League football is back on the menu this weekend after the final international break before the World Cup in Qatar.
The national team managers have used the week to take one last look at their roster before choosing who will be on that plane two months from now.
However, with no time left to impress on the international stage, many players who were snubbed during the international break will be sweating in their spots and can now only use domestic football to stake their claim at this very late stage. .
But who are the players who have a point to prove when club football returns across Europe this weekend? Sportsmail looks at eight notable stars who got the cold shoulder.
International managers, including England’s Gareth Southgate, had to make a number of high-profile omissions ahead of the final international break before the World Cup in Qatar
Perhaps one of the most shocking omissions from the international break was Gabriel Jesus.
A reborn man at the Emirates since his move from Manchester City in the summer, the Arsenal forward has been instrumental in helping the Gunners rise to the top of the league table – and stay there.
However, it was not enough to earn him a call-up to the Brazilian national team, with Tottenham’s £60 million signing Richarlison being preferred.
Gabriel Jesus was expelled from Brazil squad despite his brilliant form for Arsenal
Tottenham’s Richarlison topped Brazil in the most recent international break
Richarlison proved he deserved the No. 9 shirt, netting three goals and an assist in two friendlies against Ghana and Tunisia, helping manager Tite win his squad.
However, with the North London derby this weekend, both Gabriel Jesus and Richarlison will go head to head and give Tite food for thought as to who should be in his final squad for the World Cup in November.
Having endured a difficult debut season at Old Trafford following his transfer from Borussia Dortmund last summer, it was not the biggest shock to see Jadon discard Sancho from England’s most recent squad.
However, unlike last season when Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was sacked and Ralf Rangnick failed to ignite a struggling United side, Sancho is finally starting to make his way under Erik ten Hag.
Man United’s in-form winger Jadon Sancho was a high-profile omission from the England side
In six Premier League games, Sancho has scored twice and also scored once in the Europa League – a huge improvement from last season’s form.
He faces an uphill battle to replace Phil Foden, Bukayo Saka and Raheem Sterling on the plane, but Jarrod Bowen – who was called up by Southgate for Nations League games against Italy and Germany but was not present – could now look his shoulder if Sancho continues to light it up for the Red Devils.
Unlike most of the others on this list, Alexander-Arnold was actually called up to the national team, but it became clear pretty quickly that he would not be appearing on the field.
Southgate refused to give the Liverpool star a run-out for Reece James, despite fans desperate to see the highly creative right-back doing his thing.
While he will most likely be on the plane to Qatar, it remains to be seen if he really has an edge over James, Kieran Trippier and Kyle Walker – all of whom seem to be more favored by the England boss.
Trent Alexander-Arnold was called up by Southgate but was not used in either match
But with two months left until the tournament kicks off, Alexander-Arnold could begin to prove he was wrong to stay out when Liverpool face Brighton this Saturday.
Liverpool haven’t had the best start to the Premier League season, but there’s no time like the present to change the form of your club and blow up your own stock at the same time.
After overcoming a number of injuries, Ansu Fati is finally starting to get minutes under his belt.
While he won’t start every game for Barcelona, the talented 19-year-old will still get some playing time with Xavi who is keen not to rush him back too soon and risk aggravating another injury.
Despite being one of the greatest talents in world football, Fati didn’t get the nod for Spain’s recent Nations League clashes with Switzerland and Portugal and instead had to watch from home.
Spanish national coach Luis Enrique revealed that the teenager will need regular minutes under his belt if he is to make the World Cup squad in November.
Ansu Fati must regularly get minutes under his belt before Luis Enrique calls him up for Spain
Enrique said at the beginning of the international break: ‘He did participate, but at his club he only started one game and that says something to me.
“He still has a great relationship with the goal. I hope he gets back to his level and we see the best Ansu, but today I don’t see him ready for the squad and that’s why I didn’t make it.”
He will have the chance to add two goals and two assists in LaLiga when Barcelona face Mallorca on Saturday.
Another shocking omission from the Spanish side last week was PSG star Sergio Ramos.
The World Cup winner and European champion has been a mainstay of the national team since his debut in 2005.
And while he struggled with injuries during his debut campaign with PSG last season, Ramos was ever-present in Ligue 1, playing all 11 games and even netting a goal – a brilliant heel, no less.
Sergio Ramos was ‘extremely disappointed’ when he was sent off from the Spanish squad
According to reports, the veteran defender is “extremely disappointed” with the Nations League rejection, but hopes to win Enrique’s favor in time for the World Cup.
Should he continue to build on the six clean sheets he already has this season and build on a positive start, there is no doubt the 36-year-old will be in Qatar.
It’s fair to say that Mats Hummels is the easiest rides on the international scene.
Borussia Dortmund went on to win the World Cup trophy in Brazil for eight years, but now that he’s well into his thirties, you’d expect his time at Die Mannschaft to be over.
After being banned for several years under Joachim Low, Hummels has returned to the fray under Hansi Flick, but failed to make the German roster for this round of Nations League matches.
However, the door is ajar for the central defender who has earned praise from the German boss.
“Everyone still has the chance to jump on the World Cup train,” he said. ‘I especially liked Mats Hummels. He is in very good shape and looks absolutely fit.”
Mats Hummels can also find his way back into the German selection for the World Cup
Marcus Rashford took to social media after the England squad was announced for the final international break to explain his absence.
The Manchester United striker attributed his absence from Southgate to an ‘untimely injury’ and reiterated his desire to represent the Three Lions.
It remains to be seen whether if Rashford had not sustained the injury he would have been selected even though he has upped his game under Ten Hag, as has Sancho.
Marcus Rashford missed last international break due to ‘premature injury’
His position in the World Cup squad is up in the air, but there’s no better time than this weekend to cement a place in Southgate’s final roster.
Rashford is set to be fit for the Manchester derby on Sunday and a string of solid performances up to the World Cup will make him hard to ignore in November.
Ivan Toney received his first-ever England call-up last week in what was a hugely proud moment for the Brentford striker.
While he didn’t get a chance to earn his first cap, the signal from Southgate that he could be Harry Kane’s backup for the World Cup is promising, with Tammy Abraham also another option.
Southgate hinted that they will have many more opportunities after the World Cup, but Toney will do everything in his power to ensure that Brentford is hard to ignore.
The World Cup may have come too early for a player to win his first cap, but that hasn’t stopped the Bees attackers from roaring at the prospect of another call-up.
Ivan Toney got his first-ever England call-up but didn’t appear in either of the two games