.
‘Players who spend their whole lives dreaming of playing in a World Cup and now could be [out injured] – as we’ve seen with Son and players all around the world.
‘Varane was crying coming off the pitch at Stamford Bridge. That’s how close we are to a World Cup.
‘An injury, a ten-day or two-week injury, is going to keep players out of a World Cup and it should not be happening.
‘And it all started with Fifa giving Qatar the World Cup and then moving it. I think it’s absolutely disgusting.’
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