Question nobody asked - How many premier league teams are represented at the World Cup?
Published 17/05/2010 | 05:00
In the absence of a country to follow, many club fans will attach themselves to countries that their players represent, although in the case of Chelsea fans, that doesn't rule out too many teams.
Of those in last season's Premier League, only Burnley and Birmingham are not represented in the provisional squads by the time the tournament kicks off -- although Birmingham can at least claim credit for Joe Hart's inclusion.
Anybody who watched them last season wouldn't be surprised to learn that Burnley will have no representation at the World Cup while Hull City (Richard Garcia) and Stoke City (Thomas Sorensen) have one each in the provisional squads.
Portsmouth could be represented by as many as seven players next month, just two fewer than Manchester United (Hernandez, Evra, Park, Ferdinand, Carrick, Rooney, Vidic, Tosic, Nani).
Of the other teams in the top eight, Aston Villa have the lowest representation (five), followed by Everton (eight) and Manchester City (nine).
Interestingly, Liverpool have the second highest representation at 13 (Mascherano, Maxi, Kyrgiakos, Carragher, Johnson, Gerrard, Jovanovic, Kuyt, Babel, Agger, Skrtel, Reina, Torres), ahead of Arsenal (12) and Tottenham (10).
Chelsea, however, are comfortably in front with 17 (Malouda, Anelka, Mikel, J Cole, A Cole, Terry, Lampard, Ballack, Ivanovic, Matic, Essien, Stoch, Drogba, Kalou, Carvalho, Ferreira, Deco, plus Alex on standby) underlining their strength-in-depth, but also, perhaps, making them vulnerable to tiredness next season.