The World Cup in Brazil is fast approaching. Coaches of their respective national teams are keeping close tabs on their internationals to see who gets to go, and who doesn’t. This season will determine the players that are going, and most likely how well they will play in the tournament. Most large clubs across the top 5-6 leagues will likely have a good number of players leaving to try and win the trophy. Liverpool will have a number of players going, and here is a list of players that are primed to have a great summer in Brazil.
Coutinho’s singular cap for the senior Selecao team does not do him justice. Arriving last winter, he and Daniel Sturridge linked up beautifully to fire Liverpool to a second half of the season that saw them lose just twice (they lost 7 times before his arrival), as well as go on an 8 match unbeaten run. He scored 3 times and dished out 5 assists, as well as creating 20 chances. It was surprising to me that he was not included in the Confederations Cup squad, but it proved to not matter as Brazil mopped the floor with Spain in a 3-0 win. Now this season he is out to prove that he deserves a spot for the World Cup. Although he was set back by an injury, he has 1 goal from 6 starts, averages 1.4 key passes per game, and 2.3 dribbles per game. If he continues with his great form from last season, I see no reason why he should not get a spot on the squad. How if he does, he has a chance to showcase his skill on the world stage, and his ability to dribble defenders nauseous will no doubt have a big impact on Brazil’s journey for the cup.
Luis is a lot more straightforward. The Uruguayan international has 39 goals in 76 international appearances to his name, and he is still just 26 years old. He will not doubt he one of the best players to appear, and his fantastic eye for goal, dribbling skill, and intimidating aura will see him score quite a few goals as he take Uruguay as far as he can. This form will no doubt stem from his domestic achievements, and the player already has 9 goals and 3 assists in 8 matches since returning from suspension. If his good form continues, he will take the Premier League golden boot, and that will translate to the World Cup. Uruguay will most likely not win, but his heroics should see him as one of the best of the tournament.
The 23 year old moved to Anfield from Paris Saint Germain this summer for a reported £15 million, and has 7 appearances as he is slowly integrated into the squad. For France, he has become a hero in the eyes of Les Blues faithful, as his brace against Ukraine in the second leg of their WC playoff sent Ukraine home and France to Brazil. For his club, he has become a great central defender, making 1.4 tackles and 2.6 interceptions per game. He also averages 6.9 clearances per game. He is very strong in the air, and is an accurate passer. With spots in the French squad up for grabs, look for him to be one of the standout defenders of the competition.
Although he is much lauded by Liverpool fans, they do not do Hendy justice. Last season, he finished the campaign with 5 goals and 4 assists from 16 starts, as Brendan Rodgers tinkered as to where to best fit him. He linked up well with Coutinho and Sturridge, especially apparent in the 6-0 away thrashing of Newcastle. This term he is trying to continue form that could very well see him land a spot on the Three Lions’ plane to Brazil. He is currently boasting an 86% pass success rate, 52.4 passes per game, and one assist from a central midfield role. Although these are not world class stats, he is unlucky to only get one assist from 19 created chances, as many an opportunity was squandered. He is also the only Liverpool player to start every Premier League game so far. With the England squad in disarray, bet on Hendy ending up starting the cup, and dictating the flow of things at the heart of the Three Lions.
Thanks for reading! Feedback is always welcome! (Keep in mind I’m just a sophomore and am still learning how to research and write effectively)
All stats taken from WhoScored.com and transfermarkt.com