League football is back on the menu this weekend following the conclusion of the last international break before the World Cup in Qatar.
National team managers will have used the week to take one last look at their squads before choosing who will join them on that plane in two months.
However, with no time to impress on the international stage, many players who were snubbed in the international break will be left sweating in their places and can now only use domestic football to claim their right at this late stage.
But who are the players who have a point to prove when club football returns across Europe this weekend? Sportsmail takes a look at eight notable stars who got their backs turned.
International coaches, including England’s Gareth Southgate, were forced into a series of high-profile omissions for the final international break before the World Cup in Qatar.
Arguably one of the most shocking omissions from the international hiatus was Gabriel Jesus.
The Arsenal striker is a reborn man at the Emirates since moving from Manchester City in the summer and has been instrumental in getting the Gunners up to the top of the table and staying there.
However, it wasn’t enough to earn him a call-up to the Brazilian squad with Tottenham’s £60m signing Richarlison preferred.
Gabriel Jesus was snubbed from the Brazil squad despite his brilliant form with Arsenal
Tottenham’s Richarlison was Brazil’s favorite in the most recent international break
Richarlison proved he deserved the number 9 shirt, scoring three goals and an assist in two friendlies against Ghana and Tunisia to leave manager Tite vindicated in his squad.
However, with the North London derby this weekend, both Gabriel Jesus and Richarlison will go toe-to-toe and give Tite some thought as to who should be in his final squad for the World Cup in November.
Having endured a tough debut season at Old Trafford following his big-money move from Borussia Dortmund last summer, it wasn’t the biggest surprise to see Jadon Sancho dropped from England’s latest squad.
However, unlike last season, in which Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was sacked and Ralf Rangnick failed to spark a struggling United, Sancho is finally starting to find his place 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 netted once more in the Europa League, a huge improvement on last season’s form.
He faces an uphill battle to replace the likes of Phil Foden, Bukayo Saka and Raheem Sterling on the plane, but Jarrod Bowen, who was called up by Southgate for Nations League matches against Italy and Germany but did not feature, now could be looking over. the shoulder if Sancho keeps turning it on for the Red Devils.
Trent Alexander Arnold
Unlike most of the others on this list, Alexander-Arnold was actually called up to the national team, but it quickly became clear he wouldn’t be on the field.
Southgate refused to give the Liverpool star a run ahead of Reece James even though fans were desperate to see the highly creative right-back do his thing.
While he will most likely be on the plane for Qatar, it remains to be seen whether he actually figures ahead of the likes of James, Kieran Trippier and Kyle Walker, who seem to be more favored by the England boss.
Trent Alexander-Arnold was called up by Southgate but was not used in any of the games.
But with two months to go before the tournament begins, Alexander-Arnold may start to prove himself wrong by sitting out when Liverpool take on Brighton on Saturday.
Liverpool have not enjoyed the best of starts to the Premier League season, but there’s no time like the present to change your club’s form while inflating your own stock at the same time.
After overcoming a series of injuries, Ansu Fati is finally beginning to have minutes under his belt.
While he doesn’t start every game for Barcelona, the talented 19-year-old continues to get playing time with Xavi, keen not to rush him too quickly and risk aggravating another injury.
Despite being one of the biggest talents in world football, Fati did not receive the nod from Spain’s recent Nations League clashes with Switzerland and Portugal and instead stayed to watch from home.
Spain manager Luis Enrique has revealed the teenager needs regular minutes under his belt if he wants to make the World Cup squad in November.
Ansu Fati needs to get regular minutes under his belt before Luis Enrique calls him up with Spain
Enrique said at the start of the international break: ‘He has been participating but at his club he has only started one game and that tells me something.
He continues to have a wonderful relationship with the goal, I hope he recovers his level and we see the best Ansu, but today I don’t see him ready for the squad and that’s why I haven’t brought him.
He will have the opportunity to add two goals and two assists in LaLiga when Barcelona take on Mallorca on Saturday.
Another surprising omission from the Spain team last week was PSG star Sergio Ramos.
The World Cup winner and European champion has been a mainstay on the national team since making his debut in 2005.
And although he struggled with injuries during his debut campaign at PSG last season, Ramos has been an ever-present in the Ligue 1 side, playing all 11 games and even scoring a goal, nothing short of a brilliant backheel.
Sergio Ramos was ‘extremely disappointed’ at being snubbed by the Spanish team
Reports claim the veteran defender was said to be “extremely disappointed” with the Nations League snub, but is hopeful of regaining favor with Harry in time for the World Cup.
If he continues to build on the six clean sheets he already has this season and builds to a positive start, there is no doubt the 36-year-old will be in Qatar.
It is fair to say that Mats Hummels is the easiest attraction on the international stage.
Borussia Dortmund ended up lifting the World Cup trophy eight years in Brazil, but now that he is in his 30s, hopefully his time with Die Mannschaft is running out.
Having been in exile for a number of years with Joachim Low, Hummels has returned to contention with Hansi Flick but failed to make the Germany squad for this round of Nations League matches.
However, the door has been left ajar for the center-back who has earned praise from the German coach.
“Everyone still has a chance to get on the World Cup bandwagon,” he said. “I especially liked Mats Hummels. He is in very good shape and looks absolutely fit.
Mats Hummels could also force his return to the Germany squad for the World Cup
Marcus Rashford took to social media after the England squad for the last international break was announced to explain his absence.
The Manchester United striker attributed his omission from Southgate to an ‘untimely injury’ and reiterated his desire to represent the Three Lions.
It remains to be seen whether Rashford would not have been injured had he been selected, although he has improved his game under Ten Hag as has Sancho.
Marcus Rashford missed the final international break due to an ‘untimely injury’
His position in the World Cup squad is up in the air, but there is no better time than this weekend to cement a place in Southgate’s final selection.
Rashford is set to be fit for the Manchester derby on Sunday and a string of strong performances leading up to the World Cup will make him hard to ignore come November.
Ivan Toney received his first cap for England last week in what was a very proud moment for the Brentford striker.
While he didn’t get a chance to win his first cap, the sign from Southgate that he could be Harry Kane’s World Cup back-up is promising as Tammy Abraham is also another option.
Southgate hinted there will be plenty more opportunities beyond the World Cup, but Toney will do his best for Brentford to make it hard to ignore.
The World Cup may have come too soon for a player yet to win his first cap, but that won’t stop the Bees striker from buzzing at the prospect of getting another cap.
Ivan Toney received his first England call-up, but did not feature in either game.