JAMIE REDK NAPP’S 10 TO WATCH
RAHEEM STERLING ENGLAND
HE’S not had the ideal build-up with stories about tattoos and turning up late but Sterling will not let that bother him. Very few 23-year-olds will have had to cope with what he has. As a result, nothing fazes him. I don’t think he strikes the ball as well as he should and there are other areas of his game he can work on but if he can replicate his performances for Manchester City he will have a great World Cup — and so will England. TIMO WERNER GERMANY THINK of Gerd M Muller, ll Miroslav Klose and Thomas Muller — Germany have always had top-class forwards. In Werner, they may have another. The striker won the Golden Boot at last year’s Confederations Cup with three goals and two assists. His 21 goals for RB Leipzig this season fired them to the Europa League quarter-finals.
BRAZIL’S hopes hinge on this man. He’s scored in both recent friendlies after his return from four months out with a foot injury, but it is vital he stays fit. This the hardest-working Brazil side I can remember. While it does not have the flair of 1970 or 1982, Neymar can provide those moments of magic to win their sixth World Cup.
KYLIAN MBAPPE FRANCE
THE closest I’ve seen to Thierry Henry. France are blessed with young forwards but Mbappe is the pick of the bunch. He is lean but has powerful legs that give him explosive pace and makes it all look so effortless. He has everything it takes to become one of the stars of the World Cup.
PAULO DYBALA ARGENTINA
HE is a baby-faced assassin. But while he is an ice-cool finisher for Juventus, he is yet to score in 12 matches for Argentina. His displays in Serie A and the Champions League show he has the talent to thrive on the international stage but maybe he has been fazed by playing alongside Lionel Messi. If Argentina are to win this World Cup, they cannot expect Messi to take the weight of the team on his shoulders. The likes of Dybala and Gonzalo Higuain will also have to step up.
LUIS SUAREZ URUGUAY
BOTH of his World Cups have been clouded by controversy. He was sent off for a handball on the line to deny Ghana a winner in 2010 before biting Italy’s Giorgio Chiellini four years later. Only Messi and Ronaldo scored more than his 25 in La Liga this season. Will he be in the headlines for all the right reasons this time?
LUKA MODRIC CROATIA
ONE of the world’s best midfielders and d one of my favourites s to watch. He has been integral to Real Madrid’s hat-trick of Champions ons League wins. His vision creates the vital space for his team-mates to flourish and I love the way he slaloms effortlessly through midfield. The former Tottenham man belongs at this level.
EDEN HAZARD BELGIUM
IF Belgium’s golden generation come alive, there is a chance they could win this World Cup. Roberto Martinez has as built this team around Hazard and, with the ammunition from Kevin De Bruyne, the Chelsea man will be determined to fire them to glory. He can do it in the Premier League. Now he must do it as Belgium’s captain.
MARCO ASENSIO SPAIN
THIS 22-year-old winger is so talented. He has a great strike on him m and is capable of scoring coring goals from long range. With Real Madrid team-mate Isco in the squad there will be fierce competition for places in the Spain line-up. Once Asensio does get in the team, it will be very hard to dislodge him.
ROBERT LEWANDOWSKI POLAND
ONE player I’d love to o see playing in the Premier League. Lewandowski is a proper centre forward who holds up the ball and scores plenty of goals. He is yet to have a prolific tournament with Poland but this could be the year where that all changes.