Five key players to watch at the World Cup

first_imgAs everyone has started gearing up for the World Cup in Russia, most teams have announced the squad they will be taking to the tournament. Those who haven’t submitted the squad have released a preliminary list which will be shortened before June 4.Based on that, there are some debutants who will be playing their debut world cup despite being on the international scene for a long time. Some of them missed out on the 2014 World Cup due to injuries, while some got their national call-up only after that.Here’s a look at five such international stars.5 N’golo Kante (France)Chelsea’s player of the season burst onto the scene in 2015, when he was an integral part of Leicester City’s still-unbelievable title winning campaign. He went on to make the PFA team of the year, and was snatched up by Chelsea immediately in the next summer.The next season saw Kante being integral to yet another title winning campaign, this time with the Blues and he won the Premier League player of the season. His second season with the club hasn’t been as successful, but Kante still remains their most important player. He made his international debut on 25th March, 2016 against the Netherlands in an international friendly, and has been a permanent part of the squad since then. Kante was absent during the Euro 2016 finals, which France famously went on to lose against Portugal.Alongside Paul Pogba in midfield (and maybe Matuidi/Lemar) Kante will provide the defensive cover while the others venture forward. Ever present on the field and never resting, Kante will be a very interesting watch during this World Cup.4 Isco (Spain)After being on and off the bench for Real Madrid over the last two years, Isco has finally cemented his position as a mainstay of Los Blancos, and has been trusted by Zidane to start in several important games.Isco’s greatest moment came in 2012, when he won the Golden boy award with Malaga in 2012. In 2013, he moved to Real Madrid and has slowly but steadily become one of the best midfielders in the world.Isco’s debut for the senior team came in 6 February, 2013 against Uruguay but it took him over a year to score his first goal for the Spanish national team. He has been in good form this season, bagging eight goals and nine assists across all competitions. Isco will most probably play as an attacking midfielder at the world cup, just behind Diego Costa. Isco is also brilliant as a false nine, and can draw the defenders towards him letting others like Iniesta and David Silva exploit the space.3 Paulo DybalaAfter missing out of the Copa America squad in 2016, this will be his first major tournament with the Albiceleste.  Dybala has won everything domestically possible with Juventus, and every transfer window he is rumored to be moving to some club. At merely 24, he has been talked up to be Messi’s successor in the national team and surprisingly, that has not taken a toll on him. His debut for the national team came on 13 October, 2015 during their 2018 World Cup qualifier game against Paraguay. After Messi dragged Argentina into the World Cup by the scruff of their neck, it will be up to the rest of the team to come good now.Dybala looks most likely to be employed as one of two strikers up-front if Aguero isn’t fully fit for the entire duration of the tournament. But he is most effective for Juventus playing as an attacking mid-fielder, so pushing Messi to the right and employing Dybala at the centre could be an option.Sampaoli’s high-pressing football is something that is still new for his players, and they will need Messi at the centre to help in the transition, and this could be a reason why Dybala might have to give up his favorite playing position.2 Harry Kane (England)It is only natural that England go into every tournament with expectations of winning it, and it is only natural that all the pressures rest on one fragile individual whom the media dotes on before and abuses afterward. For this world cup, it is Harry Kane.  Kane burst onto the stage in the 2014/15 season when he scored 21 goals in the league with Tottenham, and won the PFA Young player of the year award. He finished the next two seasons as the top-scorer and was only eclipsed by Mohammed Salah this year.    His International debut came on 19 March, 2015 in a friendly against Lithuania. and scored just 80 seconds later. This time around, Kane will be wearing the armband as he leads England in a tournament stacked with favorites.  Kane will play every minute of every game when he is fit for the Three Lions, alongside Jamie Vardy up front. He will also have Raheem Sterling in the flanks to aid him with crosses, and despite a non-creative midfield England can fancy their chances in the World Cup.1 Marco Reus (Germany) It might seem like Marco Reus has been around forever, but this will be the first World Cup experience for the German.After having missed out on the 2014 World Cup due to an ankle injury and the Euro 2016 due to a groin injury, this will be Reus’ major tournament in a long time with the national team (the last one being Euro 2012).Germany’s coach, Joachim Löw, has not yet announced the final squad but Reus will definitely be on it and will play on the left wing. After an injury early in the season, Reus has recovered well at Borussia Dortmund and has ended the season with nine goals to his name.The defending champions will once again come into the tournament with the intention of winning it, and Marco Reus will play a prime part in their pursuit of excellence. The only concern for Reus is an injury, and Germany will do everything possible to make sure that Reus gets on the plane to Russia in tip-top condition.– Follow the World Cup with the Multimedia Group! With live English radio commentary on Joy 99.7 FM radio, Akan radio commentary on Asempa 94.7 FM and livestreaming on, we’ve got you covered all-tournament long.last_img

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