Which Premier League Players Can Break Into Their World Cup Squads?

As we enter the final few games of the season, plenty of top class players have an added motivation to impress, with their chances of making this summer’s World Cup in doubt, writes Sky Sports Fantasy Football’s Amee Ruszkai.

Most of the Premier League’s best talents are away with their countries this week in the final international break before the big tournament in Russia.

However, of those left at home, who could make a difference in your Sky Sports Fantasy Football team as they aim to show their national teams what they can offer?

 

Left back in the changing room

If you’re looking for defensive reinforcements, there are several top class defenders in the Premier League in danger of missing out on the World Cup, which shows the sheer quality of their national teams.

Manchester City duo Aymeric Laporte (£8.5m) and Danilo (£8.4m) are just two, with City’s run to the Champions League semi-finals a boost for both as it could mean more chance of Pep Guardiola rotating them into his team.

Frenchman Laporte has impressed when given the opportunity, with two clean sheets and three pass bonuses from three games, while Danilo has four clean sheets, two tackle bonuses, two pass bonuses and a goal from his last five starts.

The Brazilian looks like he could be an especially prolific points scorer if given the game time given his more attacking role, as the champions-elect prepare for a kind run of final fixtures.

Shkodran Mustafi (£8.8m) has also been left in London, a World Cup winner four years ago who secured his move to Arsenal off the back of that tournament.

A proven aerial threat and regular earner of Sky Sports Fantasy Football bonuses, if he can cut out the frequent mistakes in his game, he can prove his worth again amid the Gunners’ favourable run in.

 

Mediocre midfielders

There are not quite as many attractive options when it comes to midfield.

Juan Mata (£9.7m) looked set for more game time after a man of the match display against Huddersfield last month, but has disappointed in his one start since, while Manuel Lanzini (£8.6m) has also proven ineffective in recent weeks.

Chelsea duo Tiemoue Bakayoko (£8.7m) and Cesc Fabregas (£9.4m) have both fallen out of favour due to their form, especially the former, but there is one man at Stamford Bridge who still has hope of making it to Russia.

Pedro’s (£9.5m) extra-time winner in Chelsea’s FA Cup quarter-final with Leicester last week is sure to have pushed him into Antonio Conte’s thoughts, and if so, he could soon be in Spain boss Julen Lopetegui’s thoughts too.

 

Striking options

There are several strikers who may not be with their countries this week, but they are among the first names on the team sheets for their clubs – meaning a few goals could make that World Cup dream a reality.

With Callum Wilson (£10.1m) struggling for goals and Tammy Abraham (£8.6m) struggling for minutes, Glenn Murray (£9.3m) is the English hopeful, with five goals in his last six games.

However, the 32-year-old has a much tougher run in at Brighton than his two countrymen, who could yet make it into Gareth Southgate’s thoughts if they can capitalise on those kind fixtures.

Alvaro Morata (£12.2m) is another out-of-favour for country but also for club, though his goal in the FA Cup last week could well throw him back into the Chelsea picture on a regular basis.

Christian Benteke (£11.3m) is getting the minutes but just not the goals, while both Laurent Depoitre (£8.5m) and Shinji Okazaki (£8.8m) both find themselves frustrated on the bench despite being involved in seven goals apiece in limited game time this season.

If Brighton’s final fixtures were kinder, Murray would be a no brainer for selection, while Morata would be too if he was getting the game time. However, both could prove to be gambles worth taking as players look to steal their Sky Sports Fantasy Football league titles.

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