Chelsea legend Zola close to return to Stamford Bridge as 14 players seek glory in World Cup in Russia

While Chelsea are having a nightmare sorting out the future of their management structure back at Stamford Bridge, 14 Chelsea players are in Russia hoping to do their countries proud in the World Cup.

Maurizio Sarri is edging closer to sorting out his contract issues with Napoli, thus allowing Chelsea to sack Antonio Conte and sign the former banker.

In a move calculated to appease the disgruntled Chelsea fans, it’s looking likely that Gianfranco Zola will return to the Bridge as Sarri’s assistant manager.

All of Conte’s support  staff will exit SW6 with him, the future of assistant boss Carlo Cudicini is less certain.

Cudicini may have to accept a different role at the club, and could be offered the U-18’s manager’s job following the departure of Jody Morris to Derby County as assistant to new manager Frank Lampard. 

In Russia, we have already seen in action, substitute Olivier Giroud and N’Golo Kante perform admirably in a narrow 2-1 win for France over Australia, while Andreas Christensen failed to last the full 90 minutes for Denmark in their 1-0 win over Peru.

Willy Caballero  had a fine game for Argentina despite the 1-1 draw with Iceland.

Victor Moses was Nigeria’s star performer against Croatia despite a 2-0 defeat. Kenneth Omeruo an unused substitute.

Cesar Azpilicueta had the same fate for Spain in the match of the tournament so far in a 3-3 draw with Portugal on Friday.

Gary Cahill will be hoping his extensive experience will give him the nod for England when they face Tunisia on Monday. Ruben Loftus-Cheek is set to shine for the Three Lions, assuming manager Gareth Southgate has the strength to name the talented midfielder. Eden Hazard, Thibaut Courtois and Michy Batshuayi face Panama also on Monday, while centre-back Antonio Rudiger will start for Germany against Mexico tomorrow.  Willian will be hoping for a start on the wing as Brazil face Switzerland also on Sunday.


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