The 2018 FIFA World Cup has just passed the halfway mark, and we are already starting to get a good idea of the teams that will be involved in the latter stages. There is huge Premier League representation at the tournament with 107 players from the English top division taking part in Russia. In this article we take a look at some of the best performing Premier League players at the World Cup.
1. Harry Kane, England & Tottenham Hotspur
England are the only squad in Russia this summer with a squad made up entirely of players playing in their home nation. Leading those players is Captain Harry Kane, who at time of writing leads the goal-scoring charts with 5 goals in 2 games.
The impressive 24-year-old has notched 108 times in 153 Premier League games for Tottenham and has finally captured that form for the national team. If Kane continues his rich-vein of goal-scoring form, there’s every chance that England could win the World Cup for the first time since 1966.
2. Romelu Lukaku, Belgium & Manchester United
Chasing Kane for the Golden Boot is Manchester United’s blustering forward Lukaku, who scored a brace in Belgium’s opening two group games. Since moving to Old Trafford, Lukaku has fit in well and hit 16 league goals in his first with United.
Question marks remain over Lukaku’s ability to score in important games against the best opposition. Despite his good start to the tournament, it remains to be seen whether he can perform when Belgium face sterner opposition.
3. David Ospina, Arsenal & Colombia
Arsenal’s stand-in goalkeeper suffers from what is affectionately known as David Healy syndrome. When playing for his club side, he has often flattered to deceive and Gunners’ fans have never had complete confidence in his abilities.
However, for Colombia he has been a rock in recent tournaments. In the 2015 Copa America, Ospina made a string of stunning saves to hold Argentina to a stalemate, one of which was an incredible double save from Lionel Messi.
Following Los Cafeteros 3-0 victory over Poland, they look well-set to reach the knockout stages and Ospina’s performances could be vital to their ambitions.
4. Olivier Giroud, France & Chelsea
After scoring 4 goals in 8 qualifying matches the towering Frenchman has established himself as a prominent feature in Didier Deschamp’s sides. Giroud brings something different to an otherwise fast but small attack.
Giroud has never been a truly prolific striker, but in spells at Arsenal and Chelsea he has scored 76 goals and provided 24 assists. Which is an overall contribution of 100 goals in 193 Premier League appearances.
5. Dejan Lovren, Croatia & Liverpool
Since his high-profile move from St. Mary’s to Anfield, Lovren has been a figure of derision amongst rival fans and pundits. Several lapses in concentration have been punished during his time with Liverpool yet his game has improved remarkably since the arrival of Virgil Van Dijk.
Lovren was part of the Liverpool side that reached last season’s Champions League final and he has played solidly so far for Croatia. After an opening win against Nigeria, Luka Modric and Ivan Rakitic inspired the Croatians to a 3-0 win over Argentina.
Keeping a firm defence will be key for Croatia as they look to progress through the knockout phases, will Dejan Lovren help them to an unlikely World Cup win?