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Can hosts South Africa qualify from Group A? Simon Hopper gives you his verdict on their chances. Get all the best World Cup odds here.

Chelsea have confirmed that Joe Cole and Michael Ballack are to leave the club on free transfers this summer.

Cole joined Chelsea from West Ham for £6.6m in 2003 and is currently in South Africa preparing for the World Cup.

Ballack, 33, who joined Chelsea in 2006 on a free transfer, was set to captain Germany at the World Cup but was ruled out of the tournament with an ankle injury..

Chelsea say that he will remain at their Cobham training base for treatment on the ankle until it is healed.

Cole’s departure from Stamford Bridge had long been expected as, although he is expected to start for England in South Africa, he has struggled to find a role at Chelsea under coach Carlo Ancelotti.

“We would like to thank him for his dedicated years of service and wish him well in his future career,” read a Chelsea statement.

He failed to hold down a starting berth in the Chelsea team this season after returning from a serious knee injury in September last year.

His availability will alert a number of Premier League clubs, with Arsenal, Manchester United, Tottenham and Manchester City all linked with the player.

Can hosts South Africa qualify from Group A? Simon Hopper gives you his verdict on their chances. Get all the best World Cup odds here.

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