World Cup 2014: Stars Who Need to Finish Season Strong for National Team Chance

Michael WadeAnalyst IIIJanuary 31, 2014

Ashley Cole in action for Chelsea against Liverpool.
Ashley Cole in action for Chelsea against Liverpool.Julian Finney/Getty Images

With less than six months until the 2014 World Cup begins, a few top footballers are beginning to get a little hot under the collar about their chances of travelling to Brazil.

Spain international Juan Mata has already swapped Stamford Bridge for Old Trafford in the January transfer window in order to make sure of his place on the plane, while Croatia striker Nikica Jelavic left Everton to move to Hull in a bid to face Brazil in Brazil.

And they aren't the only ones feeling nervous about their chances of World Cup glory. Listed below are three more stars who could have perhaps done more to ensure they have a good chance of playing in the tournament.

Julio Cesar has been frozen out at QPR.
Julio Cesar has been frozen out at QPR.Alastair Grant/Associated Press

Julio Cesar

Following relegation from the Premier League last season, Julio Cesar has not had a look in at QPR and has failed to start a single league game with Robert Green being preferred.

A move away from the club didn't come to fruition in the summer, and, unless a late transfer occurs, he is set to see the season out at Loftus Road.

This could be the death knell for his hopes of playing in a World Cup on home soil though, with Brazil coach Luiz Felipe Scolari unlikely to pick the goalkeeper who has not had any match practice, even if he does have 77 caps.

At this point his best hope would be to seal a loan move anywhere he would be able to play some games in a last-ditch bid to impress.

Ashley Cole could lose his place in the England team.
Ashley Cole could lose his place in the England team.Clive Rose/Getty Images

Ashley Cole

The Chelsea defender has only started 13 out of 23 Premier League games so far this season, per ESPN FC, and has faced limited playing time in other competitions too, with Jose Mourinho preferring Cesar Azpilicueta at left-back.

At any other time in his career Cole might have been able to retain his place in the England team, but with renewed competition from Everton's Leighton Baines his starting place is in doubt.

Both are equally capable of doing an above-competent job. With Cole's experience including three World Cups and over 100 caps already, he brings a lot to the table, but if Baines is an ever-present for Everton and performs to his potential, then he could edge out the Chelsea veteran.

Thomas Vermaelen was linked with a move to West Ham.
Thomas Vermaelen was linked with a move to West Ham.Bryn Lennon/Getty Images

Thomas Vermaelen

The Arsenal captain has lost his place in the side due to injury and the fine form of Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny.

It hasn't helped the Belgium international that his own loss of form has come at a time when Arsenal have been performing so well and have led the Premier League table for months on end.

And to make matters worse it is Belgium's first World Cup since 2002, they missed out in 2006 and 2010, meaning, at 28 years old, this might be his only chance to experience the tournament.

A transfer to West Ham was mooted, as reported by Darren Lewis in the Mirror, although that didn't come to fruition. Now the 28-year-old faces a nervous wait knowing he must take every opportunity which comes his way in order to book a trip to Brazil.